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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Study Guide Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Nathaniel Philbrick
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Sailing around Cape Horn was dangerous, although ships from Nantucket had been rounding it since 1791. Faced with storms and the dangerousness of the Cape itself, it took more than a month for the Essex to round Cape Horn. In January 1820, the lookout sighted the island of St. Mary's, which was off the coast of Chile and was a gathering spot for whalers. For whalers in the Pacific, the year had been a difficult one. Political troubles had erupted in Chile and Peru and it had been a terrible whaling season.

The Essex spent several luckless months of the coast of Chile, before beginning to find some success off the coast of Peru. In two months, the crew boiled down 450 barrels of oil, the equivalent of eleven whales. Yet, the weather continued to torment the Essex. The large seas made it difficult to raise and lower the whaleboats...

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This section contains 610 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Study Guide
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