Cape Verde* with In the Heart of the Sea

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“It powerfully evoked what he called ‘a past we forget that we need to know.’”–Nathaniel Philbreck, In the Heart of the Sea

  • Here’s what happens:
    • This is a detailed and gripping account of the whaleship disaster that inspired the novel Moby Dick. This is the true story of a whaling ship that was struck by an aggressive sperm whale, stranding the crew at sea and exposing them to a variety of murderous elements.
  • It’s good because:
    • It’s an exciting and unusual tale, and this version (apparently) incorporates newly discovered accounts to weave the story of what exactly happened on this ship. While the beginning chapters detailing the seafaring culture of Nantucket and the procedures and practices aboard a whaling ship were a little slow and tedious for me, I’ll admit they were likely necessary to contextualize this peculiar occurrence–and they’re worth pushing through.
  • Read if:
    • You’re interested in off-the-beaten-path historical texts. I never would’ve guessed I’d be reading a book on nautical history, but it was certainly an interesting and informative read!

Up next: Bosnia and Herzegovina with Aleskandr Hemon’s Love and Obstacles!

*In the Heart of the Sea was originally scheduled to take us to the Pitcairn Islands, but the stop to Cape Verde was 1. more clearly documented and 2. a more recognizable landmark so I chose to switch the destination it stands for (technically, the Pitcairn Islands are British territories, and while I have other territories on my list, it just made more sense to me to count it for an independent nation, if possible).


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