Captain Ahab was a man possessed with an obsessional drive to pursue the white whale which had harmed him - which had torn his leg out - to the ends of the Earth, no matter what happened. In the final scene of the novel, Captain Ahab is being borne out to sea, wrapped around the white whale with the rope of his own harpoon and going obviously to his death. It was a scene of almost suicidal finality.
I just saw Titanic, which is a $200 million film about a real-life disaster at sea, but according to Hollywood Logic, none of the actual passengers was interesting enough, so the writer-director had to invent a Romeo and Juliet-style fictional couple to heat up the catastrophe. This seems a tiny bit like giving Anne Frank a wacky best friend, to perk up that attic.
My room was in one of those turrets and at night I could hear the sea and the faint rustle of eelgrass in the soft wind. The weather was perfect that summer. No storms. Blue skies and just the right amount of wind every day. The sailors were in heaven.
For the past 50 years, we've been fishing the seas like we clear-cut forests. It's hard to overstate the destruction. Ninety percent of large fish, the ones we love - the tunas, the halibuts, the salmons, swordfish - they've collapsed.