Mudcat Café message #754263 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48561   Message #754263
Posted By: greg stephens
25-Jul-02 - 05:01 AM
Thread Name: help: Moby Dick shanty thread?
Subject: RE: help: Moby Dick shanty thread?
What happened next is worth passing on, as well:

"He leaped from the boat. He burst upward from the half-crouch and flung himself and flunghimself forward, still holding the lance.Harpoon head,shaft and human were all one single projectile, hurtling through the air. The harpoon travelled forward and down, and for one moment the man looked like a flag attached to the long pole and trailing behind it. The harpoon head head struck the black target of the whale's back, the forward motion stopped, and the harpooner tumbled into the water right beside the thirty-ton animal. It appeared to be a leap of utter madness.
The bamboo shaft was too light to give impetus to the strike, and the harpooner had used his body weight to drive home the harpoon".

How about that, eh? None of your wimpy Nantucketers, just lobbing a harpoon from the safety(?) of a boat! There's a photo in the book of the harpooner standing on the ladder, surrounded by the mist from the whale's spout, ready to jump. He didn't catch the actual jump on film though! Pity.