Tips for one man & woman solo fellows


Had you fol­lo­wed Cap­tain Ahab down into his cabin after the squall that took place on the night suc­cee­ding that wild rati­fi­ca­ti­on of his pur­po­se with his crew, you would have seen him go to a locker in the tran­som, and brin­ging out a lar­ge wrinkled roll of yel­lo­wish sea charts, spread them befo­re him on his screwed-down table. Then sea­ting him­s­elf befo­re it, you would have seen him intent­ly stu­dy the various lines and sha­dings which the­re met his eye; and with slow but ste­ady pen­cil trace addi­tio­nal cour­ses over spaces that befo­re were blank. At inter­vals, he would refer to piles of old log-books besi­de him, wher­ein were set down the sea­sons and pla­ces in which, on various for­mer voya­ges of various ships, sperm wha­les had been cap­tu­red or seen.

While thus employ­ed, the hea­vy pew­ter lamp sus­pen­ded in chains over his head, con­ti­nu­al­ly rocked with the moti­on of the ship, and for ever threw shif­ting gleams and shadows of lines upon his wrinkled brow, till it almost see­med that while he him­s­elf was mar­king out lines and cour­ses on the wrinkled charts, some invi­si­ble pen­cil was also tra­cing lines and cour­ses upon the deeply mar­ked chart of his forehead.

So assured, indeed, is the fact concerning the periodicalness of the sperm whale’s resorting to given waters, that many hunters believe that.

Now, to any one not ful­ly acquain­ted with the ways of the levia­thans, it might seem an absurdly hopeless task thus to seek out one soli­ta­ry crea­tu­re in the unhoo­ped oce­ans of this pla­net. But not so did it seem to Ahab, who knew the sets of all tides and cur­r­ents; and ther­e­by cal­cu­la­ting the drif­tings of the sperm whale’s food; and, also, cal­ling to mind the regu­lar, ascer­tai­ned sea­sons for hun­ting him in par­ti­cu­lar lati­tu­des; could arri­ve at rea­son­ab­le sur­mi­ses, almost approa­ching to cer­ta.


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