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PEQUODPacific Equatorial Ocean Dynamics
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References in classic literature ?
After much prolonged sauntering and many random inquiries, I learnt that there were three ships up for three-years' voyages --The Devil-Dam the Tit-bit, and the pequod. devil- dam, i do not know the origin of; tit-bit is obvious; Pequod, you will no doubt remember, was the name of a celebrated tribe of Massachusetts Indians, now extinct as the ancient Medes.
It belongs to me and Captain Bildad to see the Pequod fitted out for the voyage, and supplied with all her needs, including crew.
I was a little staggered, but go a-whaling I must, and I would; and the Pequod was as good a ship as any --I thought the best -- and all this I now repeated to Peleg.
I had heard something of both Captain Peleg and his unaccountable old crony Bildad; how that they being the principal proprietors of the Pequod, therefore the other and more inconsiderable and scattered owners, left nearly the whole management of the ship's affairs to these two.
And, after signing the papers, off I went; nothing doubting but that I had done a good morning's work, and that the Pequod was the identical ship that Yojo had provided to carry Queequeg and me round the Cape.
Look ye, lad; never say that on board the Pequod. Never say it anywhere.
But, with a full grown leviathan this is impossible; for the sperm whale's head embraces nearly one third of his entire bulk, and completely to suspend such a burden as that, even by the immense tackles of a whaler, this were as vain a thing as to attempt weighing a Dutch barn in jewellers' scales The Pequod's whale being decapitated and the body stripped, the head was hoisted against the ship's side --about half way out of the sea, so that it might yet in great part be buoyed up by its native element.
And of course Starbuck, the Pequod's first mate and Ahab's chief antagonist, is now, inadvertently, one of the most frequently mentioned figures from literature.
He uses a smooth ivory slate to record the latitude, and the Pequod is bizarrely decorated with the ivory teeth and ivory jaws of sperm whales--the only species of whale that produces ivory.
Thus, among other things, Melville intended to show how race functioned on the Pequod, and how Ishmael dealt with it.
Ahab thus accounts for the fact that "last night's thunder turned our compasses," and in such manner as to have them point East while the Pequod was as "infallibly going West" (517).
Indeed, without that loss of control, how can you ever hope to end up on the flensing deck of the Pequod under full sail through the night with try-pots blazing?