by Herman Melville
Moby-Dick Chapter 52: The Albatross Summary
- When the Pequod comes to the Crozetts, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, she sees another whaling ship, the Goney. ("Goney" is another name for an albatross.)
- The Goney’s wood is bleached, and along the white sides of the ship are red streaks of rust.
- The men on board have long beards and tattered clothes and remain completely silent, even though the two ships pass close enough for the men to talk.
- Ahab calls out to the other ship, immediately asking if they’ve seen the White Whale.
- The Goney’s captain holds up a primitive megaphone to answer him, but somehow manages to drop it into the sea.
- Ahab seems to consider sending out a boat to board the Goney, but the wind is against them.
- As the wake of the Goney washes past the Pequod, shoals of small fish that have been swimming alongside break away from the Pequod and arrange themselves around the Goney.
- Ahab is deeply saddened by this small thing and takes it as a bad omen.
- Ahab draws strength from somewhere and orders them to keep sailing "round the world." Ishmael wishes it were really a voyage of discovery instead of an insane revenge quest.
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