Chapters 61-66 Summary

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Last Updated March 15, 2023.

Ishmael, who was dozing off while keeping watch at the foremast-head, sees a massive sperm whale relaxing in the calm waters of the Indian Ocean. The crew lowers the boats, Tashtego uses a harpoon to capture the whale, and Stubb finishes it off with his lance.

The success of the journey relies on the harpooneer, who needs to throw his harpoon a considerable distance of twenty or thirty feet. This task requires a combination of rowing with great effort and shouting loudly. Typically, two harpoons are placed in the crotch of the boat, but the second one is often left hanging perilously from the main harpoon line and thrown overboard.

The Pequod has tethered the whale alongside it, and Stubb is attempting to savor his meal of whale steak. However, he is bothered by the commotion caused by the sharks. Stubb then requests Fleece to communicate with the sharks and calm them down. Despite Fleece's attempts to preach and bless the sharks, it proves ineffective. In the evening, Queequeg and another crew member make an effort to safeguard the whale's remains by using their sharp whaling spades to slay the lingering sharks.

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