"... sailors were not really supposed to sleep. They were supposed to work. And it is in seeing them work that one truly begins to appreciate the whaleship as an intricately calibrated wood, rope, and canvas machine."
"Ship logs contain descriptions of weather conditions as the ships passed through different pressure systems. Modern climatologists have taken advantage of such diligent recordings to detect long-term weather trends."
Holding a copy of Moby-Dick high, Stubb the second mate urges his rowers forward, in fierce pursuit of their prey. His shipmates, facing him in pairs along a conference table in Building 2, strain at their oars. The whale, a senior in biological engineering, breaches and dives in the vast watery space between table and blackboards...
"How would we, the voyagers, find quiet moments for reflection on this remarkable voyage? How would we behave among strangers?"