This is an incredible true story of men who were shipwrecked and how they survived. From the cover...on the morning of November 20, 1820, in the Pacific Ocean, an enraged sperm whale rammed the Nantucket whaler Essex. As the boat begin to sink, her crew of twenty had time only to collect some bread and water before pulling away in their three frail lifeboats. Without charts, alone on the open seas, and thousands of miles from any known land, the sailors began their terrifying journey of survival. Months later, after much suffering and death by starvation and intense heat, only eight men lived to reach land. One of them was Owen Chase, first mate of the ill-fated ship, whose account of the journey has become a classic of human endurance and courage. A gallant saga of the sea, this riveting narration of life and death, of man against the deep, inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick.