From the Mouth of the Whale

From the Mouth of the Whale: A Novel
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A man out for a dive in South Africa just got the surprise of his life. The whale was a Bryde's whale, who can grow up to 55 feet long and weigh 90, pounds.

The Whale: Inside Nature's Giants Part 5/5

He somehow managed to retain the knowledge that whales like this are gentle giants , and that the whale whose mouth he was currently in actually meant him no harm. At the same time, there was little Schimpf could do. Schimpf just had to wait for the whale to realize he wasn't a large fish after all and release him.

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The team Schimpf was with managed to snap a few photos of him while he was trapped in the whale's jaws before he was set free mere seconds later. Hard down the helm! Shiver her! So; well that! Boats, boats! Like noiseless nautilus shells, their light prows sped through the sea, but only slowly they neared the foe.

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As they neared him, the ocean grew still more smooth; seemed drawing a carpet over its waves; seemed a noon meadow, so serenely it spread. At length the breathless hunter came so nigh his seemingly unsuspecting prey that his entire dazzling hump was distinctly visible, sliding along the sea as if an isolated thing and continually set in a revolving ring of finest, fleecy, greenish foam.

He saw the vast, involved wrinkles of the slightly projecting head beyond. Before it, far out on the soft Turkish-rugged waters, went the glistening white shadow from his broad, milky forehead, a musical rippling playfully accompanying the shade; and behind, the blue waters interchangeably flowed over into the moving valley of his steady wake; and on either hand bright bubbles arose and danced by his side.

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A gentle joyousness—a mighty mildness of repose in swiftness, invested the gliding whale. Not the white bull Jupiter swimming away with ravished Europa clinging to his graceful horns; his lovely, leering eyes sideways intent upon the maid; with smooth bewitching fleetness, rippling straight for the nuptial bower in Crete; not Jove—not that great majesty supreme! On each soft side—coincident with the parted swell, that but once leaving him, then flowed so wide away—on each bright side, the whale shed off enticings.

No wonder there had been some among the hunters who, namelessly transported and allured by all this serenity, had ventured to assail it but had fatally found that quietude but the vesture of tornadoes. Yet calm, enticing calm, oh, whale!

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From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón - review. There's an oddity and elegance to an Icelandic epic that melds science, magic and art. AS Byatt. From the Mouth of the Whale book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The year is Iceland is a world darkened by super.

And thus, through the serene tranquilities of the tropical sea, among waves whose hand clappings were suspended by exceeding rapture, Moby Dick moved on, still withholding from sight the full terrors of his submerged trunk, entirely hiding the wrenched hideousness of his jaw. Hoveringly halting and dipping on the wing, the white seafowls longingly lingered over the agitated pool that he left.

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It was only an instant, for again his eyes seemed whirling round in his head as he swept the watery circle. The breeze now freshened; the sea began to swell. But suddenly as he peered down and down into its depths, he profoundly saw a white living spot no bigger than a white weasel, with wonderful celerity uprising, and magnifying as it rose, till it turned, and then there were plainly revealed two long crooked rows of white, glistening teeth, floating up from the undiscoverable bottom. The glittering mouth yawned beneath the boat like an open-doored marble tomb, and giving one sidelong sweep with his steering oar, Ahab whirled the craft aside from this tremendous apparition.

But as if perceiving this stratagem, Moby Dick, with that malicious intelligence ascribed to him, sidelingly transplanted himself, at it were, in an instant, shooting his pleated head lengthwise beneath the boat. Through and through; through every plank and each rib, it thrilled for an instant, the whale obliquely lying on his back, in the manner of a biting shark, slowly and feelingly taking its bows full within his mouth, so that the long, narrow, scrolled lower jaw curled high up into the open air, and one of the teeth caught in a row lock.

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In this attitude the White Whale now shook the slight cedar as a mildly cruel cat her mouse. Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all. And now, while both elastic gunwales were springing in and out, as the whale dallied with the doomed craft in this devilish way, and from his body being submerged beneath the boat, he could not be darted at from the bows, for the bows were almost inside of him, as it were; and while the other boats involuntarily paused, as before a quick crisis impossible to withstand, then it was that monomaniac Ahab, furious with this tantalizing vicinity of his foe, which placed him all alive and helpless in the very jaws he hated; frenzied with all this, he seized the long bone with his naked hands and wildly strove to wrench it from its grip.

As now he thus vainly strove, the jaw slipped from him; the frail gunwales bent in, collapsed, and snapped, as both jaws, like an enormous shears, sliding farther aft, bit the craft completely in twain, and locked themselves fast again in the sea, midway between the two floating wrecks. These floated aside, the broken ends drooping, the crew at the stern wreck clinging to the gunwales and striving to hold fast to the oars to lash them across. Ripplingly withdrawing from his prey, Moby Dick now lay at a little distance, vertically thrusting his oblong white head up and down in the billows, and at the same time slowly revolving his whole spindled body so that when his vast wrinkled forehead rose—some twenty or more feet out of the water—the now rising swells, with all their confluent waves, dazzling broke against it, vindictively tossing their shivered spray still higher into the air.

So, in a gale, the but half-baffled Channel billows only recoil from the base of the Eddystone, triumphantly to overleap its summit with their scud. But soon resuming his horizontal attitude, Moby Dick swam swiftly round and round the wrecked crew, sideways churning the water in his vengeful wake as if lashing himself up to still another and more deadly assault.

South African Diver Is Nearly Swallowed By A Whale - The Dodo

And though the other boats, unharmed, still hovered hard by, still they dared not pull into the eddy to strike, lest that should be the signal for the instant destruction of the jeopardized castaways, Ahab and all, nor in that case could they themselves hope to escape. As he sullenly swam off, the boats flew to the rescue. Far inland, nameless wails came from him, as desolate sounds from out ravines. But this intensity of his physical prostration did but so much the more abbreviate it.

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And so, such hearts, though summary in each one suffering; still, if the gods decree it, in their lifetime aggregate a whole age of woe, wholly made up of instantaneous intensities, for even in their pointless centers, those noble natures contain the entire circumferences of inferior souls.

Help me, man; I wish to stand. So, so, I see him! Going to leeward still; what a leaping spout!

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