The Whiteness of the Whale by David Poyer
The Whiteness of the Whale is a very realistic and exciting sea adventure. Imagine a large sailing vessel with eight people who barely know one another, thrown together to sail from the tip of Argentina into the waters of the Antarctic in order to find the Japanese whaling fleet that is harvesting whales in illegal waters. Poyer portrays that southern ocean with wonderful clarity, from the large waves, the snow, the ice, and the constant work involved to keep a sailing vessel safe and viable in terrible conditions. He also gives us the interactions among the eight people on board, including all of their emotional baggage, and having to deal with each other in a confined space. Then there are the actual encounters with the Japanese whaling fleet, with hair-raising maneuvering in order to save a whale and her young. The final days, however, deal with a light colored sperm whale, almost white, that finds them and keeps finding them, trying to kill them, and partly succeeding. There is no question of the similarities to Moby Dick, but the rest is all vintage Poyer.
Are you interested in learning more about whaling? Try Leviathan by Eric Jay Dolin