About a Book: 15 lessons I learned from In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex


  1. If you ever go whaling, go with an experienced captain and a new boat.

  2. Don’t slim down before you go, your fat may be useful.

  3. Don’t try to ride a turtle. Kill it and eat it. It is a tasty source of meat and healthy fats (don’t actually kill turtles.)

  4. Don’t eat someone if they die. Instead use their flesh as bait to catch and kill a shark.

  5. Carry whale/shark killing supplies.

  6. If you get stranded on an island, make sure to find a source of fresh water.

  7. Keep a journal or daily log; this will help with your sanity.

  8. Talk about your feelings; don’t be the tough guy that holds in the feelings. There is power in these confessions of weakness.

  9. In the moment directly after the disaster, make decisive choices with authority to increase your chances of survival. You can use diplomacy once the immediate crisis is averted.

  10. Don’t leave home for two plus years if you just got married. That is if you want to keep your wife.

  11. If a whale rams your boat, try to kill it before it destroys your boat. Don’t wait for it to strike again.

  12. Don't think the same calamity can’t happen twice. It can help you stay humble.

  13. Spend some time and energy dealing with your soul.

  14. Prayer meetings on a raft in the middle of the ocean can give you the hope needed to survive, so pray.

  15. Encourage one another, it also helps stir hope.


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