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Ishamel, in New York, feels suicidal, decides to go on a whaling voyage from Massachsuetts. There he meets Queequeg, a native of the south seas. They sign on to the ship Pequod, captained by Ahab. On Christmas day, the Pequod starts its voyage around the world to hunt whales. Soon Captain Ahab reveals that he is really after just one whale, the one who bit off his leg, Moby Dick. They sail around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, then through the Pacfic Ocean, capturing whales and meeting other whaling ships: the Rosebud, the Town Ho, the Jungfrau. After a dramatic storm, in the south sea, off Japan, the Pequod encounters Moby Dick. The Pequod, including Ishmael, Queequeg, the first, second, and third mates, and Ahab, chase Moby for three days. On the third day, Ahab harpoons Moby Dick. The line tangles around his neck, and he is drawn down into the sea when Moby sounds. His diving creates a whirlpool that also draws the Pequod down with it. All perish except Ishmael. He is rescued to tell the story by one of the boats the Pequod has previously encountered.