Nathaniel Philbrick’s book about the sinking of the Whaleship Essex, In the Heart of The Sea, gives the real life story behind the inspiration for Melville’s Moby Dick. In Nantucket, we visited the Whaling Museum to see some of that era’s artifacts first hand, climbed to the top of Great Point Lighthouse for a stunning view of the island and the Atlantic, and toured famed lady astronomer Mariah Mitchell’s observatory. Mitchell was a character in another of our reads, Ahab’s Wife, by Sena Jeter Naslund, which imagines the Nantucket life of the wife Captain Ahab left behind. We ate lobster rolls, cod and clams, local Downyflake doughnuts and Cisco Brewery beer (where we also took a lovely tour). We held a late night monster-of-the-sea movie screening of JAWS, which is also a surprisingly wonderful novel. All from the Veranda House, a gorgeous grey cedar shake bed and breakfast originally built in the 17th century.