As I continue to read "Moby-Dick," I've found references to the sailors' drinking habits at last. I found the following in Chapter 81, "The Pequod Meets the Virgin" (a German ship):
"'What has he in his hand there?' cried Starbuck, pointing to something wavingly held by the German. 'Impossible! -- a lamp-feeder!'
"'Not that,' said Stubb, 'no, no, it's a coffee-pot, Mr. Starbuck; he's coming off to make us our coffee, is the Yarman; don't you see that big tin can there alongside of him? -- that's his boiling water.'"
This is the first reference to coffee I've come across -- in Chapter 81. Granted, there's Mr. Starbuck in the same sentence, but he doesn't look like the coffee aficionado a certain chain of coffee shops would have us believe.
A little later, in Chapter 87, "The Grand Armada," narrator Ishmael describes the contents of whaling ships compared to other ships ("other hulls," to use author Herman Melville's term):
"She has a whole lake's contents bottled in her ample hold. She is ballasted with utilities; not altogether with unusable pig-lead and kentledge. She carries years' water in her. Clear old prime Nantucket water; which, when three years afloat, the Nantucketer, in the Pacific, prefers to drink before the brackish fluid, but yesterday rafted off in casks, from the Peruvian or Indian streams."
Not a coffee bean in sight here. The puzzle continues.
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