After 80 years of service and 36 voyages, the whaler Charles W. Morgan was retired in 1920, later enshrined as the centerpiece of a charmingly duplicated whaling port at Mystic, Conn. Historian Stackpole has searched the original logs and records of the ship to present a veracious account of the highlights of her history from the pens of the ship's first captain onwards. It's all there in the construction costs, cargo inventories, barrels of sperm oil taken from each catch, etc. etc. The Morgan sailed all the five oceans and rarely returned without a full take in the hold. The art of chasing and killing the great sperm whale is described, as well as that of stripping blubber and converting it to oil, all with an eye cocked toward Melville. The sailors and officers keep to the foreground, rather than the exotic locales visited, and the tang of life in these times is retained.