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W by Sir Bob Harvey

Dr John Watson to 'The Whale Man' - Ishmael

I have always been fascinated by the great Herman Melville novel Moby-Dick.  I am a descendant of whalers from the Azores and I have dived and swum with whales in the Tongan Islands.


On the West Coast of New Zealand, where I live, there are many whale strandings. The largest whale, given the Maori name Tū Hononga, was gifted to Te Papa, the national museum, and it tours the world as the greatest specimen of the great Sperm Whale.


It is possible that such a giant whale was washed up when Sherlock Holmes, then presumed dead, visited Auckland in 1891.

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