Mocha Dick


The true biography of Mocha Dick is unknown, despite the fact he has been the most "documented" of all fighting sperm whales. Here is a possibility about who he was and did, followed by others.

1. Commander in chief of sperm whales' army in the first Pacific War, Mocha Dick is the most famous of all named  legendary whales. If NZ Tom was the HUGEST, Mocha Dick was the GREATEST.

Were Timor Tom, NZ Tom and Mocha Dick linked ? VIDEO TO COME

Mocha Dick has clearly inspired the white whale MOBY DICK to Herman Melville. He his the only one for whom we can try to sketch a partial biography.  There are two explicite epochs in the life of this fighter, for his enemies. First one : 1810 - 1830, second one : 1840 - 1859.

First epoch.   It seems Mocha Dick has been discovered and hunted in the second middle of 1800 years (so before 1810) off Mocha Island (Chile). His whiteness was the first interest of whalers, at this moment : they want to kill him for that. The sperm whale had no hostile intention and was quite surprised to be aggressed. So, in a first behavioral step, he was frightened and didn't understand the situation, contrarily to Timor Tom and NZ Tom some years before. Indeed, he was clearly younger than Timor Tom and New Zealand Tom. Moreover, he could have been a son or nephew of one or other : Coral Triangle was a regular step for sperm whales in their seasonal road from SE Pacific to Japan Ground, and "Timor" Tom was probably in this case; and a huge sperm whale clan still reigns upon a wide sector of the Pacific from south american coasts to eastern NZ. Perhaps he knew the exploits of his elder... Up to 1812, Mocha Dick, certainly, survived firstly because he was lucky. Between 1812 and 1814, Nantucket ships were immobilized or destroyed by England, and whales were less under pressure. After the end of the second war between England and USA, whaling activities become more and more important. MD probably only escaped graceful to his exceptional capacities. From 1815 to 1820, he has probably learnt a lot, as he was more than ever a preferential target. Frightness decreased, replaced by anger, with a colossal methodologic brainstorming to serve this anger. Mocha Dick had an anomalic breath both in its noise and its direction, that could come from a congenital malformation. It could have been both a handicap and a communical power, particularly towards other sperm whales, and perhaps also on whales of different species... In 1816, captain Edmund Gardner was severely hurt by a white sperm whale near peruvian coasts (Paita)...

1820. Beginning of First Pacific War. Whaling pressure is more and more intense in SE Pacific. Nantucket is now the panoceanic hyperpower. With the discovery of "Japan Ground", whalers attack the last huge sperm whale population of the Pacific ocean. On April 5th, the crew of Syren whaleship is more than stonished by profusion of gigantic gams... For Pacific sperm whales, it seems that the bells ring... We don't know the role of Mocha Dick in the shipwreck of Essex in November (the raging bull was dark colored) but we must consider it, in regard to what we know of sperm whale sociality and communication, singular brain capacities of Mocha Dick, and what is narrated for 1820 years. During this decade, at least four "new" rogue sperm whales are mentioned from south - east to Japan. And direct interventions of the white whale can be deducted from witness of the sailor Samuel L. Lewis in march 1830. This sailor explained to Jeremiah Reynolds that Mocha Dick had been implicated in more than 100 fightings against whalers. As the whale firstly had an avoidance strategy before 1820, we can conclude that the most numerous interactions occured after this date, as the sperm whale radically changed in behavior. In 1827, the warship USS Peacock, linked to protection of the whaling industry, was seriously struck by a rogue sperm whale, and came back damaged to Callao (Peru)... 

Lewis tells to Reynolds he has already harpooned the white whale (probably before 1810), and proposed him an hunting expedition. But he his killed less than one month later (1st April 1830) in a pantry during a quarrel of drunkards. Reynolds wrote  his "Mocha Dick, the white whale of the Pacific", which is the narrative of this never occured hunting expedition (with the fictive death of the whale), published in the Knickerbocker in 1839. The manuscript was ready in 1832... Indeed, from 1810 to 1839, more and more captains told they had managed to kill the white whale... Mocha Dick is dead, Vive Mocha Dick!

1840 and following years. MD here, MD there, MD, MD everywhere! During 1830 years, conflict between Mocha Dick army ("rogue sperm whales") and whalers had been more and more intensive, including at least four shipwrecks between 1835 and 1838... The New Mocha Dick (Detroit Press and Chicago Tribune, 3 April 1892) : a biography of 19 years. Moby Dick, or the White Whale is forever... 


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