1820. Far west of the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. A whaleship pursues a pod of sperm whales. Suddenly, an eighty-five foot long giant charges the ship, ramming it with its head not once, but twice, caving in the bows and sending the ship to a watery grave. This is the story of the sinking of the Essex, the subject of Ron Howard’s movie adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s novel In the Heart of the Sea, opening this Friday.