A Thousand Leagues of Blue: The Pacific Whaling Voyages of Charles and Susan Veeder of Nantucket by Betsy Tyler.
This beautifully illustrated paperback publication is the true story of the trials and tribulations of a family enmeshed in the whaling industry and the ensuing drama and destruction wrought by this brutal pursuit.
In the center of the tale is an ordinary woman, Susan Veeder, who led an extraordinary life. She lived on a whaleship for more than four years, recorded her experiences in a rare, illustrated journal, and then settled back into her Nantucket home while her husband and sons all returned to the sea, on voyage after voyage. In a shocking denouement to their lives, Susan’s husband, Charles Veeder, a respected and successful whaling captain, devolved into a drunken madman, became enamored of a Polynesian woman and chose to remain in the South Seas for the rest of his life.