No small number of these whaling seamen belong to the Azores, where the outward bound Nantucket whalers frequently touch to augment their crews from the hardy peasants of those rocky shores. In like manner, the Greenland whalers sailing out of Hull or London, put in at the Shetland Islands, to receive the full complement of their crew. Upon the passage homewards, they drop them there again. How it is, there is no telling, but Islanders seem to make the best whalemen. They were nearly all Islanders in the Pequod, ISOLATOES too, I call such, not acknowledging the common continent of men, but each ISOLATO living on a separate continent of his own. Yet now, federated along one keel, what a set these Isolatoes were! An Anacharsis Clootz deputation from all the isles of the sea, and all the ends of the earth, accompanying Old Ahab in the Pequod to lay the world’s grievances before that bar from which not very many of them ever come back.
—Knights and Squires
Lands visited. The addition of ports-of-call in this game lends the weight and poetry of geologic and locative space to the narrative underpinnings of each particular voyage taken. Much like the progression of the Chapters, Lands visited provide both physical and allegorical space for the players to construct their story together.
The three ports chosen serve two practical functions as well—they affect the strength of the sailor native to that island, and they provide much needed replenishment of boats crews. Ishmael learns the simple fact that islanders make the best whalers, for of course practical geographic reasons, but for grand allegorical and mythological reasons as well. Ishmael’s discovered concept of ‘Isolatoes’ at the end of Chapter 27: Knights and Squires, goes hand-in-hand with Melville’s meditation on the duplicity of internal and external worlds, the soul as a map, with one tiny island and a grand unknown sea surrounding it, etc., and is much spoken of by scholars and lovers of the work.
(see Nantucket, Tahiti)