Information from The World of Diving

The Spirit of the Whale is more about man than it is the great mammals that roam the sea. This collection of science, history and folklore begins with a discussion of the many kinds of whales, where they roam, what they eat and how they mate. But it also explores the meager attempts, of the human race to successfully interact with, or even comprehend, a species that includes the largest living things in earth's history.

Editor Jane Billinghurst also guides her readers through a dream-like world of whale legends and myths. Medieval sailors feared whales as evil sea beasts, while Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest honored them as gods. Awe-inspiring whale images are interspersed with fanciful depictions from centuries past.

The history of commercial whaling is covered too, from the Basques of A.D. 1100 to the processing ships of the modern era. And, with little effort this history evolves into a strong plea for further protection of these animals. Only since their numbers have been threatened, it seems, have people become eager to learn more about the spirit of the whales.