Garrison Keillor has been re-reading Moby Dick:
Jan. 17, 2007 | Captain Ahab assembled the crew of the Pequod and told them that they could not afford to fail in the quest to kill the great white whale and so he had come up with a plan. The Pequod lay becalmed on a glassy sea, the sails hung loose, the ship drifting with the current. The Captain had mulled over the recommendations of the Moby Dick Study Group and rejected them. “If we turn back to New Bedford now, as the Old Ones suggest, we risk the loss of the high seas.” And so he had decided to put 10 oarsmen in a longboat and to row ahead, towing the ship, “surging” it forward.