An elegant blend of "polemic, industrial history, nautical writing, elegy and ecology" (The Scotsman), The Two Headed Whale charts the tragic history of the post-war whaling industry alongside the author's thrilling memoir of sailing the antarctic.
In 2016, Sandy Winterbottom embarked on an epic six-week tall-ship voyage from Uruguay to Antarctica. At the mid-way stop in South Georgia, her pristine image of the Antarctic was shattered when she discovered the dark legacy of twentieth century industrial-scale whaling. Enraged by what she found, she was quick to blame the men who undertook this wholescale slaughter, but then she stumbled upon the grave of an eighteen-year-old whaler from Edinburgh who she could not allow to bear the brunt of blame. There are two sides to every story.
The Two-Headed Whale vividly brings to life the spectacular scenery and wildlife of the vast Southern Oceans, set alongside the true-life story of Anthony Ford, the boy in the grave, as he sailed the same seas and toiled in an industry where profits outranked human life. Drawing together threads of nature and travel writing with an unflinching narrative of life aboard a whaling factory ship and the legacy it left behind, The Two-Headed Whale leaves us questioning our troubled relationship with the extraordinary abundance of this planet.