Reading of Moby Dick Celebrates Whale Migration

“Whenever it is a damp drizzly November in my soul …. then I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can,”  — Herman Melville, Moby Dick

The Venice Oceanarium will present its 16th annual reading of Moby Dick on the beach at the Venice Breakwater, at the end of Windward Avenue.  The reading, which the L.A. Weekly called “one of the 100 best things to do in L.A.,” will take place on Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13, from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM both days.

The book will be read continuously and in its entirety, with only one break for sleep.  The complete reading will take about 30 hours.

The Oceanarium’s reading is unique in that it takes place entirely on the beach, with waves crashing in the background and sea gulls flying overhead.  This gives the reading an authenticity and heightened drama.

A small microphone and an elevated directors chair will make up the only stage, with gigantic whale bones and artifacts creating the setting, arranged around the readers as a sort of temple in the sand.  An actual harpoon used in the Academy Award winning film of Moby Dick will also be on display.  The book will be passed around and read chapter by chapter as different readers interpret the classic tale of Ahab and the great white whale.

The reading itself celebrates the beginning of the California Gray Whale migration, which starts this month.  The whales can be seen off shore traveling down the coast of California on their way to the calm spawning grounds of the Baja Peninsula.

All are welcome:  readers and listeners alike.  Kids are encouraged.   The event is free of charge, of course!


To schedule or reserve a favorite chapter to the facebook link:


–Tim Rudnick

Categories: Environment