In 1820, the whaling ship “Essex”, commanded by George Pollard, left Nantucket for a fishing trip of two years. After a few weeks, the ship is in the Pacific, where it begins to capture sperm whales. It is during such a fishery, while the three whale-boats of the”Essex” are to the water, a huge sperm whale attacks the ship. The crew finds itself in the middle of the sea, and begins a long journey to reach the land. Time and hunger will make havoc.