The frozen splendour of the Arctic Ocean and the absorbing drama of a nineteenth-century whale hunt unfold in The Corvette.
Rewarded by promotion for his services at the Battle of Copenhagen, Commander Drinkwater is dispatched in haste to replace the captain of the Melusine, who has been shot in a duel. The ship sails as an escort to a whaling fleet on its annual expedition to the Greenland Sea.
During the whale hunt the loss of one of the vessels sets off a chain of misfortune. Disaster, death and treachery result. To repair his ship, Drinkwater seeks shelter off the Greenland coast and finds more hazards than the Arctic alone can produce, and it is here that Drinkwater makes the most difficult decision of his career.