"Call me Ishmael," is without any doubt, one of the most recognizable opening lines in all of Western literature! From Herman Melville's sixth book, Moby-Dick; or The Whale, comes the sea-story masterpiece of Captain Ahab's voyage in his relentless pursuit of Moby-Dick, a great white whale. What has turned into a very popular local tradition, now spanning the world via the internet, the 18th annual Moby-Dick Marathon will take place January 3-5 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Dr. Pia Durkin, Superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools will lead the marathon starting at noon on Saturday, January 4, however other events precede the reading. On Friday, January 3 there will be an art exhibition and a ticketed buffet dinner and cash bar in the Jacobs Family Gallery. This year, a free public program titled "Mast-headers and opera glasses: A conversation with librettist Gene Scheer about creating Moby-Dick the opera with Jake Heggie. This event will be held at 7:15 pm in the Cook Memorial Theatre. For dinner tickets ($29) call 508-997-0046 ext. 100 and for general information about the marathon, log onto www.whalingmuseum.org