"The sight of the splintered boat seemed to madden him, as the blood of grapes and mulberries cast before Antiochus's elephants in the book of Maccabees. Meanwhile Ahab half smothered in the foam of the whale's insolent tail, and too much of a cripple to swim,-though he could still keep afloat, even in the heart of such a whirlpool as that; helpless Ahab's head was seen, like a tossed bubble which the least chance shock might burst."
Musing: More indications that the whale is acting with thought. Moby-Dick is, apparently, angry and acting on his anger. The other boats are watching this destruction take place. Though Starbuck decides not to engage Moby-Dick, he also decides not to return to the Pequod. All the men, except for Pip, who Ahab asked to stay on the ship, are watching the taunting of Ahab by the whale. Imagine the fear, humiliation, and anger in Ahab's own head as it bobs above the surface like a bubble about to pop.