Reading it reconstructed in an excellent biography, and having long loved reading him and Moby Dick, I can see why Melville would have like sailing and the sailor life. Those vast open periods, the space of the sea, the sky at night with stars, seen from mast, silence, communication bound to the rituals of a whaling ship. The strange tales of the professional sailors, the singing of the sea shanties. And all the tasks the jack of all trades a sailor must be, keeping a man occupied, while the mind works.
A lot of the Indie music these days doesn't do it for me. I remain in appreciation of what The Pogues accomplished, taking from a large body of traditional music based on older traditional music sometimes directly, indirectly.