Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Ship Days

Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Ship Days

by John D. Whidden

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633911161
Publisher: Westphalia Press
Publication date: 10/27/2014
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)

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CHAPTER VIII 1847 - 1849 WHALING IN '48. AGAIN TAHITI. ESCAPE TO THE HILLS. DINNER IN THE FRENCH RESTAURANT Ten or twelve days out we sighted our first whales. "There she blows!" came from the lookout stationed at the royal masthead, while to the demand: " Where away? " came the response: " Four points off the lee bow, sir! " Instantly all was excitement. Captain Turner, seizing a powerful marine glass, sprang into the rigging, and quickly ascended to the lookout, from whence in a few moments came the order: " Keep her off four points! " This was speedily done, and the yards checked in. There were many hands to do the work, the ship having a crew of thirty-six, exclusive of officers. Shortly we could see from the deck a large school of sperm-whales, heading eastward, swimming slowly along, little anticipating the reception being made ready for them. Meantime the officers, with their respective crews, were seeing that the whaling gear in each boat was in readiness for lowering. In fact, the gear of a whale-boat when on whaling ground is looked after daily. Harpoons and lances are as bright and sharp as razors. Line-tubs are overhauled, and every kink and turn taken out of the linebefore being coiled down in the tub, when it is as supple as silk. Water " breakers " are kept filled, and a lantern keg, with a small supply of biscuit, etc., always ready. When we were but a short distance from them, the school sounded. The main topsail was now thrown aback, and all made ready for lowering. Though intensely exciting, everything was done very quietly, so as not to alarm the whales. Presently the school broke water about an eighth of a mile astern, and in less than three minutesevery boat was in the water, and headed for the whales, while every pound of s...

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