The Cruise of the Cachalot Round the World After Sperm Whales
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The Cruise of the Cachalot Round the World After Sperm Whales


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Published 08 December 2010
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Cruise of the Cachalot, by Frank T. Bullen This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: The Cruise of the Cachalot Round the World After Sperm Whales Author: Frank T. Bullen Release Date: August 15, 2008 [EBook #1356] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CRUISE OF THE CACHALOT *** Produced by An Anonymous Volunteer, and David Widger THE CRUISE OF THE "CACHALOT" ROUND THE WORLD AFTER SPERM WHALES By Frank T. Bullen, F.R.G.S. First Mate To Miss Emily Hensley In grateful remembrance of thirty years' constant friendship and practical help this work is affectionately dedicated by her humble pupil. PREFACE In the following pages an attempt has been made—it is believed for the first time—to give an account of the cruise of a South Sea whaler from the seaman's standpoint. Two very useful books have been published —both of them over half a century ago—on the same subject; but, being written by the surgeons of whaleships for scientific purposes, neither of them was interesting to the general reader. ["Narrative of a Whaling Voyage round the Globe," by F Debell Bennett, F.R.C.S. (2 vols). Bentley, London (1840). "The Sperm Whale Fishery," by Thomas Beale, M.R.C.S. London (1835).] They have both been long out of print; but their value to the student of natural history has been, and still is, very great, Dr. Beale's book, in particular, being still the authority on the sperm whale. This book does not pretend to compete with either of the above valuable works. Its aims is to present to the general reader a simple account of the methods employed, and the dangers met with, in a calling about which the great mass of the public knows absolutely nothing. Pending the advent of some great writer who shall see the wonderful possibilities for literature contained in the world-wide wanderings of the South Sea whale-fishers, the author has endeavoured to summarize his experiences so that they may be read without weariness, and, it is hoped, with profit. The manifold shortcomings of the work will not, it is trusted, be laid to the account of the subject, than which none more interesting could well be imagined, but to the limitations of the writer, whose long experience of sea life has done little to foster the literary faculty. One claim may be made with perfect confidence—that if the manner be not all that could be wished, the matter is entirely trustworthy, being compiled from actual observation and experience, and in no case at second-hand. An endeavour has also been made to exclude such matter as is easily obtainable elsewhere —matters of common knowledge and "padding" of any sort—the object not being simply the making of a book, but the record of little-known facts. Great care has been taken to use no names either of ships or persons, which could, by being identified, give annoyance or pain to any one, as in many cases strong language has been necessary for the expression of opinions. Finally, the author hopes that, although in no sense exclusively a book for boys, the coming generation may find this volume readable and interesting; and with that desire he offers it confidently, though in all humility, to that great impartial jury, the public. F.T.B. Dulwich, July, 1897. Contents PREFACE DETAILED CONTENTS INTRODUCTION THE CRUISE OF THE "CACHALOT" CHAPTER I. CHAPTER II. CHAPTER III. CHAPTER IV. CHAPTER V. CHAPTER VI. CHAPTER VII. CHAPTER VIII. CHAPTER IX. CHAPTER X. CHAPTER XI. CHAPTER XII. CHAPTER XIII. CHAPTER XIV. CHAPTER XV. CHAPTER XVI. CHAPTER XVII. CHAPTER XVIII. CHAPTER XIX. CHAPTER XX. CHAPTER XXI. CHAPTER XXII. CHAPTER XXIII. CHAPTER XXIV. CHAPTER XXV. CHAPTER XXVI. CHAPTER XXVII. OUTWARD BOUND PREPARING FOR ACTION FISHING BEGINS BAD WEATHER ACTUAL WARFARE. OUR FIRST WHALE "DIRTY WORK FOR CLEAN MONEY" GETTING SOUTHWARD ABNER'S WHALE OUR FIRST CALLING-PLACE A VISIT TO SOME STRANGE PLACES ROUND THE COCOS AND SEYCHELLES WHICH TREATS OF THE KRAKEN OFF TO THE JAPAN GROUNDS LIBERTY DAY—AND AFTER WHICH COMES UNCOMFORTABLY NEAR BEING THE LAST "BOWHEAD" FISHING VISIT TO HONOLULU ON THE "LINE" GROUNDS EDGING SOUTHWARD "HUMPBACKING" AT VAU VAU PROGRESS OF THE "HUMPBACK" SEASON FAREWELL TO VAU VAU AT FUTUNA, RECRUITING THE BAY OF ISLANDS AND NEW ZEALAND COAST ON THE SOLANDER GROUNDS PADDY'S LATEST EXPLOIT PORT PEGASUS CHAPTER XXVIII. TO THE BLUFF, AND HOME CONTENTS CHAPTER I—OUTWARD BOUND Adrift in New Bedford—I get a ship—A motley crowd—"Built by the mile, and cut off as you want 'em"—Mistah Jones—Greenies—Off to sea. CHAPTER II—PREPARING FOR ACTION Primitive steering-gear—Strange drill—Misery below—Short commons—Goliath rigs the "crow's-nest"—Useful information—Preparing for war—Strange weapons—A boat-load. CHAPTER III—FISHING BEGINS The cleanliness of a whale-ship—No skulking—Porpoise-fishing—Cannibals—Cooking operations—Boat-drill—A good look-out—"Black-fishing"—Roguery in all trades—Plenty of fresh beef—The nursery of American whalemen. CHAPTER IV—BAD WEATHER Nautical routine—The first gale—Comfort versus speed—A grand sea-boat—The Sargasso Sea—Natural history pursuits—Dolphin—Unconventional fishing—Rumours of a visit to the Cape Verdes—Babel below—No allowance, but not "full and plenty"—Queer washing—Method of sharing rations—The "slop-shop" opened—Our prospects. CHAPTER V—ACTUAL WARFARE. OUR FIRST WHALE Premonitions —Discussion on whaling from unknown premisses—I wake in a fright—Sperm whales at last—The war begins—Warning—We get fast—and get loose—In trouble—an uncomfortable situation—No Pity-Only one whale—Rigging the "cutting-stage"—Securing the whale alongside. CHAPTER VI—"DIRTY WORK FOR CLEAN MONEY" Goliath in trouble —Commence "cutting-in"—A heavy head—A tank of spermaceti—Decks running with oil—A "Patent" mincing-machine—Extensive cooking—Dangerous work—Three tuns of oil—A horrible mess—A thin-skinned monster—A fine mouth of teeth. CHAPTER VII—GETTING SOUTHWARD Captain Slocum's amenities—Expensive beer—St. Paul's Rocks—"Bonito"—"Showery" weather—Waterspouts—Calms—A friendly finback—A disquisition on whales by Mistah Jones—Flying-fishing. CHAPTER VIII—ABNER'S WHALE Abner in luck—A big "fish" at last—A feat of endurance—A fighting whale—The sperm whale's food—Ambergris—A good reception—Hard labour—Abner's reward—"Scrimshaw". CHAPTER IX—OUR FIRST CALLING-PLACE A forced march—Tristan d'Acunha—Visitors—Fresh provisions—A warm welcome—Goliath's turn—a feathered host—Good gear—A rough time—Creeping north—Uncertainty—"Rule of thumb"—navigation—The Mozambique Channel. CHAPTER X—A VISIT TO SOME STRANGE PLACES Tropical thunderstorms —A "record" day's fishing—Cetacean frivolities—Mistah Jones moralizes—A snug harbour—Wooding and watering—Catching a turtle—Catching a "Tartar"—A violent death—A crooked jaw—Aldabra Island—Primeval inhabitants—A strange steed—"Pirate" birds—Good eggs—Green cocoa-nuts—More turtle—A school of "kogia". CHAPTER XI—ROUND THE COCOS AND SEYCHELLES We encounter a "cyclone"—A tremendous gust—a foundering ship—To anchor for repairs—The Cocos—Repairing damages—Around the Seychelles—A "milk" sea—A derelict prahu—A ghastly freight—A stagnant sea. CHAPTER XII—WHICH TREATS OF THE KRAKEN "Eyes and no eyes" at sea —Of big mollusca—The origin of sea-serpent stories—Rediscovery of the "Kraken"—A conflict of monsters—"The insatiable nightmares of the sea"—Spermaceti running to waste—The East Indian maze. CHAPTER XIII—OFF TO THE JAPAN GROUNDS A whale off Hong Kong—The skipper and his