Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Waddell Describes Whalers-- Part 3: "The Odor From a Whaling Ship Is Horribly Offensive"

"The arrangements for boiling the blubber are found on deck between the fore and mainmast, built of masonry and barred against accident in heavy weather.  In the center of the masonry are one or more large cauldrons into which the blubber is placed, and after the oil is extracted, the refuse is used for making fire and produces an intense heat.

"The whalers carry hogs and this refuse is used for fattening them and they eat ravenously.  The hogsheads used for receiving the oil vary in size from two to three hundred gallons.  The greater part of these are shaken up when delivered to the vessels in port and put together upon the ship wanted, consequently their stowage is closer.

""Those hogsheads which have contained flour in bags, hams, cordage, clothing, shipbiscuits, when emptied are filled with oil.  The odor from a whaling ship is horribly offensive, but it is not worse than that of the green hide vessels from South American which can be smelt fifty miles in a favorable wind.

"The bones of the whale are taken on board and placed in the bone room; from these the offensive exhalation is too horrible to relate."

--Old W-R'er

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