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ties of whales, I have taken the liberty to insert in this connection a list of the various kinds of the species, with the distinguishing peculiarities of each.
The following varieties of the whale species are all that are at present known to seamen.
The sperm whale is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean, and the Japan Sea, and generally in shoals. These whales vary in size, yielding from three to one hundred and thirty barrels of oil, but averaging about forty barrels.
When a sperm whale has been taken and brought alongside, the head is first severed from the body, just forward of the eye, and hoisted on deck. The head is then opened, and what is called the “head matter," (which is the best part of the oil,) is dipped out and transferred to the boilers, or try-pots. After it has been sufficiently heated, it is ready for the casks, which as soon as the oil is cold, are stowed away, not to be disturbed until the arrival of the ship at home. This head oil averages from three to twenty barrels, according to the size of the whale.
The blubber is then taken from the body, in what are termed “ blanket pieces," in the fol
lowing manner :-—These pieces or strips of blubber are cut four feet in width, and about forty in length; and, when hoisted on board, are placed in the main hatch way, called by whalemen, the “ blubber-room," where they are rapidly “ minced” and sent to the boilers, to be “ tryed out.” When all the blubber has been taken from the whale, the carcase is cut adrift. No bone is taken from the sperm whale.
Of the right whale species, there are several kinds, the first and largest of which is called the Greenland whale. Some specimens of this variety of whales have been known to yield four hundred barrels of oil, with bone averaging twenty-five pounds to the barrel. The right whale has no head matter; and the manner of trying out the blubber is the same as in the case of the
whale. The next in size is the right whale that is taken from the Japan sea, which averages one hundred and fifty barrels, with about twelve pounds of bone to the barrel.
This whale is the most difficult to capture, being prone to show fight, and frequently staving boats, and killing men, but seldom venturing to attack a ship, as the sperm whale has been known to do.
The next in order is the Bamhead, which is the mildest of the whale species, seldom showing fight, and, yielding upon the average, forty barrels, with ten pounds of bone to the barrel. The next is the Finback, which is
very wild and difficult to capture, and yields upon an average about twenty-five barrels, having but a small quantity of bone.
The Sulphur Bottom is seldom taken, being wild and shy; and affords but a small quantity of oil, and no bone.
The Devil Fish is one of the worst to attack of all the whale species, and is found chiefly on the coast of California. This whale destroys more boats and kills more men, than all the other members of his family; and yields but about twenty barrels of oil. These whales are very plenty ; but it is only about four years since much account has been made of them. They have but little bore.
Another kind of whale called the Killer, is seldom taken. These whales generally go in shoals, in search of food and prey, and swim with great rapidity. They invariably have a leader which swims in advance of the shoal, and who evidently acts as “lookout;" for whenever he observes a whale of any other species
but his own, he gives notice of the fact in some way to his companions, when the whole shoal immediately start in pursuit of the victim, usually overtaking him in a very short time. When they have killed a whale, they devour his tongue only, leaving the remainder of his body untouched.
The Black Fish are taken in great numbers, by whalemen, and yield from fifteen gallons to five barrels of oil. They are a very lively kind of fish, and very uncomfortable creatures to handlc, being quite as likely to "breach ”or jump into the boat in pursuit, as otherwise.
These are the only fish yielding oil, which are known to whalemen.
Departure from the Okotsk Sea-Arrival at the Sandwich Islands
We remained in the Okotsk Sea until late in the season ; meeting with more than average success in the fishery. At length, the ice having begun to collect in considerable quantities, we set sail for the Sandwich Islands. The passage down the coast was marked by no incident of special importance; and, on the fifth of November we arrived in the port of Lahinia. Here, to my great delight, I found several boys who had been my former schoolmates and intimate friends, belonging to the ship Rapid of New Bedford, then in the port of Lahinia.
Upon making inquiries in regard to the destination of the Rapid, I learned that she was bound directly to New Bedford. As Captain Morrison, of my own ship, had decided to