The Cachalot
Whales and whaling pictures

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Whales and whaling

An engraving of the "Cachalot" a New Bedford whaler made famous by F.T. Bullen in his 1901 publication "The cruise of the Cachalot". Cachalot is an old name for the sperm whale.

Whaling as a job in such ships attracted more than it's fair share of rogues and n'er-do-wells amongst the other more professional, "career sailors" as we'd probably call them today.

Whaling ships were often looked down upon by the crews of other ships, they were sometimes described as being "built by the mile" a reference to the fact that they were wide and bulbous with little attention to streamlining and none to elegance, looking effectively "cut off" from a continuous production line of ship building and simply finished with bow and stern.

This design was actually well thought out as a whaling ship would be at sea for years and needed as large a cargo capacity as possible. Speed was irrelevant as the whales were caught from smaller boats with the whaler itself serving as a base, storage and processor for the job of whaling.

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