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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 10 (February 1, 1930)

“There She Blows!”

“There She Blows!”

Old whaling days! No end of yarns about those roaring times of hard-toiling crews, driving captains and bucko mates. In the years when sperm and right whales were plentiful there were whole fleets of American whaleships about these coasts, with here and there a Colonial barque and schooner. If you seek tales of those greatly adventurous years read the late Frank Bullen's “Cruise of the Cachalot,” that epic of the whaleman. Bullen's “Cachalot,” he told me when he was in New Zealand a good many years ago, was really the “Splendid,” a New Bedford ship which spent many seasons whaling around our coasts. It was in the early Seventies, when the seas were alive with whales, now all but extinct—at any rate, the great sperms. It was a truly sporting business, in the sense that the whale had a fair fighting chance against the crews that tackled him with hand-hurled harpoon and jabbing lance. The horribly scientific whaling of to-day—how different! Slaughter, greedy slaughter; the biggest whale that swims the seas has not a ghost of a chance against those huge fleets of steam killers with their guns and bombs.