Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yankee Whalers in the South Seas by A.B.C. Whipple

Yankee Whalers in the South Seas by A.B.C. Whipple 1954

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I picked up this book at a library book sale about 4 years ago. I was a little torn buying it since I never gave much thought to whaling but I did already own In the Heart of the Sea in the Bibliotiki, which is about a doomed whaling voyage (not read yet). But I looked at the map and thought it looked interesting.
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This book turned out to be pretty interesting. It has 12 chapters of stories about ships, including some stories that overlaped. I learned many things like if someone died at sea they usually tossed you overboard but with the officers they put you in a barrel of rum to preserve you. Kinda gives new meaning to "aged rum."

In the chapter about wives and children on ships it talked about six year old Laura Jernegan who kept a ships log while her father sailed the Roman on October 29, 1868. The very cool thing about our modern age is her is a link to her log. Fascinating stuff.

I rather enjoyed the last chapter where we find out the author is completely obsessed with maritime history and drags his wife and children to museums and libraries. I liked this quote as a cautionary tale to other martime fanatics " ...the Seaport Store can be counted on to provide for about half and hour of uninterrupted research; whether or not it is an expensive half hour depends upon how well you have brought up your wife." hmm

I wasn't loving the illustrations in the book, not really my kinda style.

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But I did like the cute whale hiding under the dust jacket.

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