Author Topic: Terms found in whaling log books  (Read 3054 times)

Randi

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Terms found in whaling log books
« on: September 27, 2015, 08:11:36 pm »
You can ask questions about terms found in the whaling log books in this topic.

We will accumulate a list of reference sources and definitions in these first few posts.




Reference Sources:




It isn't quite a term found in the whaling log books, but looking at the timing of events in some of the logs (PM comments before AM comments), they appear to be using Nautical Days.

The nautical day started at noon on the previous (conventional) day and ran to noon on the next day - so Nautical 21st Oct ran from Noon on the (civil) 20th to Noon on the civil 21st. Nautical days are standard in older ships logbooks. It was usual to switch back to the civil day when in port.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 10:09:48 am by Caro »

Randi

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2015, 08:11:53 pm »
Blackfish also called pilot whales: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Blue whales also called sulfur bottoms: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Boat-Crew: The six men who comprise her full complement, or the four men who row a whaleboat, generally the former.
Boat-Header: The man who steers the boat in going on a whale, and afterwards kills it. Generally a mate, but sometimes an experienced whaleman with no ship duties save masthead and cutting stage, whose only title is boat-header.
Boat-Steerer: Harponeer. The man who pulls the harpoon oar, darts the iron into the whale, and then steers while the mate or boat-header lances him.
- http://mysite.du.edu/~ttyler/ploughboy/Ashley%20whaling%20glossary.htm#Page_B


Boiling also spelled boyling: See Trying-Out.


Bowhead whales also called polar whales: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Bowhead Birds: the Grey and/or Red Phalarope: Eats the same foods as Bowhead and Wrights Whales and inidicates the presences of those whales to Whalers.


Cruising: Traveling back and forth across whaling grounds, westward in the morning and eastward at night in order to see whale spouts in a favorable light. - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Cut [the whale] in: cutting the whale?s flesh into many smaller pieces so it could be brought onboard. They would then spend the next several hours and sometimes days boiling the blubber in order to turn it into oil. The oil was then stowed in casks. They would also take the whale bone and scrape it clean, and then bundle it for sale. - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Darting Gun, Pierce
Whaler's Shoulder or Darting Gun
By the later 19th century, guns had replaced most hand harpoons and lances, since they were far more efficient and deadly to the prey. They also could be shot from a safer distance from the prey than the hand tools could be wielded. The darting gun was one of the more popular types. Loaded with different darts, this versatile weapon could be used both for harpooning and killing whales.
This particular gun was displayed at the 1883 International Fisheries Exhibition in London, England. After the display ended, it was donated to the Smithsonian by its inventor, Capt. Eben Pierce of New Bedford, Mass.

[Janet Jaguar]


Finback whales also called finners and fin whales: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Gam / Gamming / Gaming (with): A gam is a social visit or friendly interchange, especially between whalers or other seafarers. - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gamming [Randi]
[AND]
the captains and first officers, and occasionally other crew members, would go on board and visit the other vessel. - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Grampus: A small variety of cetacea often found close to ships. They grunt or puff very audibly - http://mysite.du.edu/~ttyler/ploughboy/Ashley%20whaling%20glossary.htm#Page_G
[AND]
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Grampus


Gray whales also called devil fish, ripsacks, scamperdowns, mussel-diggers, and California grays: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Humpback whales: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Killer whales also called thrashers: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Oogooroog: Another name for a bearded seal. - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Raised a whale: spied from aloft either spouting, turning flukes or breaching out of the water - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Right whales also called black whales, rite, wright, and write whales: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Saved: (caught) the whale and "took it alongside" the ship - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Shoulder Gun: See Darting Gun.


Sperm whales: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Struck and drew: the iron came out and they lost the whale - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Struck and sunk: the whale sunk to the bottom of the ocean and was lost - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Took: See Saved.


Took the line: they [the whales] swam away with the harpoon and rope still attached, and were able to get it free from the whale boat - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals


Trying out: The process of boiling oil out of the blubber.
Try-Pots: Huge iron pots set in the try-works forward.
Try-Works: Brick ovens with try-pots for rendering oil and an insulating water tank beneath. Built on deck just abaft the forehatch.
- http://mysite.du.edu/~ttyler/ploughboy/Ashley%20whaling%20glossary.htm#Page_T


Waist Boat: a boat carried in the waist of a whaling vessel on the port side and usually commanded by the second mate - MerriamWebster. [Janet Jaguar]


Whale boat: The boat used for hunting whales. Whaling ships had multiple whale boats.
Sometimes it was called a whale for short - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals
(see also Boat-Crew)

[img width]http://i.imgur.com/FLlOOmi.jpg[/img]
- Images from John Putnam's article, "Whaling and Whalecraft: A Pictorial Account." c. 1850 [Janet Jaguar]


White whales also called Beluga whales: - http://www.whalingmuseum.org/introduction-whaling-logbooks-and-journals



These illustrations of whaling tools came from an 1858 Report to Congress:







[Janet Jaguar]
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 08:55:32 pm by AvastMH »

Randi

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2015, 08:12:00 pm »
Reserved
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 07:44:01 am by Randi »

Randi

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2015, 08:12:07 pm »
Reserved
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 07:44:10 am by Randi »

Randi

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2015, 08:12:18 pm »
Reserved
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 07:44:20 am by Randi »

Danny252

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2015, 10:16:24 pm »
Beset (in ice): Situation of a vessel surrounded by ice and unable to move. (WMO Sea Ice Nomenclature)


Added to list. Thanks!
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 11:27:11 pm by Randi »

Danny252

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2015, 10:40:35 pm »
On this log page the third day mentions "Tied up to ground ice". I can find a definition that describes ground ice simply as being frozen ground (https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/glossary/term/ground-ice), but I can't see why (or how!) you would tie up to frozen ground, and the next log page states "fast to the ice until 1am", which sounds like they were tied up to some form of sea ice.

Any thoughts?

Danny252

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2015, 10:48:35 pm »
A bit more work between us came up with the Collins English Dictionary definition.

Ground Ice: Sea ice that is in contact with the coast or sea bed and thus not floating freely.

Sounds excellent for tying up to overnight!

Randi

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2015, 11:01:22 pm »
From Kevin: Fast ice = land ice = ground ice (it appears) -- it is sea ice that is frozen to the land, and often makes a pretty nice dock.
 ;D

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 11:06:48 pm »
In our Library Reference Desk, we have a post Sea Ice Types, but the gov't ships called it FAST ICE, not GROUND ICE.  I've amended that post to include this
Quote

FAST  ICE:  a.k.a. LAND-FLOE, a.k.a. GROUND ICE; Sea  ice  that  forms  and  remains  fast  along  the  coast,  where  it  is  attached  to the  shore,  to  an  ice  wall,  to  an  ice front,  between  shoals  or  grounded  icebergs.  Vertical fluctuations may be observed during changes of sea level.  Fast ice may  be formed on site from  sea  water  or  by  freezing  of pack  ice  of any  age  to  the  shore,  and  it  may  extend  a few yards (meters)  or several  hundred miles  (kilometers)  from  the  coast.  Fast ice may be more than one year old and may then be prefixed with appropriate age category (old, second year, or multiyear).  If it is thicker than about 7 ft.  (2  m)  above sea  level,  it  is  called  an ice  shelf. 

Please - any other new descriptions of sea ice, pass them on to me as we are going to be sending whaling newbies here to use this library.

Randi

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 11:23:57 pm »
Don't forget land ice ;) ::)

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Terms found in whaling log books
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2015, 12:23:39 am »
Don't forget land ice ;) ::)

OK, perfectionist - LAND ICE as well as LAND FLOE.   ::) :)