Life and Adventure in the South Pacific

Life and Adventure in the South Pacific is the first hand account of five years of hard work on the whaling ship Emily Morgan of New Bedford in Massachusetts. The book draws on two young mens logbooks and recollections from the often dramatic and dangerous expeditions and it goes into details about whaling tools, strategies for hunting whales and the organisation and daily life aboard a whaling vessel. Also the art of butchering and preserving the whales after the hunt is described.

How to butcher af whale
How to butcher af whale

Emily Morgan visited a number of remote harbors in the Pacific, for instance Guam, the Hawaiian Islands,Tonga, Juan Fernandez, and Formosa.

The morning of the twenty-second commences with light breezes from the northeast; pleasant weather. Suddenly, about 9 A.M., the monotony is broken by
the welcome cry from masthead:
” T-h-e-r-e she b-l-o-w-s ! T-h-e-r-e she b-l-o-w-s !”
“Where away ?”
“Four points off the lee bow, sir.”
“How far off?”
“About two miles, sir.”
“What does it look like ?”
“Sperm whales, sir.”
Av, ay ; sing out every time you holler.”

Life and Adventure in the South Pacific was written under the pseudonym “A Roving Printer” and published by Harper & Brothers in 1861. The book is in the Public Domain and you can download the entire work here, for free (373 pages/16MB) :

Life and Adventure in the South Pacific



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