The constant peril, hard work and difficult living conditions faced by whalemen made it a daunting profession. Sailors who made it home safely often brought with them tales of wild adventure but as A. Hyatt Verrill writes in his 1916 book, The Real Story of the Whaler, " fiction has ever been written which does justice to the indomitable courage, the reckless daring, the terrific dangers, the unspeakable hardships, the heartbreaking labor, the terrible privations, the inhuman brutality and the sublime heroism which were all in the day's work of the whalemen."

next page >

image of bent_harpoon

Martha's Vineyard Museum