Laura's father had many different tasks on the Roman. As the Captain he was in charge of everything that happened on the ship, including his crew. His experience at sea guided him as he navigated sometimes rough and poorly charted seas. He understood the ocean currents and the routes of whale migration. Captain Jernegan was the one on board who knew best where whales would be at various times of the year.
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Laura kept a close eye on what her father did, from reading the navigation charts to communicating with other ships to making repairs on his own vessel. Laura also paid attention to what the crew did. Although the work of catching and cutting in a whale is difficult and dirty, it was the reason for the trip.
Illustration by Juliet Jacobson