"Thar She Blows!"

Feb. 9, 1869

It is a pleasant day. Papa saw some whales from the masthead. Good Bye For To Day


The ultimate purpose of every whaling voyage was to capture as many whales as possible. When at sea, every person on board, from cabin boy to captain, anxiously scanned the ocean for any sign of whales. When anyone sighted a whale, legend says that the phrase "Thar she blows!" was shouted out. In reality, whatever came into the person's mind including "Blows!" or "She Blows!" alerted the rest of the crew that whales were nearby. Whoever was the first to make the sighting would receive a reward of some sort from tobacco to a piece of gold or silver. Captain Jernegen knew well where the whales were to be found, so it was no surprise that he often sighted the whales himself.

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image of sperm_whale_sounding

Bruce G. Marcot