Preparing for the Arctic

In Honolulu, Captain Jernegan had much to do. He had to get his family settled in their new surroundings and outfit the Roman for their upcoming voyage to the Arctic in search of bowhead and right whales.

Since any change in the crew had to be reported to the U.S. government, Captain Jernegan also had paperwork to attend to at the American Consulate in Honolulu. Six crew members had deserted the Roman since leaving New Bedford. Although there is no record available as to why the men abandoned ship, we do know the following: Charles A. Oman, cooper, and Edwin H. Barnes, ordinary hand had both 'jumped' ship in Juan Fernandez. Greenhands George Fraser and Otto de la Chenaye were both apprehended after leaving the ship in Lahaina, Hawaii in March. On March 17, John Jones, a carpenter and James Armstrong, greenhand, both deserted in Kawaihae, Hawaii.

Along with many other whaling vessels, the Europa and the Roman departed for the Arctic, while Mrs. Mellen and Mrs. Jernegan and their children made themselves at home in Honolulu. As usual, the Roman had made arrangements to ship its cargo of sperm oil back to Boston on the Syren, which departed Honolulu on May 11, 1869. The six month Arctic whaling season of 1869 had begun.

next page >

image of seaman

Illustration by Juliet Jacobson