Sometimes the whale sounded again, taking the whaleboat down with it. Other times, the whale stayed on the surface of the water and eventually tired of the chase. As the whaleboat neared the exhausted animal, the mate hurled his razor-sharp lance into the whale's lungs. The whale, gushing blood and growing weaker, often swam away. As many times as necessary, the boat crew pulled on the whale line and hauled themselves along the wounded creature. Each time, the mate struck the whale with his lance. Eventually, the whale blew blood out of its spout hole and turned limply to one side, dying.
Library of Congress