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Nineteenth Century New Bedford Whaleboat - Amati - 1/16

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A warning to new readers. This thread reached the ninth page on a tidal wave of enthusiasm, but on the 3rd March 23 I admitted to myself that my literary tide has gone out. The thread doesn't end there but continues in a much less detailed form; WIP-lite, if you like.



Whaling isn't considered a noble profession in the 21st century by many (and that's as close as we need to get to the politics of conservation, my friends) but in the 1860's it was a trade for brave men. I read Moby Dick ages ago, and will read it again in the coming weeks. It's a brilliant book but I didn't appreciate how tiny and fragile the New Bedford Whaleboats were until I bought this kit.




A few sticks and a crew of six against the ocean and the whales, rarely aggressive but very big and dangerous, especially when close enough to harpoon with little more than a caveman's spear. It was a bloody and dramatic way to make a living.




These are photos of the outside of the box. I'll open it for you later. The whaleboat is built in the same way as the original, more or less. The ribs are planked inside and out to make a lightweight and strong structure. It's almost all wood and metal apart from two or three resin buckets and tubs for the harpoon line. I'm very tempted to remake them in wood to keep this as old school a project as possible.




All of the equipment is included. There's a mast and sail but I'll probably keep that in the stowed position as pictured here. 




The other end. I'm struck by the knives built into the boat for cutting the harpoon line in emergencies. It wasn't unusual for a crewman to become entangled and whisked over the side and down among the whales. 




We have a rudder for sailing and a steering oar for rowing in the hunt. The whaleboat has two sharp ends so that it was as swift in either direction when the time came for dancing.




The kit is by Amati, an Italian company with a good reputation for quality. I hope to be able to do it justice.



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A word or two about boxes.




I'm reminded of the packaging of chocolate bars. Remember how the paper used to be wrapped tightly around them so that you knew what you were getting for your hard earned pocket money? That was back in the days of box scale when Revell and Monogram used any old scale in order to fill the (standard sized) boxes, like the chocolate, you knew how much plastic you'd be getting for Christmas.


Amati, this box is full of air and cardboard. It's like those chocolate bars with the sticking-out-bits at the end that makes them look three times bigger! Even the dog thinks it's a con! 


But is it? 




There wasn't much in there compared to the volume of the cuboid BUT it was all in perfect condition. No warping like my OcCre Beagle which was lashed tight with elastic bands. I've flipped the two inner platforms over (after the photo) and now have a divided storage facility for this and subsequent models and the box itself is as strong as some flat packed furniture. 


So, on reflection, it's a bit iffy, but only a bit and there are compensations in the shape of a usefully shaped storage box. And the other two Amati kits in the wardrobe don't suffer from this problem. 😀 I'll let them off this time. This is the wisdom of the elderly gentleman who finds that a big box might actually be more comfortable and useful than his initial disappointment suggested. 


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On 12/20/2022 at 11:36 AM, TonyOD said:

You already win the prize for the best WIP title, @Bertie McBoatface. Hands down.


I'm going to have to change it or I'll be singing that song every day for the next four months. 🤪


The original title was "Whalemeat again; don't know where, don't know when..."


This thread started life in the SSDGB but as it's not doing well under the pressure of a deadline of any kind, I've shifted it over here.


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Do you want a look at my references? Of course you do.




This is where it begins for me. I read this book as a teenager. I was a precocious reader but most of the story, half of the book, was too complex for me. Melville was a complicated man for sure. There's another half of the book though and that's the more or less documentary description of the nineteenth century whale fishery. That was fascinating and exciting to a callow youth of 17 or so. I re-read it in my adult years and got a lot more from it, though I was still a long way short of understanding it properly. And now I'm planning to read it again, starting on January first. There's definitely something in there that has me in its grip. This isn't really a reference, more of a mojo maintainer. Melville did actually ship on a whaler in 1841, so he does know that of which he writes, despite deserting in the following year for different adventures in the south seas (as any novelist should).




This is a more conventional reference book. The Charles W Morgan was the most successful whaler of them all and has been preserves at the Mystic Seaport Museum in the USA. The Amati whaleboat is based on one of her boats in that museum, though I don't for a moment think it's an original.




The book is as American as the ship and has lovely illustrations like this which is a lot clearer that the kit concerning the routing of the harpoon line through the boat.




It also illustrated the tools very pleasantly. All of these things are made from dowels and planks, even those graceful oars, each of different lengths. This is why I'll be building my boat for months, not weeks.




There they are! Three whaleboats on the Charlie.




My third reference is a Model Shipways kit of the Charles W Morgan. That American company have the sort of reputation held by modern Tamiya for quality and accuracy and since it contains half a dozen whaleboats albeit of a smaller scale, there will be clues in there for me.




No wasted space in there! This will be a year or two in the building, maybe 2024-5?




And then there's this. Published in 1950 and not reprinted, as far as I know. This is Moby Dick without the novel.




The manuscript with original drawings lay unpublished for a century. Nelson Cole Hayley signed on for his five year voyage as a harpooner. He was seventeen at the time. At that age Bertie was reading about whaling - Nelson was doing it. He writes clearly and well and with the understatement that I thought the British had the monopoly on. I'll be quoting from Mr Cole from time to time.


I think I'll enjoy the reading as much as the building.





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Now, I’ll be frank. I read widely and voraciously. I consider myself literate, well read, erudite even. But when I took on Moby Dick last year, it beat me like a gong.

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8 minutes ago, TonyOD said:

Now, I’ll be frank. I read widely and voraciously. I consider myself literate, well read, erudite even. But when I took on Moby Dick last year, it beat me like a gong.


I'm on my third go. I just read his The Confidence Man, the last and most puzzling book Melville wrote. It was ok if you used the notes and read slowly and after that Moby Dick should be like boating down the Serpentine. 🤣

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I read Moby Dick way back when I was 13 or so, and was enthralled. I don't know if it was an abridged version as it was a school book from their library. I am on the lookout for another copy for myself now in charity shops, but do not want to cheat by using t' internet, the hunt is just as exciting as the catch...


I am looking forward to seeing your progress, and reading your yarns.



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25 minutes ago, Ray S said:

I am on the lookout for another copy for myself now in charity shops


My copy came from the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust shop in Leek. I enjoy buying books from charity shops because the choice is so limited. Going to a Waterstones would mean forcing myself not to buy 50 books per visit - and at full price too!

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This is Nelson Haley's description of his first whale taken as a harpooner.


We had just finished supper and lit our pipes when the man at the masthead sung out.

"School of sperm whales on the Lee beam not half a mile off!"


Casting our eyes in that direction we could see 20 or 30 good sized whales tumbling about, when the big seas would catch them and almost turn them over. Sometimes one could be seen on the crest of a wave. As it broke. He would shoot down its side with such speed a streak of white could be seen in the wake he made through the water. When reaching the hollow between two seas, he would lazily shove his spout holes above water and blow out his spout as much to say. "See how that is done".


I have never seen whales play before or since. It seemed too bad to interrupt their pastime but they were the fish we had crossed three oceans into the fourth to find.


Heavy dark clouds and flying mist enclosed the ship so that nothing two or three miles away in any direction could be seen from her. Still when the captain gave the order "line in three larboard boats!" every man sprung to his station as though the sea was calm and the wind was light.


"Hoist and swing! Lower away!" Down went the three boats on the lee side which was the larboard. It required quick and experienced movements to get the boats away from the ship's side without swamping or having them stove in.


"Use great caution!" was the captain's last word to us as we shoved off. The captain sprang on top of the try-works to observe our movements as much as could be seen from there as from aloft because the storm clouds were so close around us.


When we crossed the ship's bows the other two were two or three ships lengths astern of us, so if the whales did not go down, our chance to be among them first was good. After pulling before the wind and sea a short time. I looked over my shoulder ahead of the boat and as the boat rose I could see the whales tumbling and rolling no great distance off. By the way we were shooting over the water not many minutes more would elapse before I should have passed through my trial and be honored or disgraced as a harpooner. And if failing I would be disrated sent forward and never more have a chance to become above the common sailor on board a whale ship. These thoughts went through my mind and although I did not fear a whale, it made me nervous as this would be the first time for me to strike one.


The captain was plainly to be seen on top of the tri-works with his spyglass watching our boats as we approached the whales. As we got on the top of a big sea the second mate sternly sang out to me "Stand up!" Jumping to my feet and grasping the first iron in my hands, my mind made up to do or die I saw three whales right ahead. I was looking down at them as they lay in the hollow of the sea and could make out every part of their upper sides and plainly see their big flukes in motion as they slowly twisted them from side to side. They, like us were heading to the leeward and perfectly unaware of the sharp cruel iron that would soon penetrate one of their sides.


I had hardly time to brace myself firmly against the clumsy cleat when the boat shot down the side of the sea and amid the roar of breaking water, with the boat's head a few feet clear of the whale, I darted first one iron and then the other struck to the hitches just forward his hump. Never in my life have I had such feelings of relief and pleasure as I saw the line run out when the whale dove into the wet depths drawing it after him.


The captain, so I was told afterwards, was at his glass just before we struck and when I stood up he was all excitement saying "He stands up! Only strike that way and I will give you anything I have anything except my wife!"  and as my iron struck the whale he threw off his hat saying "He is fast. Take my wife and all I have!"


I guess he forgot about this offer after we got on board for I got nothing but satisfaction that I had struck my first whale and proved that a boy only 17 years old could fill a man's place on a whale man's deck. The whale made about 85 barrels of oil. His jaw was 17 ft long. His teeth would average in weight about two pounds each.


I'm exhausted just reading it!


What exciting things were you doing at seventeen?


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Just now, flashlight said:

Great story! Thanks for sharing, Bertie @Bertie McBoatface!


I can't help, this thread always brings me back to the Seventies and the song "Nantucket Sleighride" by Mountain. It's always been in my mind since I first saw this thread.


Better than singing Vera Lynn's greatest hit all day...

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Let's have a decko inside the box.


After decades of building plastic kits, most recently lots of MiniArt and Bronco kits, my first thoughts on looking inside a wooden model's box are "Where are all the pieces? Why don't I recognise anything?"




Most of the pieces are still inside those lengths of wood. This is a pack of hardwoods. I see walnut, beech and either pear or cherry.




Here's a soft focus photo of the softwood pack. Lime or boxwood and so forth.




There's a pack of beech which I think will be for the inner planking.




The last of the stripwood packs is the doweling for the oar shafts, harpoons and other tools and the mast (and boom ?).




There you go, that's most of the boat. 🤣 They do help out with a few pieces of laser cut plywood.




On this sheet I see the rudder, some knees to support the thwarts, and some other things???




Here we have two identical sheets of outer hull planks. This is marvellous news. The boat is clinker built which means that the planks overlap each other. I've never done one like this before but I know that getting the shapes spot on is crucial. All I have to do with these is bend them a little (I hope).




This is the thickest sheet of ply and isn't actually part of the boat. This assembles into a jig upon which I'll build the boat. Unfortunately there's no jig to help me build the building jig!




I have some sailcloth. It seems that I'm expected to cut and sew my own sails. 😲




Even in 1/16 scale, I think it's too coarse woven. 




Copper strip and the harpoon heads. This is starting to look like a 'normal' kit now.




Ropes for rigging. I suspect the thick stuff is for the sail's boltrope.




Some fittings. I recognise the rudder gudgeons, and the first of the buckets.




The line tubs. Resin. What a subtle wood grain effect! I'll be making my own, if I can.




The round thing is the loggerhead which the harpoon line runs around. It's a kind of braking mechanism. I've no idea yet what the other pieces are.




The anchor. Because sometimes the boats were used in waters less than a mile deep.




Nails for going around corners. 


Not really . Remember that I said the boat is clinker built? Well, clinker is a corruption of clench. The hull planks are held on with clench nails. They are driven in straight and then the ends are hammered flat to clench the boards together permanently (unless battered to matchwood by a whale's tail). These pieces will simulate that process where it's visible inside the boat.




Tools. Two knives and one former for making your own sheaths, and some miscellaneous ironwork.




More nails. Quite a lot of them. Hmm...




I have a thin booklet of instructions, in Italian of course.




And because this is a top class kit, a translation. 




A sheet of full sized plans. I'm starting to appreciate these for their own sake. Beautifully drawn and almost frame-worthy.




With little sketches to inspire. I think that's brilliant.




My pattern for the sail. Looking at the sketch, I'm now thinking that I might rig the mast...




It's quite a big model.




They also provide a plan of the various parts so that they can be easily identified even is separated from the frets.




The OcCre Beagle kit that I'm working on has you tying the blocks on with knots. Easy but wrong. Amati, being that much more sophisticated indicates seizing the ropes to the blocks. Correct and elegant too. For me that little drawing sets the serious tone of this kit. If I can do it well, the final model will be a beautiful object.




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Crikey, this is going to be ...involved. When you first mentioned you were doing a whaleboat I pictured something from Star Trek IV: The One With The Whales. Those 1:1 plans look fantastic. This'll be a fascinating watch. Here's you, Ahab! 🐳

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57 minutes ago, Bobby No Mac said:

I pictured something from Star Trek IV: The One With The Whales.


Oh the steel-hulled things with the explosive harpoons? Not for me, thanks.


I think a 17 year old lad (5 feet tall, incidentally) taking on a 70 foot long, 80 ton whale, from a 20 foot long rowing boat, with a hand-thrown spear was as close to a fair fight as hunting ever got. Sperm whales often attacked and sank these whaleboats and are known to have sunk at least two of their wooden motherships; the Essex in 1820 and the Ann Alexander in 1851. Many whalers disappeared without trace over the centuries of the hunt and it's likely that whales sunk some of these with all hands. The survivors of the two named ships only made it by the most remarkable pluck and luck. I append their stories as reported by Wikipedia:


Under the command of Captain John Deblois, the Ann Alexander left New Bedford on June 1, 1850, for the whaling grounds in the Pacific. After taking on about 500 barrels of oil, she rounded Cape Horn in January, 1851. After taking on provisions in Chile and dropping a sailor at Paita, Peru, she headed west to the "Offshore Ground" in August, about 2,000–3,000 miles off the South American coast where more whales are likely to be located. In the Ann Alexander's case, she resumed the hunt at the latitude of 5° 50′ south, and longitude 102° west.


On August 20, the ship dropped two whaleboats; the one commanded by the first mate harpooned a whale. After hauling the tethered boat on a Nantucket sleighride, the whale turned, opened its jaws, and attacked and destroyed it. The second boat, captained by Deblois, rowed to the site and saved all six crewmen.[citation needed]

At this point, as there were 12 men in a single boat, the waist boat was launched from the ship, which was now some six miles off. The crewmen were divided between the two boats, and it was decided to attack the whale again with the waist boat, under the first mate's command, in the advance. When the whale saw the boats returning, he attacked again, this time destroying the waist boat. Deblois rescued the crew for a second time and attempted to return to the Ann Alexander in the last remaining boat. The wounded whale again rushed the boat and passed within a few cables of it, but did not directly attack it.


Once the whalers were aboard the Ann Alexander, a smaller boat was launched to retrieve the whaleboat oars, and Deblois decided to hunt the whale from the safety of the ship. Another harpoon was sunk into its head, and after a feint towards the ship, the whale seemed to disappear under the surface. At this point it was nearly sundown, so Deblois decided to abandon the pursuit. Moments later, the whale reappeared, moving at a speed of about 15 knots (a little over 17 mph), towards the ship, which was making only five knots. The whale rammed the slower-moving ship, which was unable to outrun or avoid it, and put a hole in the hull of the ship, below the waterline some two feet from the keel. Like most ships of that time, the Ann Alexander carried a large amount of pig iron as ballast, so in an attempt to keep her from sinking immediately, Deblois ordered the crew to cut away the anchors and throw all heavy metal cables overboard. The crew only succeeded in cutting away one anchor and cable, and the ship began to sink rapidly. Deblois made his way to the cabin, where he seized a sextant, chronometer and chart. A second attempt to obtain anything beyond the provisions and water that were being loaded into the remaining boats was fruitless, as the ship was almost completely heeled over and flooded. The 22 crewmen had no choice but to abandon ship, with Deblois, the last to leave, being forced to swim to the closest boat.

It was soon discovered that they possessed only twelve gallons of water and no food at all, and the boats, containing eleven men each, leaked and had to be bailed out throughout the night. The next day, seeing that the Ann Alexander had not yet sunk but was on her beam ends, Deblois went on board to cut away the masts with a hatchet, in the hope this would lessen the drag. The ship partially righted itself, and the crew, were able to cut away the foremast anchor chain, which helped bring her onto a more even keel. Using ropes tied around their waists, the whalers then lowered themselves over the side and cut holes through the decks to get to the food stores, but obtained only five gallons of vinegar and twenty pounds of waterlogged bread. The ship became unstable, so they returned to their boats and rowed away.


They had water rations for only a few days, but Deblois reckoned that if they headed for a northerly latitude with more rainfall they might survive. Two days later, at around 5 p.m. on August 22, they sighted and were rescued by the Nantucket whaler Nantucket under the command of Captain Gibbs. A last attempt to retrieve anything from the Ann Alexander was abandoned due to rough seas, and the crew was eventually landed in Paita on September 15, 1851. They all returned to New York via the schooner Providence on October 12.


The whale with the Ann Alexander's harpoons still in him, was killed five months later. I think the fact that the whalemen kept returning to the chase even after some of their boats had been attacked and destroyed is evidence of the dangers of the sperm whale fishery and of the calibre of the men engaged in it. The story of the loss of the Essex is even more harrowing:


First Mate Owen Chase was repairing a damaged whaleboat on board Essex when the crew sighted an abnormally large sperm whale bull reportedly around 85 feet  in length, acting strangely. It lay motionless on the surface facing the ship and then began to swim towards the vessel, picking up speed by shallow diving. The whale rammed Essex, rocking her from side to side, and then dove under her, surfacing close on the ship's starboard side. As its head lay alongside the bow and the tail by the stern, it was motionless and appeared to be stunned. Chase prepared to harpoon it from the deck when he realized that its tail was only inches from the rudder, which the whale could easily destroy if provoked by an attempt to kill it. Fearing to leave the ship stuck thousands of miles from land with no way to steer it, Chase hesitated. The whale recovered, swam several hundred yards forward of the ship, and turned to face the ship's bow.


I turned around and saw him about one hundred rods [550 yards] directly ahead of us, coming down with twice his ordinary speed of around 24 knots, and it appeared with tenfold fury and vengeance in his aspect. The surf flew in all directions about him with the continual violent thrashing of his tail. His head about half out of the water, and in that way he came upon us, and again struck the ship.

— Owen Chase

The whale crushed the bow, driving the vessel backwards, and then finally disengaged its head from the shattered timbers and swam off, never to be seen again, leaving Essex quickly going down by the bow. Chase and the remaining sailors frantically tried to add rigging to the only remaining whaleboat, while the steward William Bond ran below to gather the captain's sea chest and whatever navigational aids he could find.

Essex was attacked approximately 2,000 nautical miles west of South America. After spending two days salvaging what supplies they could from the waterlogged wreck, the 20 sailors prepared to set out in the three small whaleboats, aware that they had wholly inadequate supplies of food and fresh water for a journey to land. The boats were rigged with masts and sails taken from Essex, and boards were added to heighten the gunwales and prevent large waves from spilling over the sides.


Inside Captain Pollard's sea chest, which Bond's quick thinking had managed to save, were two sets of navigational equipment and two copies of maritime charts. These were split between Pollard's and Chase's boats; Joy's boat was left without any means of navigating except to keep within sight of the other boats.

Examining the charts, the officers deduced that the closest known islands, the Marquesas, were more than 1,200 mi to the west, and Captain Pollard intended to make for them, but the crew, led by Chase, voiced their fears that the islands might be inhabited by cannibals and voted to sail east instead for South America.


Unable to sail against the trade winds, the boats would first need to sail south for 1,000 mi before they could take advantage of the Westerlies to turn towards South America, which then would still lie another 3,000 mi to the east. Even with the knowledge that this route would require them to travel twice as far as the route to the Marquesas, Pollard acceded to the crew's decision and the boats set their course due south.


Food and water were rationed from the beginning, but most of the food had been soaked in seawater. The men ate this food first even though it increased their thirst. It took them around two weeks to consume the contaminated food, and by this time the survivors were rinsing their mouths with seawater and drinking their own urine. Several of the giant tortoises captured from the Galápagos had been brought aboard the whaleboats as well, but their size prevented the crew from bringing all of them.


Never designed for long voyages, all the whaleboats had been very roughly repaired, and leaks were a constant and serious problem during the voyage. After losing a timber, the crew of one boat had to lean to one side to raise the other side out of the water until another boat was able to draw close, allowing a sailor to nail a piece of wood over the hole. Storms and rough seas frequently plagued the tiny whaleboats, and the men who were not occupied with steering and trimming the sails spent most of their time bailing water from the bilge.

On December 20, exactly one month after the whale attack, and within hours of the crew beginning to die of thirst, the boats landed on uninhabited Henderson Island, a small uplifted coral atoll within the modern-day British territory of the Pitcairn Islands. On Henderson Island, Essex's crew found a small freshwater spring below the tideline and the starving men gorged themselves on endemic birds, crabs, eggs, and peppergrass. After just one week, they had largely exhausted the island's food resources.


On 26 December, they concluded they would starve if they remained much longer. As most of the crew prepared to set sail in the whaleboats once again, three men – William Wright, Seth Weeks, and Thomas Chapple, the only white members of the crew who were not natives of Nantucket – opted to stay behind on Henderson. Almost a year after Essex sank, Lloyd's List reported that Surry had rescued the three men and taken them to Port Jackson, Australia.

The remaining Essex crewmen, now numbering 17 in 3 boats, resumed the journey on December 27 with the intention of reaching Easter Island. Within three days they had exhausted the crabs and birds they had stockpiled from Henderson in preparation for the voyage, leaving only a small reserve of the bread previously salvaged from Essex. On January 4, 1821, they estimated that they had drifted too far south of Easter Island to reach it and decided to make for Más a Tierra island instead, 1,818 miles to the east and 419 miles west of South America. One by one, the men began to die.


Second mate Matthew Joy, whose health had been poor even before Essex left Nantucket, was dying; as his condition steadily worsened, Joy asked if he could rest on Pollard's boat until his death. On January 10, Joy became the first crew member to die, and Nantucketer Obed Hendricks assumed the leadership of Joy's boat.

The following day, Chase's whaleboat, which also carried Richard Peterson, Isaac Cole, Benjamin Lawrence, and Thomas Nickerson, became separated from the others during a squall. Peterson, the oldest crew member, lost the will to live and died on January 18.As with Joy, he was sewn into his clothes and buried at sea, as was the custom. On February 8 Isaac Cole died, but with food running out the survivors kept his body, and after a discussion, the men resorted to cannibalism. They ate his liver and kidneys but struggled to eat the sinewy flesh.


Hendricks' boat, carrying crew members William Bond, Lawson Thomas, Charles Shorter, Isaiah Sheppard, and Joseph West, exhausted its food supplies on January 14, and Pollard offered to share his own boat's remaining provisions. Pollard's boat carried Samuel Reed, Owen Coffin, Barzillai Ray, and Charles Ramsdell. They ran out of food on January 21. Thomas died on January 20, and the others decided they had no choice but to keep the body for food. Shorter died on January 23, Sheppard on January 27, and Reed on January 28.


Later that day, the two boats separated; Hendricks' boat was never seen again. All three men are presumed to have died at sea. A whaleboat was later found washed up on Ducie Island with the skeletons of three people inside. Although it was suspected to be Obed Hendricks' missing boat, and the remains those of Hendricks, Bond, and West, the remains have never been positively identified.


By February 1, the food on Pollard's boat was again exhausted and the survivors' situation became dire. The men drew lots to determine who would be sacrificed for the survival of the remainder. A young man named Owen Coffin, Captain Pollard's 18-year-old first cousin, whom he had sworn to protect, drew the black spot. Pollard allegedly offered to protect his cousin, but Coffin is said to have replied: "No, I like my lot as well as any other". Lots were drawn again to determine who would be Coffin's executioner. His young friend, Charles Ramsdell, drew the black spot. Ramsdell shot Coffin; Ramsdell, Pollard, and Barzillai Ray consumed the body.

On February 11, Ray also died. For the remainder of their journey, Pollard and Ramsdell survived by gnawing on Coffin's and Ray's bones.

By February 15, the three survivors of Chase's whaleboat had again run out of food. On February 18 – 89 days after Essex sank – off the coast of Chile the British vessel Indian spotted and rescued Chase, Lawrence, and Nickerson. Several days after the rescue, the empty whaleboat was lost in a storm while under tow behind Indian. Pollard's boat, now containing only Pollard and Ramsdell, was rescued when almost within sight of the South American coast by the Nantucket whaleship Dauphin, 93 days after Essex sank, on February 23. Pollard and Ramsdell by that time were so completely dissociative that they did not even notice Dauphin alongside them, and became terrified when they saw their rescuers.



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18 hours ago, psdavidson said:

At least there are some recognisable items amongst the various slivers of forest

This will be an interesting one to watch.

Best of luck @Bertie McBoatface


Time permitting, it would be nice to replace the plywood 'planked' triangular platforms and the plywood rudder, with items made from proper wood. I have the timber on hand. 


Skill permitting, I'd like to refrain from painting the interior of the boat and the tools. It wouldn't be accurate but clear varnish would allow the beauty of the wood to shine forth. 


(Shine forth? Forth? I'm reading Whale Hunt now so my writing will continue to turn all nineteenth century, and probably nautical too, my lads. 🤣)

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39 minutes ago, Bertie McBoatface said:


Well that's the obvious way to do it but 4 months isn't long enough for the wood to season well enough. 😁

There is that…

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55 minutes ago, Bertie McBoatface said:

Oh the steel-hulled things with the explosive harpoons? Not for me, thanks.


Indeed, very grim.


33 minutes ago, Bertie McBoatface said:

(Shine forth? Forth? I'm reading Whale Hunt now so my writing will continue to turn all nineteenth century, and probably nautical too, my lads. 🤣)


I'd like to think we're all going to emerge from this GB more grizzled, drinking rum by the tot and defaulting to units in fathoms and knots. I've started listening to the Shipping Forecast everyday. No, really.

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