Header photo (detail) courtesy Michael Eudenbach

Friday, March 18, 2011

Whalebones and Whaleboats

For Ycrow. Visited the New Bedford Whaling Museum to answer your question about scale.
A mature male sperm whale is about 35-50 years old, 50-60 feet long and weighs between 43 and 45 tons. That would make him about two times longer than a whaleboat. A fully loaded whaleboat with crew ranged from slightly less than one ton to about a ton & a half according to material published in The Whaleboat by W. Ansel.

The pictures I took show a sperm whale skeleton next to a wooden whaleboat in the museum.

1 comment:

  1. Whopper!

    I am sitting in the middle
    of a whopper of a whale,
    where there's scant illumination,
    and the air is still and stale.
    My monotonous enclosure
    is predominantly gray,
    and is surely no location
    I would choose to spend my day.

    There is no one to converse with
    in a whale's digestive tract.
    I am bored with my surroundings,
    and I wish that I had packed.
    Without any sort of warning
    I was eaten like a bean.
    Now I'm stranded in the center
    of a living submarine.

    I see no way of escaping,
    so I'm throwing up my hands,
    and unless I'm extricated,
    I'm not making any plans.
    I'd appreciate suggestions,
    simply drop them in the mail.
    Just address them to the belly
    of this whopper of a whale.

    Jack Prelutsky, from A Pizza the Size of the Sun