The History of the Whalers
on the South Coast of New Holland
from 1800 – 1888
by Rod Dickson
ISBN 0-85905-394-6, (2012, 2nd, corrected edition), stiff double edged cover, A4, cleat sewn, 640pp, 1.7kg
$120.00* + POST
This volume traces the history of over 700 individual ships and their voyages from American, French, British and Colonial ports to the southern shores and offshore waters of today’s Western Australia from Cape Leeuwin to the Head of the Great Australian Bight.
The details of the ships include duration of voyage, catch details, crew lists and extracts from the original log books showing the areas "fished".
Every page is packed with interesting details of the operation of whaling from a sailing ship and small rowing boats in their quest of the leviathan of the deep, the great whales.
These whalers were truly "seamen" as they lowered their flimsy whaleboats in gale force winds and rowed on to a 40 ton whale to iron it by hand. And then, after the whale’s final flurry, these same 6 men rowed and towed the carcase back to the ship for flensing. As the reader will note the hunters didn’t have it all their own way as quite often the wily sperm whale turned on the attackers and attacked them, smashing their boats and equipment, throwing the men into the freezing waters and sometimes killing them.
The author spent some years reading many hundreds of microfilm rolls, and carried on an extensive correspondence with international archives to compile this book.
The book is A4 in size, with a folded stiff cover and comprises 640 cleat sewn pages. It is fully indexed by year and alphabetically and includes markers to indicate log book extracts copied and crew lists inserted.