The Manner of Killing the Whale, and of the whole Proceedings for performeing of the Voyage
Dit is de transcriptie van de Engelse tekst van de bladzijden 63 t/m 74 van Fotherby's Journal, waarin hij een beschrijving geeft van de walvis en de verwerking ervan. In het laatste stuk beschrijft hij de walrus. De illustraties zijn in deze tekst achterwege gelaten.
The whale is a fish, or sea-beast, of huge bignesse, about 60 feet long and 18 feet thick. His head seemes to be one-third of his whole quantitie. His finnes (wich wee call whalebone in England) doe growe, and are wholie included within his spacious mouth; being fastened, and, as it were, rooted, in his uppermost jawe, spreading on both sides of his toung, in nomber more than 260 on one side, and as manie on the other side. The longest finnes are placed in the midest of his mouth; and the rest doe orderlie shorten more and more, both backwards and forwards, from 12 feet to less than 3 ynches in length. His eies are not much bigger then the eies of an oxe; and his bodie in fashion round, with a verry broad-spreading taile, wich is of tough and solide substance; and, therefore, it is used for to make chopping-blocks, to chop the whale's fatt upon (wich wee call blubber). And of the like matter are also his two swimming finnes, wich serve, at some times, for the same use. The whale comes often above water, and will comonlie spowte 8 or 9 times before he goe under againe; by wich spowteing of water, we maie discerne him when he is 2 or 3 leagues distant from us. When he enters into the sounds, our whal-killers doe presentlie sallie forth to meet him, either from our ships, or els from some other place convenient for that purpose, where to expect him; makeing very speedie waie towards him with their shallops. But most comonlie, before they come neare him, he will be gon downe under water, and continue perhaps a good while er he rise againe; so that sometimes they rowe past him: and therefore are they alwaies very circumspect, lookeing if the can discerne his waie under the water (wich they call his wake), or els see him further of by his spowteing, being risen. Then comeing neare him, they rowe resolutelie towards him, as though they intended to force the shallop upon him. But, so soone as they come within stroak of him, the harponier (who stands readie, in the head of the boat) darts his harping-iron at him out of both his hands; wherwith the whale being stricken, he presentlie descends to the bottom of the water: and therefore the men in the shallop doe weire out 40, 50, or 60 fathoms of rope, yea, sometimes 100, or more, according to the depth requireth. For, upon the sockett of the harping-iron, ther is made fast a rope, wich lies orderlie coiled up in the sterne of the boat, wich, I saie, they doe weire forth untill the perceave him to be riseing againe; and then they haile in some of it, both to give him the lesse scope, and also that maie be the stronger, being shorter. For, when he riseth from the bottome, he comes not directlie up above the water, but swimmes awaie with an uncontrowled force and swiftnes; hurrying the shallop after him, with hir head so close drawen downe to the water, that shee seemes ever readie to be hailed under it.
When he hath thus drawen hir perhaps a mile or more - wich is done in a very short time, considering her swiftnes, - then will he come spowteing above the water; and the men rowe up to him, and strike him with long launces, wich are made purposelie for that use. In lanceing of the whale, they strike him as neare his swimming finne, and as lowe under water as they can convenientlie, to peirce into his intralls. But, when he is wounded, he is like to wrest the launce out of the striker's hand; so that sometimes two men are faine to pluck it out, although but one man did easilie thrust it in. And nowe will he frisk and strike with his taile verie forceablie; sometimes hitting the shallop, and splitting hir asunder; sometimes also maihmeing or killing some of the men. And, for that cause, ther is alwaies either two or 3 shallops about the killing of one whale, that the one of them maie relieve and take the men out of another, being splitt. When he hath receaved his deadlie wound, then he casteth forth blood where formerlie he spowted water; and, before he dies, he will sometimes drawe the shallops 3 or 4 miles from the place where he was first stricken with the harping-iron.
..When he is dyieng, he most comonlie tourneth his bellie uppermost: and then doe the men fasten a rope, or small hauser, to the hinder part of his bodie, and with their shallops (made fast, one to another), they towe him to the ships, with his taile foremost; and then they fasten him to the sterne of some ship apointed for that purpose, where he is cutt up in a manner as followth: Two or three men come in a boate, or shallop, to the side of the whale; one man holdeing the boat close to the whale with a boat-hook, and another-who stands either in the boat or upon the whale - cutts and scores the fatt, wich we call blubber, in square-like peices, 3 or 4 feet long, with a great cutting knife. Then, to raise it from the flesh, ther is a crab, or capstowe, sett purposely upon the poop of the ship, from whence ther discends a rope, with an iron hook in the end of it; and this hook is made to take fast hould of a peice of the fatt, or, blubber: and as, by tourning the capstowe, it is raised and lifted up, the cutter, with his long knife, looseth it from the flesh, even as if the larde of a swine were, by peece and peece, to be cutt off from the leane. When it is in this manner cleane cutt off, then doe they lower the capstowe, and lett it downe to float upon the water, makeing a hole in some side or corner of it, whereby they fasten it upon a rope, And so they proceed to cutt off more peeces; makeing fast together 10 or twelve of them at once, to be towed ashoare at the sterne of the boat, or shallop. Theise peices, being brought to the shoar-side, are, by one and one, drawen upon the shoare by the helpe of a high crane ther placed; and at length are hoised up from the ground over a vessel, wich is stett to receaue the oile that runnes from it as it is cutt into smaller peices: for, Whilest it hangeth in the crane, two men doe cutt into little peices about a foot long and half a foot thick, and putt them in the foresaid vessel; from wich it is carried to the choppers by two boies, who, with little flesh-hooks, take in ech hand a peice, and so conveie it into tubbs, or ould casks, wich stand behinde the choppers; out of wich tubbs it is taken againe, and is laid for them, as they are readie to use it, upon the same board they stand on. The choppers stand at the side of a shallop, wich is raised from the ground, and sett up of equall height with the coppers, and stands about two yards distant from the fournaces. Then a fir-deale is laid alongst the one side of the shallop, within-board; and upon it doe they sett their chopping-blocks, wich are made of the whale's taile, or els of his swimming-finne. Nowe the blubber is laid readie for them by some apointed for that purpose, as before is sett downe, in such small peices as thee boies doe bring from the crane. And so they take it up with little hand-hooks, laieing it upon their blocks; whre, with chopping-knives, they chop it into verye small peices, about an ynch and a half square. Then with a short thing of wood, made in fashion like a cole-rake, they put the chopt blubber off from the block downe into the shallop; out of the wich it is taken againe with a copper ladle, and filled into a great tubb, wich hangs upon the arme of a gibbet that is made to tourne to and againe between the blubber-boat and the coppers. This tubb containeth as much blubber as will serve one of the coppers at one boiling; and therfore, so soon as it is emptied, it is presentlie filled againe, that it maie be readie to be putt into the copper when the frittires are taken out. Theise frittires (as wee call them) are the small peices of chopt blubber, as if they were fried; and they are taken out of the coppers, together with some of the oile, by copper ladles, and put into a wicker basket that stands over another shallop wich is placed on the other side of the fournaces, and serves as a cooler to receave the oile being drayned thorowe the said basketts. And this shallop, because it receaves the oile hott out of the coppers, is kept continuallie half full of water; wich is not onelie a meanes to coole the oile before it runnes into the cask, but also to clense it from soot and drosse wich descends to the bottome of the boat. And out of this shallop the oile runneth into a long trough, or gutter, of wood, and terby is conveyed into butts and hogsheads; wich, being filled, are bung'd up, marked, rowl'd by, and others sett in their place. Then is the bung taken out againe, that the oile maie coole; for notwithstanding ye shallop is half full of water, yet, the coppers being continuallie plied, the oile keeps very hott in the boat, and runs also hott into the cask, wich sometimes is an occasion of great leakage.
Now concerning the finnes. When the whale lies floateing at the sterne of the ship, where he is cutt up, they cut of his head, containing his toung and his finnes, comonlie called whalbone; and by a boat, or shallop, they towe it so neare to the shoare as it can come, and ther lett it lie till the water flowe againe: for, at high waters, it is drawen further and further upon the shoare by crabs and capstowes ther placed for that purpose, untill, at a lowe water, men maie come to cutt out the finnes; wich thing they doe with hatchetts, by 5 or 6 finnes at once, And theise are trailed further up from the shoar-side, and then are severed ech one from another with hatchetts, and by one, at once, are laid upon a fir-deale, or other board, raised up a convenient height for a man to stand at, who scrapeth off the white pithie substance that is upon the roots, or great ends, of the finnes, with such scraping-irons as coppers use; being instruments very fitting for that purpose. Then are they rubbed in the sand, to clense them from grease wich they receave when the heads are brought to the shoare-side: for, whilest the whale is in cutting up, his head under the water, and his finnes remaine cleane; but, being brought near the shoare and grounded, then doth the grease cleave unto them at the ebbing or falling of the water, wich is alwaies fattie with blubber that floats upon it continuallie. When the finnes are thus made up into bundles of 50, contayneing of ech sorte 10 finnes. These bundles are bound up with coards; and upon ech of them ther is tied a stick, whereon is written some number, and the companie's mark sett: and so they are made readie to be shipped.
Now a little concerning the sea-morse (of manie called the sea-horse); wich, indeed, maie seeme to be rather a beast then a fish, and partakes both of the sea and the land. He is, in quantitie, about the bignesse of an oxe; and his shape and proportion is best sett forth by the figure followeing: - Theise morses use to goe ashoare upon some beach or pointe of lowe land, where the snowe doth soonest melt or dissolve; and ther will they lie upon the sand, close together, grunteing much like hoggs, and sometimes creeping and tumbleing one over another. They never goe farre up from the water-side: and therefore the men that goe to kill them strike theise first wich are next the water, that their dead bodies maie be a hinderance to barre the rest from escapeing; for they all make towards the water, without anie feare either of man or weapon that opposeth them. Theise also are killed with launces wich are verie broad-headed, to the end that they maie make the more mortall wound for the speedie killing of them, because they are so neare the water, and also manie in nomber; for, in some places, they will lie 400 or 500 morses all together. This sea-beast being dead, his teeth are taken out of his upper jawe; and his skin, or hide, is fleyed of him, first on the one side; and his fat or blubber, wich lies next to his skinne aboue his flesh, is also taken off: and then is his other side tourned up, and ye like againe done with it. Then is the blubber put into cask, and carried to the choppers; and by them it is chopped, and put into the coppers; and ther it is tryed, and reduced to oile.
Voor dit artikel is gebruik gemaakt van het gedigitaliseerde journaal van Robert Fotherby, dat deel uitmaakt van de collectie van de American Antiquarian Society (AAS). Het is in 1814 als een geschenk van John Howland aan de AAS gegeven. De complete verwijzing naar het document in de collectie is:
Robert Fotherby Journal, 1613, Mss folio volumes F, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester MA. Het complete journaal is gepubliceerd in: Samuel F. Haven, "Voyage to Spitzbergen," Transacations of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. IV, pp. 284-315. The watercolors appear in Edward Pellham, _Gods power a providence ..._ R. Y[oung] [for?] J. Partridge, 1631.
Op de website van de AAS is de digitale versie van “Narrative of a Voyage to Spitzbergen in the Year 1613: At the Charge of the Fellowship of English Merchants for the Discovery of New Trades, Commonly Called the Muscovy Company. With a Description of the Country, and the Operations of the Whale-Fishery.” in te zien en te downloaden. Klik hier voor het journaal. Een door Samuel F. Haven bewerkte versie is ook als e-book verkrijgbaar.
De hier gebruikte afbeeldingen zijn de in lage resolutie (tot 72 dpi) door de AAS vanuit haar GIGI digitale catalogus beschikbaar gestelde beelden. In de tekst zijn de afbeeldingen voorzien van de door de AAS voorgestelde credit line: "Courtesy, American Antiquarian Society."