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    Re: Longitude sight, South Pacific, 1864
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2018 May 15, 18:36 -0700

    That line at the bottom I think says,
    "Did not lower, whale going to windward, thick snow storm".

    Here "did not lower" means they did not lower the little whaleboats to go hunting.

    They whaled in frequent snow squalls on this voyage. Remember, this is in the latitude of Boston, but we're not far from the coast of Siberia here. Winters are serious! Unless you can find a nice warm spring...

    I love the lurid image of these poorly-paid, poorly-educated men in a crew from countries all across the Pacific out there in fragile little wooden boats stabbing at giant mammals with wooden spears in heavy snow. It's like a scene right out of the last "Ice Age" with Wooly Mammoths replaced by Right Whales. The blood and gore staining the snow are just the same, and the level of education hasn't changed much either. But these hunters could sail halfway around the globe to do their brutal work... thanks to sextants and logarithms. Thousands of years of science and mathematics... but they're still chasing megafauna with pointy sticks. And the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago ( * ).

    Frank Reed


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