Nantucket Sleigh Ride Whaleboat

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

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© 2009 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

*Back in the days when America relied on whale oil for a wide variety of essentials, including lighting, large whaling vessels would ship out to harpoon and slaughter these magnificent mammals of the sea.

The island of Nantucket, just off the coast of Massachusetts, was home port for a great number of these ships and because there was a vast amount of whaling not far off the island, gave its name to wild ride whalers in these small boats would experience after harpooning a whale.

When a whale was sighted, a number of the crew would set out in the whaleboat. When they got close enough to the whale, the harpooner would stand on the bow and harpoon it. The whale in its agony would begin to swim in an attempt to get away and dislodge the harpoon.

Because the rope of the harpoon was fast to the boat, the whale dragged the whaleboat behind it at speeds up to 23 miles per hour, until, exhausted, it was killed by the crew and dragged back to the whaling vessel.

Digitally sketched and watercolored from an original photograph of an authentic whaleboat shot at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut in August 2009.*

Artwork Comments

  • artisandelimage
  • RC deWinter
  • jeanniechris
  • RC deWinter
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