Whale of a time…in the 80’s

The long boats seen in Horta harbour are the original whaling boats that put to sea up until the 1980’s. They were towed out by the launch to wherever a whale was sighted, then rowed or sailed sometimes for hours, and when a whale was in range drew alongside. The harpoon expert threw from the bow and the attached line ran out through the slot seen in the bow.

After a messy fight the motor launch would drag the whale back to a holding buoy just before the whale factory. At it’s peak in about 1952 about 160 whales were processed for oil and fertilizer.

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