crew of the whaler SS Hope, together with their dog, at the Boilyards
on Keith Inch, Peterhead, sometime in 1880.
on board a whaling vessel was hard and the work cruel and brutal.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, the entertainment enjoyed by the men
could be robust, to say the least, as the following extracts from
an 1831 Diary of a Whaling Voyage (Aberdeen University Library
MS 673) make clear:
sailors sometimes when they have nothing to do amuse themselves
by taking mallemuts (fulmars) with
a hook and line. They twist their wings together and make them
fight. They also sometimes push one of them down the galley
chimney by which they are blackened by the soot. When the bird
finally is set at liberty the poor being is persecuted to death
by its fellows --------------."
fired many shots at fulmars and took 4. They bite severely with
their formidable beak. When two, wounded fulmars come in contatct
in the boat's bottom they continue to fight till one of them
was killed. Sailors often amuse themselves by making thenm fight
like game cocks.
are very tenaceous of life when hung up by the feet."
Crew of a Peterhead whaler, onshore, Peterhead