Courtesy of the Trustees of the New Bedford Free Public Library
Once the crew in the whaleboat was able to get close to a harpooned whale, the boatsteerer would change places with the harpooner to use a sharp iron tool called a lance to kill the whale. This oil painting by Clifford W. Ashley depicts that moment of the hunt. The other crew members can be seen holding tight to the rope which is attached to the harpoon, and hanging onto to an oar and the boat. The whale's tail appears close, giving an idea of how dangerous it could be. Oil on canvas.