Stow away and clean up

The average sperm whale produced forty-five barrels of oil. As the crew filled the final casks with cooled oil and stowed them in the lower main hold, they often called out "Hurrah for five and forty more!" The lower deck held 2,400 barrels of oil and required as many as seventy whales to fill it.

As the crew released the carcass from its chains, sharks scavenged the whale remains. Meanwhile, men on board started the hard work of scrubbing the ship clean. They washed the deck with sand and water several times and polished the try-pots, but never fully removed the odor of the butchered whale. Even as some men washed away the messy remains of one whale, others were on the lookout for the sign of another on the horizon.

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image of lookout

New Bedford Whaling Museum