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A Broken Harpoon: 4th July, 1811

July 4, 2011

With the rigging set, the Resolution began her long journey south, but with a little space left in the hold, the men were still on the lookout for whales. Scoresby observed whales travelling west at 3-4 knots, and then, around midnight, a whale surfaced next to the ship, and was struck. The whale began to move quickly in one direction and then another, making it difficult for the boats to close in, but a second harpoon struck home “and immediately afterwards the first broke in the shank”. Scoresby attributed the breakage to the harpoon being cold, and therefore brittle. Although it was “very much used,” it was “the only one of 12 which “stood not the test”.

The whale was killed, and after rearranging the now crowded decks, the blubber was brought on board. Again the Resolution made way to the south, keeping the pack of ice “aboard” or nearby.

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