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A Familiar Cetacean.

Mr Mannington, Qaffyn, "writes to the " Argus " us follows : An instance of sustained endurance on the part of a sperm whale was witnessed by us during our passage round the Cape m the s.s. Port Adelaide that you may consider worth recording. ■ On the morning of the 17th July a sperm whale was noticed alongside. The creature was about 47ft long, and light, with brown patches about him. He was quite fearless, and spent the whole day diving under the ship, first blowing on one side and then on the other, and m such ' close proximity to the vessel that one might have touched him frequently with an ordinary fishing rod. My ; boy and several of- the, other children amused themselves by throwing potatoes into his blow holes. When successful the potatoes were ejected with great violence. The chief officer fjossetfhalf- ft" empty' cask on to his head, and' fpr a moment it rested there, giving the anijnal a very strange appeariwce. The Mrliole, of that night he. remained tfj us, and from thence on until the i'nqroing of the 22nd, haying spent four ' gjifcire 4ays"witih u,s, and. travelled. 880

miles at a pace varying from seven to 10| knots. The two last days he spent beneath the ship's quarter, where the effort to swim was considerably lessened by fihe ship's current. Once or twice during the Last day he dived under us, and on the last occasion severely scratched his back (for about Bft along the spine) against Hie bottom. Only on one occasion did he come m contact with the propeller, and then % piece of fiesh about the size of one's hand was removed from the side of his head. In the opinion of everyone on board, he had by the close of the third day grown very much thinner, that he was growing weary wap painfully obvious from the increased frequency of his spouting—which spouting by the way was very disagreeable, quite preventing the use of one side of the main deck as a promenade. At first the sight of a whale alongside, so near that one could have jumped upon it with ease, was a constant source of amusement to both children and adults, but gradually either from the little jokes about Jonah, or the fact that our boiler tubes started leaking, the idea took possession of both crew and passengers that he brought bad luck for us, and when at last he went away the whole ship gave a sigh of relief.

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Bibliographic details

A Familiar Cetacean., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2506, 1 September 1890

Word Count

A Familiar Cetacean. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2506, 1 September 1890

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