Monday, May 5, 2014

Moby Dick, Whaling and Fishing in New Bedford

I haven't read Moby Dick.  Ah, confession is good for the soul.  I agree that it is a work of literary genius.  I've tried to read it more than once.  The truth is, I have no interest in tales of the high seas. 

Assuming that The New Bedford Whaling Museum was pretty much dedicated to Herman Mellville and THE WHALE, it never got on the agenda for a visit....

...until now.  On a misty/rainy Saturday, Stefan and I decided to keep dry and pay a visit to the museum.  It turned out to be a very good decision.  A visitor is started out with two documentaries.  The first is on whaling.  During the 19th century, New Bedford was perhaps the most important whaling and fishing port in the world.  Today, it is one of the largest fishing ports in the U.S. 

A replica of a whaling ship with whaling boats attached.  The whalers would say goodbye to their loved ones and be gone for years.  Many never returned from their extremely dangerous job.  

Just viewing this cut out of the quarters for the crew made me claustrophobic!

The rooftops of New Bedford looking toward the port.

Fishing boats home from the sea.  Depending on the catch, these boats go out for up to ten days.  It is still a dangerous job.  The second documentary was about the current fishing industry.  We "went" to sea with the fishermen.  The fishing boats are even smaller than the whalers.  One needs to really like their co-workers!!

It was a morning well spent.  We came away with a greater respect for the whalers of old and the present day fishing industry.  

I still don't plan to read Moby Dick!!


  1. Fishing is a dangerous job and a dedicated one.
    I love the movie with Gregory Peck.

  2. Interesting and great pics, but I don't intend on reading Moby Dick either!

  3. Such a pretty spot..
    I could not sleep in those quarters either.I like than name..Stefan:)

  4. I much prefer the roof tops over those beds and they made me claustrophobic to and i am not even there... beautiful harbor and i never finished Moby Dick either

  5. Very interesting post, Bonnie. How did the men survive being at sea in such confined spaces? It must have been a very hard life. I don't remember reading Moby Dick. It would have had to be when I was in college.

  6. Yes, Fishing (like they do) can be a rough job I'm sure... LOTS of work!!!! I wouldn't ever want to do it.. I did read Moby Dick (tons of years ago) --but the one movie which really sticks out in my head was "The Perfect Storm"... Did you see it???

    Hope you had a great time in New England --and got lots of great FOOD up there while you were there. I love New England Clam Chowder... AND--once while visiting friends at Andover, they served me my FIRST lobster....


  7. You visited my old stomping grounds :) Nice pictures and I prefer sitting in a lounge chair by the lake holding a fishing rod!

  8. My younger brother lives in a suburb near New Bedford--it is an interesting town! We've visited this museum and the Fredrick Douglass house and the underground railroad trail that is part of the history of whaling. Many escaped slaves would go on extended whaling expeditions as it was a good way to hide and earn money. I did read Moby Dick when I was young--it was a challenge to read, but a compelling story.

  9. I have so much enjoyed today's post, Bonnie! From first look with the colorful octopus lingering at the entrance to greet visitors, right to the last shots of the ships, which is my favorite picture. There are so many and they are so crowded. I have always wanted to visit New England and hope you have lots more pictures. About the whalers being gone so long, I had no idea!! If I had to sleep in the top part of that bed, I would absolutely croak!

  10. I had no idea whalers could be gone for years. I would have been a very worried wife...

  11. I was a weekend warrior boat person for seven years in a previous life... I can't imagine 2 years straight on one!!! Sounds like you enjoyed your rainy day:@)

  12. A beautiful town...I can almost smell the ocean looking at your photos! :)


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