Whaling off Cloudy Bay from the 'Charles W. Morgan' 1852

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Whaling off Cloudy Bay from the ‘Charles W. Morgan’ 1852

Oil on canvas
70 x 110 cm


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The morning breaks and the sea mist is clearing in Cloudy Bay, Cook Strait. The American whaling ship Charles W. Morgan is laid to with her whaling boats embarking for the first kill of the day.

The harpooner is positioned and poised, ready to strike one of many Southern Right Whales that are passing through Cook Strait.

Known for being extremely slow swimmers, the Southern Right Whales were hunted to near extinction. This method of whaling was known as Bay Whaling and common throughout New Zealand, as opposed to deep water whaling where the whalers were in pursuit of the more lucrative, but dangerous, mighty Sperm Whale.

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