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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No. 74 “Standing on top of a Whale”

On Friday, 18 February 1898, Elder William Hansen, a Mormon missionary from Logan, Utah was visiting with friends he had made at Harkers Island. Word soon spread that the crew of Thomas Lewis had brought in a whale on the beach at Shackleford. Anxious to see the cause for all the commotion, the visitor and his companion accompanied a party to the Banks. That evening he wrote in his journal about what was one of the last whale catches ever made off of Diamond City.

"We soon found ourselves in a boat and shortly were landed on what was called “The Banks” where we beheld the whale. It was lying partly in the water and partly out of the water; seven feet were in the water, and eight feet above water, making the whale fifteen feet through. The whale was sixty feet long and weighed about fifty tons. The crew anticipated securing from its body about 4,800 gallons of oil. The bone in the whale’s mouth, which is the most expensive part of the whale, was eleven feet long, three feet wide, and thirty inches thick. With the oil from the bone the crew expected realizing about $1,800.00.
"There is something very peculiar about a whale. It has fifty‑two joints in its back bone, the same number as the weeks in a year. And it has three hundred and sixty‑five bones in its mouth, the same number as the days in a year. When on top of this fish it seemed as though we were on a small island."

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