PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
Since writing the first edition of this book the author has been able to accomplish a long wished for voyage of discovery to the ports of old-time whaling - Nantucket and New Bedford. Salem and Fairhaven were visited too, and then after crossing the Atlantic, that famous Norwegian of to-day - Professor Johan Hjort of Oslo - graciously invited him to inspect Sandefjord, the modern counterpart of the New Bedford of 1850.
The Librarians and Museum Curators of many treasure houses in the sea ports of New England were kind and helpful beyond all expectations. But outstanding was Mr William H. Tripp of New Bedford, the present curator of the famous Whaling Museum of that town. Perhaps it was not surprising that two men so fond of old sailing ships should have found pleasure together - besides, it was exciting comparing notes. Mr Tripp's old log-books referred to Australian ships and places of one hundred years ago. Our log-books and old newspapers referred to American ships of the same epoch. It was like fitting in two parts of a puzzle. Then there were relics to examine and the oldest whale-ship in existence to board and clamber over.
And finally the seat of modern whaling science was visited - the Discovery Office in London, where another warm welcome was extended by an old friend, Dr Kemp, who has directed the British investigations of the Antarctic whaling during the last eleven years.
To all these gentlemen I am deeply grateful.
Naturally many additions have been made to the book and a new chapter has been written, in which the story of the whale has been brought up to the present date. Some of the illustrations of the first edition have been replaced by others so that the book now bears a different appearance. I trust that it will find the same warm welcome its predecessor had.
I feel it necessary here to express my special thanks to my wife who made the long voyage with me and spent many days "combing" almost indecipherable log-books from ancient ships, and to my research assistant, Miss I. Bennett, for most helpful assistance in both editions.