Part 1

The Brig-Schooner "Pilgrim"

OnFebruary2,1876,theschooner"Pilgrim"wasinlatitude43°57’south,andinlongitude165°19’westofthemeridianofGreenwich.

Thisvessel,offourhundredtons,fittedoutatSanFranciscoforwhale-fishinginthesouthernseas,belongedtoJamesW.Weldon,arichCalifornianship-owner,whohadforseveralyearsintrustedthecommandofittoCaptainHull.

The"Pilgrim"wasoneofthesmallest,butoneofthebestofthatflotilla,whichJamesW.Weldonsenteachseason,notonlybeyondBehringStrait,asfarasthenorthernseas,butalsointhequartersofTasmaniaorofCapeHorn,asfarastheAntarcticOcean.Shesailedinasuperiormanner.Herveryeasilymanagedriggingpermittedhertoventure,withafewmen,insightoftheimpenetrablefieldsoficeofthesouthernhemisphere.CaptainHullknewhowtodisentanglehimself,asthesailorssay,fromamongthoseicebergs,which,duringthesummer,driftbythewayofNewZealandortheCapeofGoodHope,underamuchlowerlatitudethanthatwhichtheyreachinthenorthernseasoftheglobe.Itistruethatonlyicebergsofsmalldimensionswerefoundthere;theywerealreadywornbycollisions,eatenawaybythewarmwaters,andthegreaternumberofthemweregoingtomeltinthePacificortheAtlantic.

UnderthecommandofCaptainHull,agoodseaman,andalsooneofthemostskilfulharpoonersoftheflotilla,wasacrewcomposedoffivesailorsandanovice.Itwasasmallnumberforthiswhale-fishing,whichrequiresagoodmanypersons.

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