Voyage to the Arctic: A Whaler's Tale

Captain's Log

Logbooks were kept by the Captain (or sometimes a Mate) throughout a ship's journey. Once a whale had been caught, it needed to be logged in the Captain's Logbook.


Look at the example on the right. This is a Logbook from the whale ship 'Swan', written during a voyage in 1817. The Captain was Joseph Taylor. 


The Captain of the whaling ship would use a special kind of stamp shaped like a whale's tail to show that a whale had been caught. (Look at the bottom image on the right.)


Other day-to-day entries in the Logbook recorded the ship's position (its location), weather conditions, wind direction, notes about any places that the ship had stopped off at, accidents and any sicknesses on board, and anything else the logkeeper thought might be important. 

Document icon Learning article provided by: Hull Maritime Museum | 
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