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The Whaling Ship Essex
Main Title You Wouldn't Want to be a Roman Gladiator!
You sign up as cabin boy aboard the Essex for a 2-3 year voyage to the whaling grounds of the Pacific. You join three of your young friends who sign on as sailors. The 21-man crew is a mixed group of experienced whalers and ‘green hands’ – those who have never sailed on a whaling ship before. You aren’t paid wages, but have to negotiate a share, or ‘lay’, of the future profits for the voyage. The last cabin boy’s lay was about $150 for two years’ work!
You Wouldn't Want to be an Egyptian Mummy!
You Wouldn't Want to be a Polar Explorer
THE ESSEX
With an overall length of 29 yards (26.5 m), the Essex has 12 sails and carries several smaller whaleboats that are launched whenever a whale is sighted.
Ship Top
Introduction
Nantucket: Whaling Capital of the World Life Aboard Ship
Nantucket: Whaling Capital of the World
The ship has already completed several successful whaling voyages before you sail from Nantucket harbour on August 12, 1819.
The Essex
About this Title
Ship Middle
Life Aboard Ship
Whaling Links on the Web
There She Blows!
SHip Bottom
Salariya Book Company
Nantucket Sleigh Ride
THE CREW
Below, in charge is Captain George Pollard. There are also two mates, three boatsteerers, a steward, 13 sailors and a cabin boy (you). The sailors include seven African Americans, one of whom deserts the ship on the outbound voyage.
Flensing the Whale
Trying Out the Whale
Stove by a Whale
YOUR FRIENDS: below right, aged 14, you are the youngest member of the crew. Your friends are also still boys: Charles Ramsdell (age 15), Barzillai Ray (age 18) and Owen Coffin (age 17). Coffin is the captain’s cousin.
Alone in the Pacific
Starvation, Madness, and Cannibalism
The Homecoming

HANDY HINT
Take your own clothing. The captain will charge you for any clothes he supplies to you. He will charge you interest too and take it from your share of the profits. Don't forget, because whaling can be a dirty, smelly business.
Based on the book, You Wouldn't Want to Sail on a 19th-Century Whaling Ship!
Copyright 2004 - the Salariya Book Company
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