Thomas Crawford's Diary, 1825

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“Soon after breakfast, a few sharks were seen”

Entry for 01/08/1825

Monday 1st. Augt. Soon after breakfast a few sharks were seen about, close by the ship; one of the men very ingeniously with a simple running loop put a rope over one of their heads, which did not hold by the head but by the tail & all hands were busy pulling it up. Before bringing it up on deck the cook made an incision in his belly with a carving knife while hanging by the tail, & it made very great exertions to lay hold of the Cook, in cutting it up. After having cut up the belly we brought it on deck & cut off his tail when the blood ran very forcefully; & all were waiting to lay hold of a fin the tail head & all & in a few minutes we completely striped him of every thing & threw the carcass over. I was told by Mr. Littleton that without the tail it measured seven feet; the tail would measure about a foot or something more. A small part of its tail was afterwards dressed for dinner, of which I partook, but it really was strong rank food; not so delicate & pallateable as turbot. The portion of it that I eat was very trifling. We have seen a few whales pretty near the ship & almost as large, as Capt. Crear told us.