Whalers were attracted to New Zealand by the numerous sperm whales to the north and east of North Cape. This engraving by Joel Samuel Polack shows whaling in the area in 1838, when there were many American whalers. The American sea shanty in this sound clip refers to ‘a thousand whales off the coast of New Zealand’. Two verses are sung by Wellington’s Bach Choir.
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Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
Sound file from Bach Choir of Wellington