Whaler’s Cove, Point Lobos, California

Whaler’s Cove, Point Lobos, California

Whaler’s Cove, Point Lobos, California. The location is steeped in history of  whaling activities.  Portuguese whalers from the Azore Islands arrived at Point Lobos in 1861.   They set up living quarters in the meadow at the southeast end of Whalers Cove. Comprising one of 16 shore whaling stations established on the west coast of California, the whalers and their families made up a small community of 50-60 people. About 15-20 men were part of a crew that hunted Gray whales that migrate along the California coast between mid-December and May. From the top of Whalers Knoll, a lookout would spot passing whales and then raise a flag to signal the crews down at the cove. Open-top boats were rowed out to sea where men would try their luck with harpoons. If a whale was killed, it was towed back to the cove, hoisted out of the water and its blubber sliced into large strips. Next the blubber was cut into smaller chunks and melted in large iron cauldrons called “try pots”, to produce oil used primarily for lamp fuel. With the advent of kerosene lamps in the late 1880’s, demand for whale oil slacked off and the local whaling industry fell on hard times. There was a brief revival of whaling operations at Point Lobos in 1897 when a Japanese company set up business, but this operation lasted only a few years.

The Whaling Station Museum at Whalers Cove is the only on-site whaling museum on the west coast. It documents the historic whaling activities at Point Lobos with displays of historic whaling equipment and exhibit panels describing the lives of the whalers and their families. Next to the museum, you can see two of the old try pots used to boil whale blubber and view parts of a Fin whale skeleton that are over 100 years old.  For more information follow this link to http://www.pointlobos.org/cultural-history/history-point-lobos

Special Note–As a member of Professional Photographer’s of America, I entered this photograph into our once yearly 2015 International Photographic Competition. The photo has not only MERITED, but it will be entered into our general collection book which will be printed by Marathon Press.

Portland Metropolitan Photographers Association / Oregon Professional Photographers Association, merited photos (PMPA became OPPA in Feb. 2014)

gold-star Professional Photographers of America/IPC Aug. 2015

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