The equatorial belt of waters surrounding the earth, between the tropics, whose temperature is generally 80° of Fahrenheit, is as a sea of fire to the ‘right’ whale.
It would be as certain death for this species of whale to attempt to cross these waters, as for a human being to plunge into a burning lake.
The proof of this is that the ‘right’ whale of the northern hemisphere is never found in the southern hemisphere, or e converse
. It is a separate and distinct species of fish.
See how beneficent, therefore, the arrangement is, by which the food for these monsters of the deep is transported from the tepid waters, into which they cannot enter in pursuit of it, to the cooler waters in which they delight to gambol.
Stream is the great food-carrier for the extra-tropical whales of the northern hemisphere.
An intelligent sea-captain, writing to Superintendent Maury
of the National Observatory
, some years before the war, informed him, that in the Gulf
Stream, off the coast of Florida
, he fell in with ‘such a school of young sea-nettles, as had never before been heard of.’
The sea was literally covered with them for many square leagues.
He likened them, in appearance, to acorns floating on the water, but they were so thick as completely to cover the sea. He was bound to England
, and was five or six days in sailing through them.
In about sixty days afterward, on his return voyage, he fell in with the same school off the Azores
, and here he was three or four days in passing them again.
He recognized them as the same, for he had never before seen any quite like them; and on both occasions he frequently hauled up buckets full, and examined them.
In their adventurous voyage of sixty days, during which they must have been tossed about in several gales of wind, these little marine animals had grown considerably, and already the whales had begun to devour them; for the school was now so much diminished in size, that the captain was enabled to sail through it, in three or four days, instead of the five or six which it had formerly taken him. We see, thus, that the fishes of the sea have their seed-time and harvest; that the same beneficent hand that decks the lilies of the field in garments more superb than those of Solomon, and feeds the young raven, seeds down the great equatorial belt of waters for the fishes; and that