Reported capture of a whale.
--We take the following from the Petersburg Express
, of the 7th inst.:
We have reports of the capture of a monster whale off Cape Henry Light House several days ago. Yesterday week a young man named Waterfield, residing near the coast, observed a huge dark mass, apparently stranded, lying a short distance off from land, which resembled very much, as he thought, the hull of some immense ship — bottom upwards.
On proceeding to the object in a canoe, what was his surprise and consternation to behold the carcass of a monster sperm whale, which had become beached, by some means, and, being unable to get away, had died.
What to do with ‘"the thing,"’ young Waterfield did not know, except to hurry back to land and advise with his friends about it. This he did, but in the meantime the side arose and drifted the whale some ten miles below its position, when it was again washed ashore.
Here it was secured by the Southerners, and a fair view taken of its pro proportions.
Subsequently steps were taken to convert it into oil.
An immense number of visitors, as soon as the matter became generally known, flocked to the coast from every direction to gratify their curiosity, and we learn that all of them were more than astonished — even confounded by the rare sight.
It is announced, on the authority of a most ‘"reliable"’ gentleman, that, by actual measurement, the distance between this whale's eyes was found to be eighteen feet, and that the tongue,
on being taken out and balanced, weighed considerably over one thousand pounds.
The body was supposed to be between seventy-five and one hundred feet in length, and the greatest circumference thirty-five or forty feet. The yield of oil is estimated at about 500 barrels, which is very valuable at this time.
The best sperm oil
would very readily bring $5 per gallon in this market.
Two things puzzle us in regard to this matter: How that immense tongue was gotten out and so accurately weighed, and why the Lincolnites did not ‘"shell"’ the whale?
We shall probably hear more about the affair to-day.