Last weekend, when we were up in Boston visiting children for Easter, we all went to the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Though we may detest the thought of whaling now, it once was a thriving industry as whale oil was a precious commodity before other forms of fuel were found. The museum was a fascinating place, bringing the majesty of these incredible, awesome creatures together with man’s struggle to capture them.
The scrimshaw displays were amazing. Such artists to carve tiny, intricate things into ivory! I peered through a little peephole in one of the rooms and saw the tiniest diorama.
What made a surprising impact on me, however, was a little fifteen-minute film that played in their small auditorium. It was about what fishermen have to go through today in order to bring us the fish we buy in the supermarket. It’s not like wrestling that fleeing chicken to the ground and hauling it in a truck to the store so I can fry it up with mashed potatoes. Fishing those big fish is downright dangerous! From the early days of the fishing industry, men have lost their lives bringing us those fish. Tuna and swordfish and other large fish live way out in the ocean, and storms can toss about a fishing vessel with devastating effects. If you have never seen the movie The Perfect Storm, you should. You will never take for granted that piece of fish on your plate again. Once, when we visited Gloucester, Massachusetts, we saw a memorial to all the fishermen who had lost their lives in that community, including those shown in that movie. Sobering! Thank you, Gorton fishermen!