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Petticoat Whalers 7:30 - 9:00 P.M. ZOOM
For more than 200 years, American sailing ships roamed the world’s oceans in search of whales and the precious oil contained in their blubber. Whaling voyages could be long and sometimes dangerous. No less than other professions in those decades, it was considered men’s work, and sailor’s wives stayed at home.
By the end of the 19th century, as whaling was dying out as an industry, it was common for wives to go to sea with their captain husbands. Once they were at sea, they faced many constraints because of their sex—they were forbidden to engage in any of the work of sailing the ship or hunting whales-- but had to cope with all the challenges that beset every one of the crew—storms, illness, poor food, boredom and homesickness.
This talk will examine what it was like for those women who went to sea—“sister sailors” they called each other. What motivated them? What were living conditions like on whale ships? How did they spend their time? How did they regard the crew, and how did the crew regard them? What constraints and dangers did they face? Did wives bring their children?
NOTE: This program is being presented by our sister village, Wellesley Neighbors. While you will need to RSVP to NAH, the program link will be sent from Wellesley Neighbors.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 7:30 PM until 9:00 PM