The Fluke Heft 34
2019 - issue 1
Cachalotpresse, Emden, Duitsland
The Fluke is a magazine about whales and whaling in German language with an emphasis on the history and collecting of paraphernalia. It also contains accounts on whaling voyages, book reviews and news about strandings, conservation and the biology of whales.
There is a lot of criticism from Europe on Japan because of Japanese whaling. Only a few people are aware that Norway and Iceland are also whaling countries. Not many people are interested in the historical and cultural roots of Japanese whaling. In this Fluke there are two articles about the history of organised whaling in Japan. This goes back to the end of the 16th century when boats were launched from the coasts and whales were caught with harpoons and nets, "entanglement" avant la lettre. The Japanese society is deeply influenced by two religious traditions: Shintoisme and Budhisme, they both emphasise a respectfull relation with animals and nature. The souls of whales were regular honored with small memorials. Sometimes whale fetuses were respectfully burried.
You can find the largest painting of the world in New Bedford. It has a length of 400 meter and a height of 2,5 meter. It's title is "The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage around the World" and it descibes the voyage of a whaler and depicts many interesting whaling locations. Thomas Lika describes in this Fluke this painting and thereby depicts lively American whaling around 1850.
The story of Moby Dick is wellknown but not everybody knows that this story is based on a true history, the sinking of the "Essex", an American whaler, on November 20th 1820. The Essex was rammed by an enormous spermwhale bull. Claus Barthelmess describes this event in a compelling way in this Fluke.
Beside these stories there are also notes on whale collectables and philatelic emissions. There is also an interesting story about the stranding of a spemwhale calve on the Scottish coast which includes a map of strandings of female spermwhales in Great Brittain. Furthermore there is a account of a voyage to Svalbard and a story on contemporary Iceandic whaling. And lots more.
Raymond Haselager & Lambert van Es