Jim Whitelaw at the bow gun of a whale chaser
Original photo Auckland Weekly News
Russell Lights - Vol 9 Issue 3 - Feb 2006
Whangamumu / Windy Harbour
Whangamumu had a shore whaling station in the 1840s but it wasn't until the Cook brothers started in the 1890s that whaling became well established.
Initially whaleboats but later a steam whaler and fast whale chasers were used.
The largest catch was in 1927 with 74 humpbacks being processed for 388 tons of oil and 70 tons of bone dust.
The industry employed a lot of local men, particularly from the Rawhiti area.
The Cooks operated their shore whaling station until the 1930s. A final season in the 1940s was not economic due partly to declining numbers of passing whales.
This photo shows Jim Whitelaw at the bow gun of a whale chaser. Ahead the stricken whale blows blood. Not a good sight today but a part of our history.