Friday, February 25, 2011

tub of scooch

Mr. Willie T. Whaler is certainly looking annoyed and no wonder! The captain is planning to go searching for another whale (five and forty more) easting down, which could mean, according to either
1. the passage eastward from the Cape of Good Hope, as made by a sailing ship bound for Australia or the East Indies.


2. the passage eastward from Australia, as made by a sailing ship bound for Cape Horn.

Either of which is a looooong way from the Whaler Bar!

Willie is jonesing for Scotch - I assume that's what "a tub of scooch" is - and apparently the bark The Wanderer doesn't carry any Scotch - normally Willie only refers to rum or rum-based drinks aboard that worthy vessel. I guess he likes to get a little variety into his endless boozing.

But what's the captain been smoking? He's going to the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn for a whale? Unless Willie's engaging in a little hyperbole. Looks like Willie will have to get by on rum for awhile. Oh no!

Here is a more detailed definition of "five and forty more" from the intriguing web site Girl on a Whale Ship:
"Five & forty more" was a phrase shouted by the crew when the last piece of blubber from any catch was swung inboard. It refers to 45 barrels, which is the average take from a single whale. No matter what size of the whale was, the call was never varied.