Barbados TravelAdvisor

Nothing but the facts on Barbados Travel
It is currently Sun May 28, 2017 8:26 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours

Welcome to Barbados TravelAdvisor!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. In addition, registered members also see less advertisements. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free, so please, join our community today!

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:55 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:41 pm
Posts: 2433
Location: Bristol County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA

Barbados is seeing more whale activities off these shores, says Faheem Patel, dive master with the Dive Shop Ltd and marine photographer.

Patel is reporting that just yesterday a dive team spotted some whales just off the south coast near Worthing.

“This year and especially over the past month we've been hearing the whale calls quite often on our dives along the south coast. Sometimes the calls are so loud that we often look back expecting to see a giant behind us. We've spotted them from shore and fishermen are reporting seeing them from a distance,” said Patel, who is also a final year medical student at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Patel said there were 12 people on the dive boat at the time adding that he geared up and jumped in the water with the calf.

Life's a beach!
Save Mullins Bay -

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:52 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:13 pm
Posts: 70
Sounds like the whales are coming back to Barbados in greater numbers if there are now sightings off the south coast. Normally sightings in recent years have been mainly off the north and west coasts. The following is an interesting interview with a late member of one of the whaling families of Speightstown. His name was Elmer Jordan and he ran Elmer's Supermarket in Speightstown which was located opposite what is now Jordan's Supermarket (no relation, AFAIK) in what is now the Town Square Shopping Centre. Elmer lived in Gibbses opposite High Trees at the house which now has a boat parked out front. He and his wife are buried in the crypt at St. Peter's Parish Church in Speightstown.

"The Exploitative History and Present Status of Marine Mammals in Barbados, W.I.

Appendix I

Transcript of a videotape interview with Elmer Jordan, son of Percy Jordan, last owner of the C.H.P. Jordan whaling station in Speightstown. Also present: Charles Jordan, Elmer’s son, Ina Jordan, Elmer’s wife, Joel Creswell, and Aldemaro Romero

Elmer Jordan: I’m going to start off with a story. We used to have windmills here, when they would grow sugarcane. They used to grind the sugarcane with these windmills. We didn’t have factories or anything like that. After they crushed the cane, they used to have what they call a boiling house.

Charles Jordan: Who used to own this? This was your Uncle Percy, right? (Referring to whaling implements on the table, out of view of the camera)

Elmer Jordan: My Uncle Percy.

Charles Jordan: My great uncle.

Elmer Jordan: There are two pieces there. The whale gun, what they call the bomb-lance; this has an explosive in it. After they harpoon the whale, they used to use this... That was what killed the whale.

Charles Jordan: Getting away from that, this old gun, written down here, has a serial on it, 11.

Aldemaro Romero: Where was it made?

Charles Jordan: I don’t know that. Even the way that they were loaded, because they weren’t front-loaded, they were loaded from behind. It was actually loaded this way (demonstrates loading the whale gun with the bomb-lance, shown on camera), through the back, and then this was the clip, it was closed down. It still works. And this actually weighs 25 pounds. Very very heavy.

Elmer Jordan: They always had to get powerful people to use it, because, as you know, if you put that to your shoulder, you can’t hold it too long.

Aldemaro Romero: I’m sure that the recoil would have been very very strong.

Charles Jordan: Because I would think they would have had to have a rope and everything tied on to this too you know.

Elmer Jordan: No, they didn’t have a rope on that there.

Charles Jordan: No?

Elmer Jordan: No, the rope was on the harpoon.

Joel Creswell: And the harpoon was just thrown by hand?

Elmer Jordan: The harpoon was thrown by hand.

Aldemaro Romero: So when did they start using the guns instead of just handheld harpoons?

Elmer Jordan: They used the harpoon first, and the whale would run all them over the bay at a terrific speed. Most of your whale boats, you see, were very light, and actually you should tire out the whale. The whale will get tired, you know. Then you would run him down, he would come to top, and then they would shoot him with the gun. That thing there, that you call the bomb lance, has the explosive in it, and that was what killed the whale.

Charles Jordan: That would have the charge in it, then? That would have had the explosive charge in it?

Elmer Jordan: Yeah, the explosive charge.

Aldemaro Romero: How many people worked there, on the boat, chasing the whales.

Elmer Jordan: I don’t know. I can tell you that there were – when I was a youngster, there were just two whale boats then. Those whale boats were about 25-30 feet long and they used to use oars. I don’t think the ones I saw had sails. They converted them into fishing boats with two masts. They used to use the oars to run the whale down.

Charles Jordan: How many oarsmen?

Elmer Jordan: I don’t know.

Charles Jordan: They would have had at least four, six pairs of oars.

Elmer Jordan: At least. They had at least a dozen people with those oars.

Aldemaro Romero: In St. Vincent, they used at least four people. One watching where the whale was, one steering the boat, and then the harpooner and a helper to the harpooner.

Elmer Jordan: Did they have rudders?

Aldemaro Romero: Yes.

Elmer Jordan: Well you’d have a man there to steer, and the man on the bow with the harpoon and the gun. I don’t know if they were separate, if the man with the gun was separate from the harpooner. There were two of those. There were about 10 men maybe, or a dozen people.

Joel Creswell: They would be sailing when they were out looking for the whales, and they would use the oars?

Elmer Jordan: I am not sure. When I knew these boats, they were rigged, they were fishing boats. They were converted, you know. I don’t think you sailed when you were running down a whale. You’d control it better with the oars.

I’ll give you a story…My old lady, in the old days they didn’t have stoves like we have, you know, they used to have a grill and they used to get some stones and put these things across, so she took them one of those, they used it, and put the pot on. She lit it and the whole thing blew up. Pot and everything went flying. I’ve often heard that. My uncle used to own a whaling business, and there’s another fellow called Skinner, he used to own one.

Joel Creswell: He owned the one in Holetown, right?

Elmer Jordan: There was one in Holetown?

Joel Creswell: Yeah.

Elmer Jordan: There were three of them then.

Joel Creswell: Three of them?

Elmer Jordan: Three or two?

Joel Creswell: Two is what I read.

Elmer Jordan: I’m not sure. I heard they had one in Holetown. I’m not sure if my uncle bought Skinner’s or if Skinner bought the one from Holetown, but there were two there in Speightstown. They used to bring the whales in to the jetty and cut them up. The sharks were all around. The sharks came in to get the, what they call the blubber. Charles has the things to cut the blubber, to draw knives in. They said the people and sharks used to swim together. The sharks never attacked them or anything. People there used to say that the sharks ate the blubber and that etched their teeth out, and that way they won’t bite the people. They have their stories in all these things. But I started to tell you about the windmills, and they used to boil the sugar, the cane juice, in different stages. They would boil it in one long, big…and then they would shift it from one to the other. They used to call that crack liquor, and you could sit miles around and smell that. It had a beautiful smell. And they said that that is what used to attract the whales to Barbados. That’s why they all came along the west coast here. They say when they stopped working, the whales stopped coming. They didn’t get the smell, you know. It could be just a farce, you know, but that is what they said…My uncle had a lot of the harpoons, and he gave them all away to the fishermen. They used to go and harpoon the porpoises and everything. They didn’t know what to do with them, you know. Let me see if I can remember anything else. The whales are what they call the humpback whale.

Aldemaro Romero: Humpbacks?

Elmer Jordan: Humpbacks.

Aldemaro Romero: Did they ever go after sperm whales?

Elmer Jordan: They never had sperm whales.

Charles Jordan: Sperm whales are the ones with the straight up (demonstrates off camera).

Joel Creswell: And they’ve got the teeth instead of the whalebone.

Elmer Jordan: I remember somebody there in Speightstown, I used to see it, had a big, one of the vertebrae of the backbone. People used to go sit on it. It was about that size (shows a length of about 1m with his hands). And that would show you the size of that whale, to have a backbone that size.

Charles Jordan: I’ve been fishing in Grenada already in the tournament down there and I butt up on sperm whales.

Aldemaro Romero: I have seen them there. There is a resident population of sperm whales on the lee side of the island. They are mostly females. What happens is that females stay there with the calves and the males migrate and they just come back once a year for mating. While, in the case of the humpbacks, both the males and the females migrate, but they come here for nursing and for mating, in the tropical waters, and for feeding they go back to the arctic, northern seas.

Elmer Jordan: You mean they go from here to the Arctic?

Aldemaro Romero: Yeah…Did they ever capture pilot whales? What they call the blackfish?

Elmer Jordan: We have no blackfish around Barbados…East of the

Charles Jordan: The Grenadines.

Elmer Jordan: not the Grenadines. They’re more out by St. Vincent, St. Lucia.

Charles Jordan: They’ve got the guys in St. Vincent that go for the mammal blackfish, and they sell them in the markets.

Aldemaro Romero: We found, in the library of the museum [Barbados Museum and Historical Society] a record for, I believe, 1843, of blackfish being captured off Barbados. But I wasn’t sure whether it was an occasional event or was something that was continued later, within the whaling industry.

Elmer Jordan: Well I can’t remember ever seeing or hearing anything. I’ve sailed from here up to Antigua, and to the east of Guadeloupe, go right across there, you see whales and blackfish all the time. Every now and then you come across one. They seem to live in that area.

Aldemaro Romero: Now I guess the whaling was mostly between January and April?

Elmer Jordan: During the crop time, and I think that is where they got the story about the liquor too, the smell of the liquor. Because in those days the crops would start early in January and would go on for, what, four or five months. They didn’t have anything mechanical. They used to cut them all by hand.

Aldemaro Romero: Now, when they were hunting the whales, they waited to see them from the shore, or they actually went out to the sea to scout for the whales?

Elmer Jordan: They used to see them ashore.

Joel Creswell: So they would only go out if they saw them from shore.

Elmer Jordan: I understand, as anybody saw a whale, they would shout “Blows! Blows! Blows!”…I’ve seen them there off Speightstown about less than a quarter of a mile offshore. Right close in there. In fact, less than a quarter of a mile, an eighth of a mile.

Charles Jordan: Yeah, they come pretty close there.

Elmer Jordan: Yeah, right in where the schooners are, you know?

Joel Creswell: Yeah, that’s what the fishermen up at Half Moon Fort and Six Mens all say.

Elmer Jordan: Right where the fishing boats are anchored. Behind there.

Aldemaro Romero: Now, when they saw the whale, they killed any whale they saw, or they tried to kill the calf and they learned to get the mother too?

Elmer Jordan: The calf. I know that. They seemed to concentrate on the calf. After they caught the calf, the mother would never leave it. She stayed right around. That was how the mother got killed sometimes.

Aldemaro Romero: Now once the whale had been harpooned and killed, did they pull the whale back to the beach here, or how did they do it?

Elmer Jordan: Pulled it back to the beach.

Aldemaro Romero: Was there any ramp on the beach?

Elmer Jordan: The jetty. They hauled them right up, actually on the beach. Actually on the beach and they would go and cut them up there. Any they used to sell the meat. I don’t think people usually use whale meat, but they used to use it there. I remember I worked there with my uncle. He used to import it with the barrel. Have you seen it?…It has a different flavor from other fish.

Aldemaro Romero: More like a pig?

Elmer Jordan: Like pork?

Aldemaro Romero: Yeah, pork, yeah.

Elmer Jordan: No it’s darker than pork. The meat is actually the color of that spyglass. You remember, I used to bring it home? You’d have seen some of it, and it’s grainy.

Ina Jordan: And it’s horrible…

Aldemaro Romero: Now, how long did it take to flense the whale on the beach? How many hours?

Joel Creswell: To cut all the blubber off.

Elmer Jordan: Don’t know.

Aldemaro Romero: How many people were flensing the whale?

Elmer Jordan: Well I presume everybody tried to go to help, you know.

Aldemaro Romero: Even the people who were on the boat?

Elmer Jordan: Yeah. I’m not sure if the boatmen did that or if they got other people to do it.

Joel Creswell: Now where did they take the blubber? What did they do with the blubber?

Elmer Jordan: They used to boil it, they had big pots.

Joel Creswell: And where were those?

Charles Jordan: You’ve got one there, right dad? (Points to a copper boiling kettle on lawn.)…

Joel Creswell: That’s one of the ones from Speightstown?

Elmer Jordan: Yeah. That’s an old one. It’s broken. We have it there turned up…We have two of them.

Charles Jordan: I stole one.

Joel Creswell: Where were those kept originally? Like where did they put those when they were boiling.

Elmer Jordan: Well they had a whaling station and they kept everything there, you know.

Joel Creswell: Was it right on the beach?

Elmer Jordan: Yeah.

Joel Creswell: And it was in Speightstown, or was it north?

Elmer Jordan: In Speightstown, in the middle of Speightstown. My uncle had a little jetty. He had a schooner as well and he used to bring the schooner to the jetty and when they caught whales, they used to bring them in there…In between the other two jetties. The pilings are still there. Not sticking up but you can see them.

Charles Jordan: So it was right in the middle of the bay.

Elmer Jordan: But his was a small schooner and the jetty was not as long as the others.

Charles Jordan: We, well my dad still has property in Speightstown. You know the restaurant “Mangoes?” And also the Royal Bank building. That was where the old CHP Jordan, which belonged to his great uncle, who used to run it there. Right behind there is where the whaling station was.

Elmer Jordan: Yeah, that’s right.

Joel Creswell: Is there anything still left that you can see?

Charles Jordan: I don’t think so, except occasionally when the tide is out and the sun is right a south swell comes through or something, you will see the wood from the old jetty still come through, you know.

Elmer Jordan: It doesn’t come through the top. It’s only the bottom.

Charles Jordan: You’ll just barely see it…He actually has paintings of the Speightstown jetty done in the 40’s.

Elmer Jordan: 50 years ago I painted that…

Aldemaro Romero: Were the boilers in a building or were they just outside.

Elmer Jordan: Oh no, they would just put those pots on three holders and set the fire under it.

Joel Creswell: Just right out on the beach?

Elmer Jordan: Right on the beach, yeah.

Aldemaro Romero: And the boilers were originally brought here for the whaling operation or for something for the plantation?

Elmer Jordan: Well I’ll tell you what my uncle used to do with them…he used to use those pots for boiling the syrup [talking about making some kind of drink]. You have to boil the syrup, you know. That was not mechanical, you had to pump it all the time to get the air. We used to get better drinks then than you get now, I can tell you that.

Joel Creswell: So the pots were from the sugar-making then?

Elmer Jordan: No.

Charles Jordan: They were brought in for the whaling and then he used them afterwards for making the syrup.

Aldemaro Romero: Now once they had the whale oil, what did they do with it?

Elmer Jordan: They used to ship it. I’m not sure where they sent it…maybe, what do you think? Up to Nova Scotia or something? What? No? They had too many whales up there? (In response to Charles shaking his head.) Maybe to England or somewhere. In those days you had the old three-masted schooners.

Charles Jordan: But they would use a lot of oil actually for burning the lamps and stuff like that?

Elmer Jordan: No. We used kerosene.

Aldemaro Romero: So there was very little use of the oil locally.

Elmer Jordan: Yeah, it was all exported.

Aldemaro Romero: What about the whale bones? Did they do anything with the whale bones?

Elmer Jordan: They used them to make a fire, to burn the other things.

Joel Creswell: Did they ever make them into manure?

Elmer Jordan: Manure? No. I don’t think so.

Aldemaro Romero: Why did the whaling stop? Why did they stop doing whaling.

Elmer Jordan: Because we don’t have the whalemen anymore. I don’t know, I think the whales just moved away, that’s all.

Charles Jordan: Too much pressure.

Elmer Jordan: I don’t know if they fished them all out or killed them all out or what. They were catching a lot of them.

Aldemaro Romero: Was there any competition with the other whaling station in Holetown? In terms of prices or exporting.

Elmer Jordan: I presume that, like in every other business, you try to get ahead of the other guy.

Joel Creswell: Was there ever any competition between the different boats? You said there were two stations in Speightstown, would they ever compete with each other for whales? Like if one of them saw a whale first, would the other one.

Elmer Jordan: Oh yeah, move out there first.

Joel Creswell: So they would rush out to try and get it. Do you know who owned the other station in Speightstown?

Elmer Jordan: A fellow called Skinner.

Joel Creswell: Oh Skinner owned the other one in Speightstown.

Elmer Jordan: Now you must know about Claudette Colbert the movie actress?

Aldemaro Romero: Okay.

Elmer Jordan: Skinner used to live there and he had his whaling business up there too…Skinner was Plantation Limited. It was Skinner before it became Plantation.

Charles Jordan: So Murray and Allan were brothers, right? [Talking about the Skinner family.]

Ina Jordan: That’s a different Allan.

Elmer Jordan: Jeffrey Skinner, I went to school with him.

Joel Creswell: Where was Skinner’s station located?

Elmer Jordan: Right next door.

Joel Creswell: Oh, so they were just right next to each other? Okay.

Elmer Jordan: I don’t think it could be any farther than from there to the satellite dish there (about 20m away).

Charles Jordan: Oh, so he was on the Plantation Limited jetty then, which was Skinner’s then.

Elmer Jordan: Skinner’s jetty, they called it. And that schooner you see there used to operate from that jetty. (Points to a photo Charles brought of a Speightstown Schooner.)

Joel Creswell: Now what was your uncle’s name who ran the station?

Elmer Jordan: Percy. It was called CHP Jordan, but his name was Percy Jordan.

Aldemaro Romero: That was a business that was always, from the beginning, part of the family?

Elmer Jordan: My old grandpa, he used to run a business here in Speightstown. I have a family tree there from the 1600’s. We must have moved there, you know, in the days of slavery.

Charles Jordan: White indentured servants.

Elmer Jordan: But my old grandfather, you’ve got a picture of him up there.

Charles Jordan: C.H.E. Jordan.

Elmer Jordan: He was Charles. His name was Charles.

Charles Jordan: I have his original safe at home. I think it was built in 1805 or something.

Elmer Jordan: It has his name on it. He used to run a little business down there, and he was famous for his cooking. His specialty was turtle soup. All the turtles used to come up on the beach and lay. People always went and turned them over. But the old man used to get the turtle eggs that the turtle had laid already. He used to keep them in wet sand until they hatched out, and then he had a big tank. He used to put the young turtles in the tank, and when they got about the size of my three fingers, he would carry them to the beach and let them go. My uncle used to do it too…You don’t get that many hawksbills around here now. The turtle shell. My uncle did a lot of business with turtle shell. It’s shipped to England. They used to put it in barrels and send it up to England.

Charles Jordan: I’ve eaten the turtle eggs years ago at home in Speightstown.

Elmer Jordan: You get the yellow ones, and they get bigger. Just like a chicken egg.

Charles Jordan: Dry as hell, though. Always dry.

Elmer Jordan: Turtle soup.

Joel Creswell: So the soup was made with the eggs?

Elmer Jordan: No. It was made with the turtle meat. They used to use the fins. They were gooey and nice.

Charles Jordan: The metabolism of a turtle is so slow that when you kill the turtle, the meat will keep moving for hours afterwards.

Elmer Jordan: Well you know he was a hell of a man…

Charles Jordan: You’ve been hanging around Speightstown a bit, though, and asking and getting a little info and poking around there?

Joel Creswell: Yeah.

Charles Jordan: Who’ve you met?

Elmer Jordan: There are not many people my age hanging around out there now.

Joel Creswell: No, we’ve been talking mostly to the fishermen up at Six Mens and Half Moon.

Elmer Jordan: And they’re giving you the same story I’m giving?

Joel Creswell: Well I was asking them mostly about what they see when they’re out fishing now. But they all say they see the humpbacks out beyond where the boats are moored.

Elmer Jordan: Not lately.

Charles Jordan: Yeah, they still come by.

Elmer Jordan: Not too many.

Charles Jordan: A few years ago, I’ve come up on pilot whales, and a few years before that, in the 80’s, I’ve been out there fishing off the edge and whales come right under the boat.

Joel Creswell: So your uncle owned the business, but who had it before he did, the whaling business?

Elmer Jordan: I don’t know. I don’t know if he started it or what.

Aldemaro Romero: Do you know if there was someone from outside Barbados who came here to teach people how to use the gun? Or

Elmer Jordan: I don’t know. Somebody must have shown them how to do it. People didn’t travel that much in those days. They traveled by schooner and everything…

Charles Jordan: Have you ever seen one [gun] like that before?

Aldemaro Romero: Only in pictures. This is the first one we get to see this close. I’ve seen one, actually similar, in a whaling museum in Hawaii, but that is an older version, because the one I saw in Hawaii is from 1890-something, 1898? Because, for example, in Grenada, there was no shore whaling, but in 1922, the Norwegians developed a whaling station in the southern part of the island, and they came with two whaling ships with big cannons. In the first year, they killed 103.

Elmer Jordan: I think it has a lot to do with out whales. They came over here.

Aldemaro Romero: It is possible because the first year, they killed 103. The second year, they brought a third whaling ship and they killed 78. The next year, they didn’t see a single whale. So in two years, they wiped out the whole thing. The whaling station they had.

Elmer Jordan: Now where was this?

Aldemaro Romero: In Grenada.

Elmer Jordan: I know, because, have you ever been to Bequia?

Aldemaro Romero: No. That’s our next stop.

Elmer Jordan: I think they still do whaling.

Charles Jordan: They’ve got a license for two whales every year. But you just missed the old guy, Oliver. He died last year. I take my vessels, I have two wooden schooners, I take them down to St. Vincent to go in dry dock every year, so I spend a little time in Bequia. And I know a lot of people there. Well, people who I should know. They could probably help you.

Elmer Jordan: You tell me they do a lot of whaling up there?

Charles Jordan: Only two whales a year, that’s it.

Aldemaro Romero: The Norwegians built a two-story whaling station with a ramp to pull in the whale, huge boilers, I mean, they had 16 boilers, and during the height of the whaling season, they employed 200 people in the station. But of course, after two years, zero. In 1924, zero whales, 1925, zero whales, 1926, they left. They wiped out the entire whale population. For the study that we did for Trinidad, they got four whaling stations between 1854 and 1878, but these were small operations. They were kind of huts, there were no brick buildings or anything like that. It was shore whaling. The same kind of approach as in Barbados. So people waiting for the whales to show up, rushing with the boat, harpooning.

Joel Creswell: And sharks would eat them as well.

Aldemaro Romero: Yeah, and also flensing the whale on the beach, just like they did here. We did calculations on how many whales had been killed, and the records indicate that they killed 500 whales for sure. That is 500 whales that were recorded in the blue books that the British kept for Trinidad. And there are some blue books missing, and probably they didn’t report every whale they killed, so in a period of about 40 years, they killed probably 600 whales, and today, there are no whales in Trinidad anymore.

Elmer Jordan: This is one of the chief reasons.

Charles Jordan: Have you ever been to southern Australia? Albany?

Aldemaro Romero: No.

Charles Jordan: I lived there for a year in the late 60’s, 1967 or something, and I made it my business to go down to Albany, which is the whaling station of the southwest, and they were still whaling there.

Joel Creswell: Well they didn’t come out with the ban on it until the 70’s.

Elmer Jordan: The Japanese did a lot of it too.

Aldemaro Romero: They still do. They have what they call a scientific permit to kill 500 whales. They say they kill them for scientific research, but the meat is sold in Japanese markets. It’s about $70 US a pound. It’s big business because it is a delicacy in Japanese supermarkets and restaurants. And the species that they are killing now is the minke whale because that’s the only species that there are enough numbers out there, but what has happened is that with the DNA studies, someone went there and started to pick on the DNA of the minke whale, and only 70 percent of the whales were minke. They were killing even blue whales, of which there are only 3,000 left in the world. They were killing humpback whales, they were killing sperm whales, and reporting them as minke whales. So they have been cheating the system, and now they are pushing for a higher quota with the International Whaling Commission to kill more whales.

Joel Creswell: Well, and the other thing that Japan is doing is they’re spending a lot of money to build fishing complexes in St. Vincent and, where else, Antigua.

Aldemaro Romero: Antigua, yeah.

Joel Creswell: Because they’re trying to convince these countries to vote for more whaling.

Aldemaro Romero: These are countries that don’t do any whaling, but they are members of the International Whaling Commission and they receive money from the Japanese, and the idea is for them to say “Yes, we should resume whaling.”

Elmer Jordan: That seems silly because there are not that many whales.

Aldemaro Romero: No.

Joel Creswell: One thing that I read in an article by a guy named Brown at the Fisheries Division, back from 1942, was that the last guy to operate boats out of Speightstown, in about 1920, decided there weren’t enough whales and so he took the boats over to Bequia for a while.

Elmer Jordan: I forgot this. My uncle started the whaling business in Antigua.

Joel Creswell: In Antigua…

Elmer Jordan: He sent Leon down there, but Leon didn’t have enough brain to run a business. He was a sugarcane farmer, you know, and you don’t have to have that much brain, you know. You’ll make a good planter.

Joel Creswell: So did he take CHP Jordan’s boats with him?

Elmer Jordan: I’m not sure.

Charles Jordan: He probably did, though, you know, Dad. It sounds like you said that.

Elmer Jordan: And you know what was started down there too? The salt lake. They dried the salt…But I don’t think that business [whaling] lasted very long. But I think there were more whales in Antigua than there were here.

Charles Jordan: Northwest.

Aldemaro Romero: Now, what have you heard, for example, when a porpoise is captured by accident. Have you heard anything about what people do with the animal.

Elmer Jordan: I’m not sure if they eat them.

Charles Jordan: I remember, when I was a boy, two porpoises running up on the beach, right by the whaling station, do you remember that? (To Elmer) No, you don’t remember that. Two of them ran ashore right there in the middle of Speightstown Bay, and the guys came down, and they were big, and picked them up and took them to market…

Joel Creswell: When you were saying that the fishermen with the harpoons, after the whaling.

Elmer Jordan: They used to go after them.

Joel Creswell: Would they take those to market too?

Elmer Jordan: How long have you been here in Barbados?

Joel Creswell: How long have we been here?

Elmer Jordan: Yeah.

Joel Creswell: About a week and a half, I’ve been here.

Elmer Jordan: If you stay here a little longer, you will learn what they will do. There’s money in it…

Aldemaro Romero: Is there anything else you remember about the whaling operation?

Elmer Jordan: These are things I’d heard about, because I didn’t see much of it…

Charles Jordan: How old are you dad? In August you’ll be.

Elmer Jordan: 85.

Joel Creswell: Do you know of anybody who’s still alive who had anything to do with Skinner and his business?

Elmer Jordan: I don’t think there’s any alive. When I was a youngster, they were grown-up people, senior to me. They would all be at least 110, 120 years old.

Aldemaro Romero: Are there any descendants of the family around?

Joel Creswell: Like is the Skinner still in Barbados?

Elmer Jordan: Skinner family? Yeah, there’s one boy, Geoffrey Skinner. I don’t think he’d know much about that…He’s retired. He’s the same age as me, we went to school together. He used to live there. The last I saw him was in the hospital. I was in there, I think, and I went and spoke to him."

See also:

Dum tempus habemus operemur bonum

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:33 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:53 am
Posts: 1633
Location: Here and Holetown
Apparently we had whales off the coast of Holetown again the other week, but I was in Bridgetown grrrrrr. I had a video of them on my phone last year off the jetski, but the memory card got lost when my phone went in the sea and I hadn't transferred it to the computer ------- didn't know how :( Hope I see them again this month )

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:41 pm
Posts: 2433
Location: Bristol County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA
Sounds like you caught the big one that got away. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Life's a beach!
Save Mullins Bay -

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:26 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:22 am
Posts: 2751
Location: Wigan uk
Fascinating read Frankie :D

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:11 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:59 am
Posts: 2896
Location: The North West !
Highscores: 2
I would love to see them swimming by.

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:29 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:15 am
Posts: 1328
Location: Warwickshire UK
Very interesting.


 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:33 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:06 am
Posts: 1033
Good read Frankie :D


 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:32 am
Posts: 440
Historically a very interesting read but I would hate to think how we would consider whaling now. People did a lot of things in the old days which were quite acceptable and a way of life. In those days wildlife was abundant and it was used for food and business. How much the world has changed.

I read this article with interest because I know Charles Jordan; he was the Captain of the Harbour Master and also one of the original investors in the first Jolly Roger. Ina, his mother was a Brooks; sister of Bert of Bert's Sports Bar. At the house with the boat in front Ina used to feed the humming birds, according to my son it was quite a sight to see them feeding.

There are many more wonderful stories that the Bajans can tell. KNRX, try asking Joey Rodrigues another Jolly Roger original, he forever keeps us entertained.

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:54 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:41 pm
Posts: 2433
Location: Bristol County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA
There were still a few whale bones (vertebrae) knocking around when I was a kid growing up in the Speightstown area. I had an uncle who lived next door in a chattel house which sat on a huge one as one of it's pillars. The yarn about the crack liquor attracting the whales was also still alive then.

Life's a beach!
Save Mullins Bay -

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:24 pm
Posts: 1226
Location: wigan,uk
Great read :) I would love to see them !

We were lucky enough to see whales when we went on a cruise - early morning sailing into Dominica - lovely sight to see - they swam nearby for ages :D


 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:52 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:41 pm
Posts: 2433
Location: Bristol County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA
I did not get close enough to question him about it, but I overheard one of my neighbors telling another a few minutes ago that "[he] went out by the whales yesterday, and that [he had not] seem them yet this morning." The neighbor who was saying this has a boat and a diving business. So, I am guessing "whales" were in our area - Road View/Mullins - yesterday. Keep an eye out on the Mullins webcam (out to sea view) today - who knows what you might see...

Life's a beach!
Save Mullins Bay -

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:32 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:27 am
Posts: 1
We were out with Antje and the guys from Good TImes on Sunday 3rd of April and did some sailing to where they thought they saw come whales. Sure enough the whales obliges and said hello.

 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:04 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:23 pm
Posts: 4320
Location: Ontario Canada
How amazing is that? :-D
Welcome to the forum Castor!


 Post subject: Re: Diving with the whales
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:27 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:22 am
Posts: 2751
Location: Wigan uk

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 4 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: