March 22 - 1905: The day the whales came back to Cape Cod Bay

They had not been seen in the bay in a quarter of a century
1908 print of an unidentified sailor and a whale.

1905: Whales return to Cape Cod Bay for first time in twenty-six years

Since the great killing of 1879, whales have kept clear of the bay

On this day in 1905 as reported by The Lowell Sun -

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. - The big school of finback whales spouting in Cape Cod Bay has stirred the old bay whale hunters, who are sharpening their lances and overhauling their gear, which has lain unused for a quarter of a century.

For two days whales have been seen all over the bay, from Race Point clear to the edge of the ice floe off Dennis, by the flatfish dredging fleet, and 'There she blows!' is heard many times a day.

Captain Mayo of the dredge Little Jeanie saw at least a dozen finbacks blowing at the same time on Thursday and disporting in the smooth inland waters. It is believed they have come in after herring.

It is 26 years since a herd of whale was seen in Cape Cod Bay. Up to that time for many years whale had been numerous in the bay in the spring, and extensive oil works were supplied by Provincetown whale hunters.

Since the great killing of 1879, the whales have kept clear of the bay, so that not a vessel of the large fishing fleets going out from here is fitted to attack such great game.

Photo below is of an 19th century whale hunt.


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