open boat whaling

From: Daniel McCluskey (Volt Computer) (a-daniem@microsoft.com)
Date: Fri 20 Feb 1998 - 17:43:25 EET


        Andrew Raphael:

        I submit that the whaling done by the Uz of Koromandol is within
sight
        of land, and so unaffected by the Closing, fog or no fog. Drifting
out
        to sea is still a bad idea. If the whale makes it out to sea, it
gets
        away. The Uz don't follow it.

        I'm thinking of Eden and Twofold Bay on the South Coast of New South
        Wales here. Open boats launched from shore. No "Pequod" here.

as unlikely as it may seem, the PNW natives did extensive open-sea whaling,
despite their lack of western "technology" often spending more than a week
out of sight of land in their dugout canoes. You are absolutely correct to
draw a distinction between this and the "Moby Dick" style hunts that lasted
years, and caught many (hundreds?) of whales without returning to shore...
The Koromandol uz will only hunt one whale at a time, but they (if my
cultural analogy holds) are perfectly willing to follow the thing anywhere
it goes.

Essentially, my argument is that there is good historical evidence that the
Uz COULD hunt whales on the open sea (in their open boats launched from the
shore), given that smaller, weaker, less magically powerful humans were able
to do so in the RW. Thus, IMG they definately do so. MGF dictates that the
HeroQuest of Hunting the Behemoth must contain a station of the lonely
hunter lost in the trackless, featureless, wastes of the ocean... which is
simply impossible if they have to turn back every time they loose "ping" of
land ;-)

as an aside -- I think that the Native whalers would have taken great
offense at being listed as "less magically powerful" than the Uz... but I'm
a crappy western bigot who is more willing to believe in my own imagination
than in their History... ;-)

danm

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