Climb Aboard! | Lift the Cask | Setting Sail | Standing the Mast

three young children in the discovery center boat

Climb Aboard!

Take a seat and get ready to row. The whale is out there, but moving fast. Can you catch up with one? Climb aboard!

The water surrounding the nine islands of the Azores is very deep and whales can swim close to shore. Long ago, perched high above the ocean, were look-outs. There, spotters looked for whales as they swam by. When they saw one, they would send off a flare or call by radio to alert the farmers and fishermen below. Wooden boats like this one would be launched and the chase was on.

Today, Azoreans no longer hunt whales. Instead, they take tourists out in boats to whale-watch.

Whalewatchers on side of boat


Want to learn more?

Visit the Azorean Whalemen Gallery to see an actual vigia and film of a real whale hunt. Many other Azorean cultural artifacts can be found in this gallery as well.

black and white photograph of azorean rowers

black and white photo of azorean men launching whaleboats