Logbook of the Beluga (Steam

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Machine-readable finding aid created by: Rachel Adler
Funds for this project were provided by the North Pacific Research

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Old Dartmouth Historical
Machine-readable finding aid created by Rachel Adler 12 November

Description is in English

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Whaling Museum: (508) 997-0046 Maritime Curator/Librarian: (508) 717-6837 E-mail: research@whalingmuseum.org

Beluga (Steam bark)

April 2, 1902 – November 7, 1902

ODHS 953

82 pages

Bodfish, Hartson H. (Hartson Hartlett)

Whaling vessel, out of San Francisco, California, mastered by
Hartson H. Bodfish, on voyage from April 2, 1902 – November 8, 1902 to the Arctic Ocean
and Herschel Island whaling grounds.

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Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library: Logbook of the Beluga (Steam bark),
ODHS 953


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George Bodfish.


Funds for digitization were provided by the North Pacific Research Bureau.

Related Manuscript Collections KWM 470, logbook of the 1890 voyage
KWM 895A, logbook of the 1897-1899 voyage
KWM 895B, logbook of the 1900 voyage
ODHS 951, logbook of the 1897-1898 voyage
ODHS 952A, logbook of the 1900 voyage
ODHS 952B, logbook of the 1901 voyage
ODHS 954, logbook of the 1903 voyage
ODHS 980A, logbook of the 1895 voyage
ODHS 980B, logbook of the 1907 voyage

Vessel History

Whaling vessel, out of San Francisco, California, mastered by Hartson H. Bodfish, on
voyage from April 2, 1902 – Novemebr 8, 1902 to the Arctic Ocean and Herschel Island whaling
grounds; owner-agent: Edwin L. Griffith; built at Bath, Maine, 1882.

Logbook Contents

Log, kept by Hartson H. Bodfish, relating to a whaling voyage to the Arctic Ocean and
Beaufort and Chukchi seas. It includes description of types of whales, seals, and
walrus seen or taken, death at sea, fire on ship, indigenous people, and shipboard
medicine; and pencil sketches of whales.

Note: the page numbers in this finding aid reflect those found in the physical
logbook, not the PDF.

Bowhead whales (seen unless otherwise noted): May 12, 1902
p. 14; Jun 3 p. 22; Jun 4, 5 & 6 p. 23; Jun 7 & 8 p. 24; Aug 9 p. 46; Aug 11
& 13 p. 47; Aug 14 p. 48; Aug 22 p. 50; Sep 11 p. 57; Sep 14 & 15 p. 58; Sep
16 (caught) & 17 p. 59; Sep 18 & 19 p. 60; Sep 20 & 21 p. 61; Sep 22
& 23 p. 62; Sep 29 (caught) p. 64; Oct 3 & 4 p. 67; Oct 5 (caught) & 6
p. 68; Oct 8 (caught) p. 69; Oct 11 p. 70.

Gray whales (seen): May 31, 1902 p. 21.

Sperm whales (seen): Apr 4, 1902 p. 2.

White whales (seen): May 31, 1902 p. 21.

Walruses (seen unless otherwise noted): May 29, 1902 p.
20; Jul 20 (caught) p. 39; Aug 29 p. 53.

Seals (seen unless otherwise noted): May 3, 1902 p. 11;
May 6 (caught 4) p. 12; May 7 (caught 3) p. 13; Oct 20 p. 74.

Misc. creatures (seen unless otherwise noted):
“bottle-nosed grampus” May 10, 1902 p. 14; ducks Jun 22 (caught 36) p. 28; duck Jul
12 (caught) p. 36; ducks Jul 19 (caught 24) p. 38; polar bear Aug 31 p. 53; sparrow
Sep 21 p. 61; polar bear Sep 30 (caught) p. 65.

Places represented: Point Reyes Apr 2, 1902 p. 1; Dutch
Harbor Apr 25 p. 8; Hall Island May 20 p. 17; Sledge Island May 27 p. 19; St.
Lawrence Island May 29 p. 20; Plover Bay Jun 1 p. 22; Indian Point Jun 2 p. 22;
Diomedes Jun 5 p. 23; Cape Prince of Wales Jun 10 p. 25; East Cape Jun 10 p. 25; St.
Lawrence Bay Jun 20 p. 28; St. George Island Jun 27 p. 31; Cape Cheerful Jun 28 p.
30; Unalaska Jun 29 p. 31; Point Hope Jul 16 p. 37; Cape Beaufort Jul 18 p. 38; Icy
Cape Jul 22 p. 39; Blossom Shoals Jul 24 p. 40; Wainwright Inlet Jul 26 p. 41; Point
Belcher Jul 27 p. 41; Cape Smyth Jul 28 p. 41; Point Barrow Jul 31 p. 42; Flaxman
Island Aug 4 p. 44; Cape Dalhousie Aug 8 p. 45; Cape Bathurst Aug 8 p. 45; Nelson
Head Aug 17 p. 49; Herald Island Oct 13 p. 71.

Notable events: Apr 3, 1902 p. 1. The Beluga encountered the English ship Frankiztan. Her men were abandoning her as she was on fire. They did not
try to save any items from her. Apr 21 p. 7 A man fell overboard off the jib boom.
Though others threw him a life buoy within 6 feet of him, he drowned. Jul 18 p. 38
Two men got into a fight. One fell on a chain and dislocated his shoulder, but was
able to get it back into place. Aug 24 p. 51 A crewman’s young son died.

Illustrations: drawing of whale heads/tails p. 59-60, 64,

Subject Entries

Bowhead whale.
Indigenous people.
Medicine, Naval.
Seafaring life.
Sealing–California–San Francisco.
Seals (Animals)
Ships–Fires and fire prevention.
Voyages and travels.
Whalers (Persons)
Whalers (Persons)–Death.
Whaling–California–San Francisco.
Whaling masters.
White whale.
Arctic Ocean–Description and travel.
Beaufort Sea–Description and travel.
Cape Bathurst (N.W.T.)–Description and travel.
Diomede Islands (Alaska and Russia)–Description and

Dutch Harbor (Alaska)–Description and travel.
Herschel Island (Yukon)–Description and travel.
Point Hope (Alaska)–Description and travel.
Port Clarence (Alaska)–Description and travel.
Smyth, Cape (Alaska)–Description and travel.
Unalaska (Alaska)–Description and travel. Griffith, Edwin L.

Ships Spoken or Gammed Include:

Alexander of San Francisco (Steam

Altair of San Francisco

Bear (Steam vessel)
Belvedere of San Francisco (Steam

Bowhead of San Francisco (Steam

Channing (unknown)
Charmer (Ship)
Corwin (Steam hermaphrodite

Discovery (Steam

Frankiztan of Liverpool

Jeannette of San Francisco (Steam

Karluk of San Francisco (Steam

Mc Kenna (unknown)
Narwhal of San Francisco (Steam

Olga of San Francisco

Oregon (Steam vessel)
Penelope of San Francisco

Thetis (unknown)
Thrasher of San Francisco (Steam

William Baylies of San Francisco
(Steam bark)

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Last modified: July 31, 2014