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Hartwig, Theodore E. F. / Letters, 1846 and 1851 [Transcriptions]
Call Number, SC 167 ([unpublished])

Cedarburg (Wis) September 25, 1846,   pp. [1]-23 PDF (8.9 MB)

Page 17

went to hime and slit his belly with a knife.  He measured ten and one-half
feet (Rheinisch) from his head to the tip of his tail.  
 Later we caught a real young one which was only two feet long.  We also
caught a sun fish*.  It was rather calm when he was sighted.  The boat was
immediately unfastened.  The captian, the second helmsman and five sailors
equipped with numerous harpoons got into it and went after him quick as an
arrow.  It is a very helpless fish, which swims very slowly and remains always
on the surface of the water, because it cannot diver.  It was soon overtaken
and was energetically harpooned, and because of the fact that it had an exceedingly
strong hide they hurled harpoons at it seven or eight times before it was
securely held.  What a pretty sight that was as the little boat danced about
on the waves with the sailors in their red shits, the flashign of their long
oars in teh sun, and the many swerves which they had to make because the
fish turned and took off in another direction after every throw that struck
him.  The were perhaps a half hour distant and we watched through spy glasses.
 Finally we saw the captain do a real power throw and then the sailors waved
their caps in the air.  Now we saw, too, how they halted and tied the fish.
 It was high time the chase ended for at the moment a lgiht breeze came up
and if the sails had not been severely trimmed they would not have caught
up with us.  We saw the sailors exert themselves to the utmost, but in spite
of this it was perhaps three quarters of an hour before they reached us.
 They were fearfully exhausted when they arrived and tremble at
*The ocean sun fish (mola mola).

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