When travelling in the Azores I sat on a seat and started chatting with an old guy. I speak Spanish so could manage a bit of Portuguese and I thought he was telling me that he had once harpooned whales from a small row boat!
Turned out to be true- I bought his book. Of course whaling has been banned thank goodness in most of the world but there is still one product from a particular whale- the SPERM used in perfumery and still available on world markets. AMBERGRIS (literally grey amber) .
It’s found by serendipity washed ashore or floating on the sea. Called mermaid’s gold the poem in my next blog post sums it up.
A great place to read about this marvellous substance is Chapter 92 of Moby Dick