I have the dubious distinction of being the great-granddaughter of a whaler. Dubious because it is now politically incorrect to even talk about killing whales. Yet at one time there were about ten commercial whaling stations operating in the Caribbean, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in Barbados, Trinidad and Grenada. Today under international agreement, Bequian whalers can harpoon no more than two whales per year. The whale is caught by traditional methods of hand thrown harpoons in small, open, sailing boats. The catch is not sold and is exclusively used for local consumption. It is given away to family and friends.
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How does something like this end up on my breakfast table? Simple. The men in my family are seafarers. I would hesitate to call them romantic but for some reason they romaticize a meal of whale meat.
These are taciturn men. Men who can spend all day looking out across the bay with a pair of binoculars without saying a word or it would seem even moving an inch. They are men of slow grunts and uhhms for conversation. The ship captains among them have permanent squints from staring for hours on end at vast empty horizons. Apart from an almost a voyeuristic love of listening to VHF channel 16 and its call and distress conversations - silence and monotony are their thing. That is unless there is whale meat on the table. Then they come to life. They become animated. They trade stories about their adventures at sea. To hear them, you'd swear that they battled the beast themselves. And while they don't actually beat their chests and say 'Arrrgh', as cousin A put it, "The way they carry on it's like, hoist the flag fellas we gah(got) whale!" You'd swear they sat in that boat themselves like the late, Athneal Ollivierre risking life and limb to bring it to the table.