From Whale Hunting to Whale Watching
Memories of Whaling on São Miguel, Azores
Review by James Russell
«From this seasoned and engaging author emerges a new and holistic perspective on all things whales and whaling as only a mathematician-engineer-artist-explorer such as Wulf Koehler can provide. A German transplant to his adopted home in the Azores, his work reveals a deep love of the islands, its people, their cultural vibrancy and the watery world that surrounds them.
Copiously illustrated with his own stunning photographs, above and below water, Koehler weaves travelogue, science, history and material cultural into a trilingual volume filled to the brim with majestic marine mammals as well as historical images documenting the carnage of whaling, and the emergence of whale-watching and eco-tourism now so much a part of the many attractions that draw growing numbers of international visitors to this remarkably beautiful Portuguese archipelago.
With more than a quarter century of peregrinations about the worlds oceans and an intimate knowledge of these volcanic waters in particular, Koehler captures the global aspects of humanitys myriad connections with its mammalian cousins and with a broad brush, includes sections such as How & why American & Azorean cultures link.
He does not neglect the rich tapestry which entwines maritime cultures as told at the New Bedford Whaling Museum; the authors enthusiastic investigations into the Museums galleries and research library was an early indication of the work before the reader in the following pages.
Like a voyage on the high seas, each page reveals new perspectives
and creates engrams, enduring memories of the great animals with which we share
James Russell President & CEO New Bedford Whaling Museum.
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Wulf H. Koehler
This book has been written to remind islanders and enlighten visitors to the Azores of the almost forgotten era of whaling on São Miguel.
This photo documentary shows the almost unimaginable change from the cruel period of whale hunting to the equanimity of whale watching in a few short years.
The chapters tell stories not only of the harsh times, the tough working conditions, the poverty of the working families and of their memories, but also of the fascinating, almost unbelievable moments that can be experienced out on the open Atlantic with whales and dolphins today.