Voyage of the Neptune

1840-1842

Original content by: Allyse Zajac

About This Map

This map represents the journey of the whaler Neptune (Mystic Seaport Museum O-LOG 23) of New London, Connecticut. Chronicling the ship’s voyage from October, 1840 - April, 1842, this map depicts the ship’s day-to-day events as it traveled to the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans as they were described in the ship’s logbook.

Many interesting things happened during the Neptune’s nineteen month voyage. While on the journey, the Neptune visited ports on the Island of Bali, the western coast of Australia, and St. Helena. The log entries also chronicle gamming, when the Neptune "spoke" or visited with other ships. While the Neptune mostly gammed with other New England whalers, she also spoke to merchant ships and French whalers. The log also contains important updates about the crew-- from desertion, to illness, and even death.

This detailed voyage map, created from the primary source logbook itself, provides insight into the monotonous and sometimes exciting life on a whaling vessel, as well as serving as a chronicle of the weather patterns and the process of hunting whales that determine a voyage’s success.