Inquiry Question

Locating the Site

Map 2: Modern world map showing 19th century whaling grounds.

To be a successful captain, Edward Penniman had to navigate to known whaling grounds around the globe, and then safely return to New Bedford with his ship full of whale oil and other products harvested from whales. He recorded his latitude and longitude into his daily logbook.

Latitude is the angular distance north or south of the earth's equator, measured in degrees along a meridian, as on a map or globe. Lines of latitude run parallel to the equator around the world and are marked either North or South.

Longitude is the angular distance on the earth's surface, measured east or west from the prime meridian at Greenwich, England, to the meridian passing through a position, expressed in degrees. Lines of longitude stretch from pole to pole. Degrees of longitude are marked either East or West.

Questions for Map 2

1. Using a textbook or world map, locate and label the five oceans and seven continents on Map 2.

2. The shaded ellipses in the oceans indicate the known whaling grounds. Trace Captain Penniman's voyage around the globe using the coordinates listed below. Does tracing the voyage help you better understand the distances traveled and the amount of time needed for these journeys? Why or why not?

Voyage of the Whaling Bark Minerva--May 1860 to April 1864.
 A B C D E F G H Latitude 40° N 45° N 15° N 35° S 45° S 55° S 5° S 40° N Longitude 70° W 16° W 15° W 20° E 160° E 70° W 35° W 70° W

3. Whaling captains kept information like this in their logbooks. Why might records like these be useful in future voyages?

4. Would you consider taking a voyage like this one? Why or why not.

* The map on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Map 2, but be aware that the file may take as much as 65 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.