Header img
Beyond Penn's Treaty

Travels in Some Parts of North America

Page out of 312

apparently with the greatest ease, and was out of
sight in a few seconds.

Of the various kinds of fishes we saw on our pas-
sage, porpoises were the most common. They are
large, weighing from 20 to 30 stone; yet we fre-
quently saw large shoals of them extending as far
as the eye could reach, and all driving along in
one direction; frequently leaping quite out of the
water, and often passing close by the ship, so as to
afford the sailors an opportunity of striking them
with the harpoon and dragging them on board.
Some of the people, I observed, were partial to
the heart and liver of this fish when fried, as-
serting that they were scarcely to be distinguished
from those of a hog when dressed in the same
way. At one time we were entertained by the
sight of several whales, five of which passed close
to the ship, sporting and rolling along within a
few yards of us; making a loud noise in snorting
and spouting up the water from a hole in their
foreheads. These creatures were of large bulk,
and appeared exceedingly fat and sleek; their
skins shining as if varnished.

Although there does not appear any place of
rest for fowls in the wide ocean, yet numbers of
them are daily seen riding light pieces of cork on
the loftiest waves, and in the most tempestuous