Try-Pot Sunset

I have previously mentioned that we spent one very pleasant evening in Rose Harbour across the water from our cabin. That post, Rose Harbour Sunset, showed the distant view over Houston Stewart Channel. Today’s view is of the same sunset shining on two try-pots sitting in the upper intertidal zone at Rose Harbour. The Rose Harbour whaling station was operated by the Consolidated Whaling Corporation from 1910 to 1943, taking more than 5,000 whales during that time. Try-pots are the vessels in which whale oil is rendered from the blubber. These are industrial scale try-pots, smaller ones were used on board whaling vessels and at whaling stations in earlier years. Some historical photographs in the BC Archives show the whaling station and can be seen here, here, here, herehere, here, and here. Looking at those images I would imagine that these try-pots were in a building on a wharf, probably back a ways in the complex of buildings that occupied this location. In front of the try-pots are some footings for a pier or wharf.

I suppose a tiny compensation for the slaughter of so many whales can be found in the records from the BC whaling stations, of which there were six. Five whaling stations records survive for most of the years they were active and these records have been analysed to learn more about the biology of species that are now extremely rare in these waters. It is important information for the attempts to rebuild populations of these species in the area. An example of this kind of work can be found in this graduate thesis.

For an interior view of the try-pots, and pictures of other rusty equipment lying around the site, see the post of Tansy inspecting it at the  Quimper Hittys post called Whaling Station.

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To see larger views click on any thumbnail below and use the arrows to navigate and escape to return to this page.


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This link catalogues my posts about volunteering on the Kilgii Gwaay archaeological site project.

Canon 5Dii, Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens, Nikkor-N 24mm/f2.8 lens. For the latter lens, the EXIF data in the gallery view is incorrect for aperture as the camera cannot record it for the adapted manual lens.

23 thoughts on “Try-Pot Sunset

  1. I have to say, Ehpem, WOW! What GREAT details and textures here! The great lighting from the late day’s sun really adds so much in terms of shadows and contrasts. I also cannot get over the rust holes in these massive containers, that is really something else to see!

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    • Thanks so much Toad. I actually had you in mind when i was taking these shots as I knew you would just love this place and all the old rusty bits of machinery. Not urbex exactly (no urb involved) but very interesting and a lot of fun to photo, especially with this kind of light which was was a total bonus of the kind that cannot be planned.

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      • I do love this place, my good friend, indeed I do! You are so right, this is the exact sort of thing that would hold my mind captive for quite some time… you’ve done a wonderful job with this, to be honest I am not sure I’d enjoy these scenes in HDR anymore than I do here. I think you’re photographs are all totally top drawer here! 🙂

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  2. Brilliant. The rusty orange seems to have a light of its own. I like how the ferns have all settled into place, forgetting the bloody history of the try-pots. I suppose nature will have her way.

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  3. Pingback: Try-Pot Sunset Details « burnt embers

  4. Pingback: Sunset Sphere « burnt embers

    • Thank you Katherine. I like the way that nature is dealing with these objects, and the rest of the whaling station – putting its horrors away in a safe place.

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    • Thanks Ken. I only learned about try-pots in the last few weeks. I found a picture of some in the south Atlantic at an abandoned Norwegian whaling station – you could fit several of these ones in theirs. Makes me shudder to think how many whales were killed in that area.

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