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Balaena in Dundee Docks

"Balaena" in Dundee Docks - Ref: WC0773

The "Balaena" was one of the most famous whalers to be based in Dundee. The Piper O' Dundee of 7th September 1892 prints portraits and short biographies of four whaling ship captains, among them Alexander Fairweather of the "Balaena".

Then aged 48, he was described as having been the 'mortal enemy of the whale' since putting to see at the tender age of 13. 'He has the reputation of having been born under a lucky star' it continues.

The "Balaena", it says, was built at Drammen in 1872, and at 417 tons gross was the biggest of the Dundee whalers to sail that winter. "Da Merry Boys", a Dundee popular song, tells the tale of one of the voyages of the "Balaena".


Alexander Wilson who took this photograph, was a supervisor in a Dundee jute mill for over 20 years. He bequeathed much of his collection and £50, to cover the costs involved, to the Free Library Committee of Dundee in 1923.