Blue print of Petrel Whale catcher

Object Number: 2013.13

The Petrel was built in 1929 at Nylands Verksted in Oslo, Norway.  She is 115.1 feet in length.  The original blueprints for the whale catcher Petrel illustrate the many unique aspects of her design. Particularly notable are the raised bow, which protected the gunner from spray, and the flying walkway, which the gunner used to reach the harpoon gun at the front of the ship.

The Petrel lies with her bows at the high tide mark at the slipway at Grytviken. Her stern sits under water, no more than one hundred metres from the Museum at Grytviken.  She is the best preserved whale catcher of her time.

She was withdrawn from the whaling fleet in 1956 and converted to a sealer, which involved removing her whale winch, flying bridge, gun platform and 90mm cannon.  A gun has since been replaced on her bows by a team from the garrison at KEP.  Regrettably it was installed the wrong way round.

For a number of years after the final employment of the vessel circa 1964, she remained floating and secured to the pier at the side of the slipway at the Grytviken whaling station.  Apparently she slowly filled with water from the rain and melting snow that accumulated over the years and in 1992 she sank in her present position.