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A photograph of William Mackay

William Mackay

Whales are the most majestic mammals in the World

Born: 1934

Duration: 37m 9s

Type: Audio

Filesize: 34.0 Mb

Recorded: 17 October 2018

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About this recording





William John Mackay was born and brought up in Pulteneytown and always had an interest and yearning to go to sea. He spent many hours around the harbour and when the opportunity arose he joined the Merchant Navy. While sailing on the St Magnus, travelling between Leith, Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland, he heard about the adventures of the whalers.

Despite opposition from family members he signed up to join the whaling ship Southern Harvester and set sail for Leith Harbour, South Georgia. He not only recounts tales of his adventures, but reflects upon the ethical issues related to whaling.

On return trips to Wick he agreed to go to ‘the fishing’ as he found it hard to say no when asked to make up a crew. Here he talks about these fishing trips.

William now lives in Invergordon, but he continues to communicate with people he met in the Falkland Islands many years ago.




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