|The more familiar harpoon was used to secure the lines to the whale; once the whale had been exhausted the harpooner, who threw the harpoon, exchanged places with the mate, who had steered the whaleboat up to the whale. The mate would move to the bow while the harpooner took over the steering oar in the stern.
The mate would pick up the lance, as shown here, and plunge it into the whale, puncturing the creature's lungs.
When the whale began to exhale blood thru it's blow-hole the men knew the whale was in it's "death throes".....eventually the whale would expire and roll onto it's side with one of it's fins sticking up into the air.
This was known as "black blood and fin out" meaning the whale was dead.