|Duties of a whaleboat's crew:
from the stern of the boat (at TOP of the painting):
MATE or BOATHEADER - Officer in charge of the boat. Steers the boat while approaching the whale. After the whale is struck he goes forward and, using the lance, kills the whale.
AFTER OARSMAN - Pulls the "stroke" oar. Coils the line as it is brought aboard as they near the whale.
TUB OARSMAN - Pulls the "tub" oar; the tub being where the coiled line is kept. As the line runs out of the tub it coils around the "loggerhead", an upright post, and this causes the friction which tires the whale. To keep the loggerhead from igniting from this friction, the tub oarsman must constantly be dousing the loggerhead with water drawn from the sea in a bucket.
MIDSHIP OARSMAN - Pulls the "midship" oar
BOWMAN - Pulls the "second" oar. Assists the boatsteerer in raising and lowering the sail. He pulls the whale line in while the mate is in the bow wielding the lance. He is usually the most experienced hand in the boat.
BOATSTEERER - Pulls the "forward" oar, AKA the "harpooner's" oar. He is the man who dates the harpoon into the whale. Once the whale is secure he dashes to the stern and trades places with the mate (who will lance and kill the whale).
When the whaleboat is "fast" onto the whale and the whale takes off in his flight he drags the whaleboat behind him and this is known as a "Nantucket sleigh ride".