Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Gypsy Arrow


Over the past few days I have been looking at ancient designs of items that have been made out of Whale bone with the intention of reproducing them from the small fragments of Whale bone I have in my possession. Without the aid of anything mechanical I made this crude arrow head by carving which is about 50mm long from the tip to the end of the shaft. I haven't got a bow or a arrow to test it. However I do know how to make a Gypsy Arrow and I can with a bit of practice land one in a circle 12ft wide from 200 yards. In the time before everything came in a packet from Tesco a Gypsy arrow was designed for hunting. They are easy to make as they are like a normal arrow but with larger flights and are more weighted at the tip. They do not need a bow, they are thrown by wrapping a piece of string with a knot on the end wrapped around the shaft. It is possible to reach 300 yards and it is possible to take out a rabbit or a gull . Like modern day archery such activity is now confined to being a leisure activity, but out of interest I will arm one with a whalebone arrow head just to see how it flies.

At present my Whalebone collection is getting on well, I have know produced two replicas of a Sperm Whale tooth which stand at 40 mm. Of the bone I have kept, the fishy oily smell is now starting to fade and within a few weeks I will have probably made something from every piece based on ancient designs.

A few days ago I looked at the bits of bone I took back to the Hoverport site and there is no change there, the smell is still atrocious. The Whale fat is now starting to disperse on the rocks to the left of the Hoverport but some of it has turned to a black looking tar and in places there is still this coloured looking slick from Whale Oil on the surface of the small pools of water even now after a month from when the Whale was cut up.

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