On a certain bright morning in the month of May, 1843, the little
port of Stromness wore an aspect of unwonted commotion. The great
whaling fleet that every year sailed from this place for the
Greenland fisheries was busily preparing for sea. The sun was
shining over the brown hills of Orphir, and casting a golden sheen
over the calm bay. Out beyond the Holms the whaling ships lay at
anchor, the Blue Peter flying at each forepeak, and between them
and the town many boats were passing to and fro.