National Geographic : 1985 Jul
sheltered some 900 Basques who sailed to this port each summer in the heyday of whaling in southern Labrador. With my co-workers from Memorial University of Newfoundland and col leagues from the National Museums of Canada, I have spent the past eight summers at Red Bay. On Saddle Is land, foreground, we have excavated portions of several whaling stations. 16th-Century Basque Whalers in America A breakthrough came with the dis covery of a low stone wall near the shore. It was encrusted with a curious black granular substance almost as hard as concrete. In my work on pre historic Inuit sites in the Arctic I had come across it many times-it was charred blubber. Here had stood a stone tryworks where whale blubber was rendered into marketable oil.