from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A chain used in fluking a whale. See
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The free end of the fluke-chain was then passed in through a mooring-pipe forward, firmly secured to a massive bitt at the heel of the bowsprit
Upon coming up to the whale, sail was shortened, and as soon as the fluke-chain was passed we anchored.
At times the whole mass of the head would be sucked down by the lee roll of the ship, and go right under her keel, the fluke-chain which held it grinding and straining as if it would tear the bows out of her.
However, "it's dogged as does it," so by dint of sheer sticking to the oar, we eventually succeeded in getting all our prizes alongside before eight bells that evening, securing them around us by hawsers to the cows, but giving the big bull the post of honour alongside on the best fluke-chain.
It was dark before we got our prize secured by the fluke-chain, so that we could not commence operations before morning.
For the first and only time in my experience, the fluke-chain was actually torn through the piece to which it was fast -- two feet of solid gristle ripped asunder.
Sometimes the ship rolled one way and the whale another, being divided by a big sea, the wrench at the fluke-chain, as the two masses fell apart down different hollows, making the vessel quiver from truck to keelson as if she was being torn asunder.