If he throws the harpoon , the whale must be directly in front of his kayak, about 30 feet away, close but not too close - or the animal's powerful dive will submerge him and he will likely drown.
Modern whaling began in 1868, when the harpoon gun and explosive harpoon (which explodes inside the whale) were invented.
The whale-line is the length of rope attached to the harpoon , which connects the boat to the whale it is following.
Government-owned radio RTHK said Lever tried to harpoon the croc but missed because it was too far away.
The line attached to the harpoon, which keeps the whale boat in contact with the whale, it snaps tight when the harpoon has been thrown successfully.
When a whale was sighted in the bay, boats from the rival stations would race to be the first to harpoon the animal.
With a grenade-tipped harpoon , the whale takes about thirty minutes to die.
He could throw a 40-pound harpoon with line attached as easily as an athlete could handle a javelin.
Japan claims it needs to harpoon the whales and dissect them to determine migration patterns as well as gain data on their feeding and breeding habits.
The harpooneer not only must be ready to throw the harpoon at a moment's notice; he also must keep rowing with everyone else, and be yelling encouragement to everyone else.