How did the Wellerman find whaling ships to meet up with?

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I looked up the meaning behind the sea shanti lyrics “soon may the Wellerman come” and learned that it referred to supply ships which brought provisions to whaling vessels. My question is: How did these supply ships find the whaling vessels? Did they just agree to meet at a certain port before setting sail? I find it hard to imagine that they had the technology to reliably find a ship somewhere in the middle of the ocean without modern navigation techniques.

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Whalers would render the blubber into oil and that produced a lot of smoke that could be seen far away. I can suggest you watch “Master and Commander”, where they disguise their ship as a whaler to lure in the enemy.

>I find it hard to imagine that they had the technology to reliably find a ship somewhere in the middle of the ocean without modern navigation techniques.

With a good sextant, a clear night, and decent astronomical tables, a competent navigator could put a ship within half a mile of any pre-arranged coordinates; close enough for a visual sighting.