Further cloaking, however, was necessary. When No. 290 arrived in the Azores, she met up with the steamer Bahama and the sail barque Aggripnia. Bahama left Liverpool about the same time as No. 290, carrying Captain Raphael Semmes and his staff (most of whom were previously on CSS Sumter) on board. The sail barque carried several large naval weapons.
|Semmes' officers on board Alabama.|
Once the speech was complete, most of the enlisted men accepted his leadership and signed on. No. 290 was renamed CSS Alabama. The English colors were pulled down and the Stars and Bars were risen aloft. Semmes ordered Alabama west towards known whaling grounds off the coast of the Azores. A week later, Alabama caught her first of many prizes, a Massachusetts-based whaling vessel named Ocumulegee. The crew of the whaler was in the middle of gutting a large sperm whale when Alabama came upon her. The whale ship captain later admitted to Semmes that he wished the U.S. Navy provided protection for whalers, since there was only a handful of known spots in the world to catch whales.