On Christmas Eve 1923, the whaling factory ship Sir James Clark Ross, commanded by Captain Carl Anton Larsen and accompanied by five catchers, reached the front of the Ross Ice Shelf; these were the first whaling vessels to operate in the Ross Sea. They had been dispatched by the Norwegian whaling company Hvalfangeraktienselskapet Rosshavet, which had obtained a licence from the British government. For most of the 1923–24 season, Sir James Clark Ross occupied an uneasy anchorage in the deep waters of Discovery Inlet, a narrow embayment in the front of the Ross Ice Shelf, while her catchers pursued whales widely in the Ross Sea. During that first season they killed and processed 221 whales (211 blue whales and 10 fin whales), which yielded 17,300 barrels of oil. During the next decade, with the exception of the 1931–32 season, Sir James Clark Ross and two other factory ships operated by Rosshavet, C.A. Larsen and Sir James Clark Ross II, operated in the Ross Sea. From the 1926–27 season onwards these ships were joined by up to three other factory ships and their catchers, operated by other companies. During the decade 1923–33 the Rosshavet ships killed and processed 9122 whales in the Ross Sea sector, mainly in the open waters of the Ross Sea south of the pack-ice belt. Total harvest for all factory ships from the Ross Sea sector for the period was 18,238 whales (mainly blue whales) producing 1,490,948 barrels of oil. From 1924 onwards the Rosshavet catchers wintered in Paterson Inlet on Stewart Island, New Zealand, and from 1925 onwards a well-equipped shipyard, Kaipipi Shipyard, operated on Price Peninsula in Paterson Inlet to service the Rosshavet ships.