First time corpse ripened after I had killed a blue whale. It took almost five days, but it's quite clearly ready to pop. The sound can be heard from a long way off. The "hack" interaction displayed when I moused over it. I thought the "right click to sail to" display was odd.
As it so happens, left clicking causes Wendy to sail. She continues to sail merrily into the corpse. Right-clicking causes her to stop. I've tried equipping other objects and reequipping the machete. The next day, I crafted a new machete. (I had also tried quitting and restarting the game, etc.) There was no longer a "right click to sail to" HUD, but she continued to sail into the corpse. Right-clicking did not cause her to stop sailing this time. Also tried unequiping the sail, whereupon she rowed into the corpse instead.
Anyway, this is my first time trying to harvest blue whale parts, so I don't know how this works normally and what might have interfered with it, but for one, it had died close to a population of bioluminescence. For another, a spawn point for stink rays is extremely close and has been giving me no end of trouble. I always let Abigail take care of them, either by sailing around in circles or clicking to attack one from far off and cancelling the attack.
Aside from being close to a stink ray spawn point and bioluminescence, the site where the whale was killed was also fairly close to some sort of shipwreck, with a steamer trunk and watery graves. The last thing I can think of is that as the corpse was... maturing, I kept sailing to it and trying to interact with it using various tools.