Whaling Shipwreck

February 13, 2011 by staff 

Whaling Shipwreck, (CNN) – In an instance of truth being stranger than fiction, American author Herman Melville turned to a horrific ordeal as a source of inspiration for his 19th century classic “Moby-Dick.” In 1820, the ship Nantucket, Massachusetts, whaling Essex was rammed and sunk in the South Pacific by a sperm whale. George Pollard Jr. and his surviving crew, first with three small boats were aboard the Essex, resorted to cannibalism when they were drifting in the open ocean for more than two months before being taken by other vessels.

The sea must have really been the mistress of Pollard because he took command of another whaler. The captain and his two brothers were off Hawaii February 11, 1823, when the ship struck a shallow reef. Whaler colleagues rescued the terrified crew, clinging to small boats, the next day.

Some 188 years later, archaeologists from the Maritime Heritage, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found the wreck Two Brothers nearly 600 miles northwest of Honolulu, the agency said in a statement Friday.

“This is a rare archaeological discovery of the first discovery of a wrecked ship whaling from Nantucket, Massachusetts, birthplace of the American whaling industry,” the agency said.

Whaling ships, part of the expansion of America into the Pacific Ocean, explored parts of the Indian Ocean and the Polar Regions.

A sinking whaling remains uncovered in Hawaii is considered the second boat, commanded by Captain George Pollard, real life Captain Ahab.

A sperm whale that inspired Herman Melville’s famous “Moby Dick” sank pollard’s first ship, the Essex. Two years after the infamous meeting Pollard whale, he was captain of a whaling ship second, “Two Brothers.” During a storm the night in 1823, the ship struck a reef and sank.

Now, 188 years later, underwater archaeologists have discovered the wreck site 600 miles off the coast of Honolulu. While most wooden ships Nantucket disintegrated, the researchers managed to find enough artifacts to link the remains of two brothers.

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