CAPTAIN AHAB SHIP
Tuesday February 15th, 2011
‘CAPTAIN AHAB’ SHIP-WRECK DISCOVERED
The remains of a sunken whaling ship once owned by the captain who inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick have been found in shallow waters off Hawaii. The ‘Two Brothers’ was being skippered by Captain George Pollard when she hit a coral reef in 1823. Although the wooden vessel has disintegrated in the warm water researchers from America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) found harpoons, oil cauldrons and a blubber stripping hook.
George Pollard’s previous ship, the ‘Essex’ sank after it was rammed by a whale and it was those events that inspired Melville to write his nautical epic. Following the sinking the crew drifted at sea for three months with no food or water, even resorting to cannibalism to survive. Despite this Pollard is not believed to be the inspiration for Captain Ahab and gave up whaling after the sinking of the ‘Two Brothers’.
Author and historian, Nathaniel Philbrick who has been researching Pollard and his two ships said of the discovery, 'To find the physical remains of something that seems to have been lost to time is pretty amazing... It just makes you realise these stories are more than stories. They're about real lives.'
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