I figured that today would be a good time to share a mystery right out of the history books!
Many of you may have heard of this ship before, but many others may not have had the chance to study it. To this day, the mystery has not been solved and that's what makes it such an enduring maritime tale!
Dec 4, 1872:
The mystery of the Mary Celeste
The Dei Gratia, a small British brig under Captain David Morehouse, spots the Mary Celeste, an American vessel, sailing erratically but at full sail near the Azores Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was seaworthy, its stores and supplies were untouched, but not a soul was onboard.
On November 7, the brigantine Mary Celeste sailed from New York harbor for Genoa, Italy, carrying Captain Benjamin S. Briggs, his wife and two-year-old daughter, a crew of eight, and a cargo of some 1,700 barrels of crude alcohol. After the Dei Gratia sighted the vessel on December 4, Captain Morehouse and his men boarded the ship to find it abandoned, with its sails slightly damaged, several feet of water in the hold, and the lifeboat and navigational instruments missing. However, the ship was in good order, the cargo intact, and reserves of food and water remained on board.
The last entry in the captain's log shows that the Mary Celeste had been nine days and 500 miles away from where the ship was found by the Dei Gratia. Apparently, the Mary Celeste had been drifting toward Genoa on her intended course for 11 days with no one at the wheel to guide her. Captain Briggs, his family, and the crew of the vessel were never found, and the reason for the abandonment of the Mary Celeste has never been determined.
I always did love a good mystery, but what makes this one even better is the fact that that it is real and not some made up piece of fiction! I, for one, would love to know the whole story, but I suppose we will never find out the true facts.
Like a good mystery book with the last couple of pages torn out, isn't it?
The cold front hasn't come in yet, so let's have our coffee on the patio! OK?