Two Brothers (ship)

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This article is about the whaling ship. For the film, see Two Brothers. For the settlement, see Two Brothers, United States Virgin Islands.
Two brothers ship anchor cropped.jpg
A diver examines an anchor at the Two Brothers shipwreck site on August 24, 2008.
Career (United States)  United States
Name: Two Brothers
Out of service: February 11, 1823
Fate: Sank near French Frigate Shoals, February 11, 1823
General characteristics
Class & type: Nantucket whaler
Tons burthen: 217 tons[1]

Two Brothers was a Nantucket whaleship that sank on the night of February 11, 1823, off the French Frigate Shoals. The ship's captain was George Pollard, Jr., former captain of the famous whaleship Essex. The wreck was discovered in 2008 (announced on February 11, 2011) by a team of marine archaeologists working on an expedition for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.[2][3][4]

Wreck[edit]

On the night of February 11, 1823—while sailing west through the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with another whaling ship, Martha—the Two Brothers found herself in a storm. The two ships became separated and Captain Pollard of the Two Brothers was unclear as to his ship's position. Soon, the Two Brothers grounded and sank on a reef near French Frigate Shoals. Captain Pollard did not want to abandon ship but his crew pleaded with him and they clung to small boats through the night. The next morning, they were rescued by the crew of the Martha.[5][6]

The wreck was described by Thomas Nickerson who served as boatsteerer on the Two Brothers. Nickerson had also served with Pollard on the Essex and survived its sinking. Nickerson's account is preserved in a manuscript titled "Loss of the Ship Two Brothers of Nantucket" (MS 106 F3.5) in the collections of the Nantucket Historical Association.[7]

Discovery[edit]

The wreck of the Two Brothers was discovered in 2008 by a team of marine archaeologists working on an expedition for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The identity of the ship was not immediately known so it was called the "Shark Island Whaler"; the ship's identification as the Two Brothers was announced by NOAA on February 11, 2011, the 188th anniversary of her sinking.[1] The wreck is the first discovery of a wrecked Nantucket whaling ship.[6]

Some of the first artifacts found at the wreck site include two anchors, three try pots, bricks, and the remains of the ship's rigging. Expeditions in 2009 and 2010 turned up more artifacts including blubber hooks, five harpoon tips, three whaling lances, four cast-iron cooking pots and ceramics and glass.[6]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  1. ^ a b Kelly, Gleason; Raupp, Jason T. (2010). "Lost & Found: In Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument: The Possible Wreck Site of the Nantucket Whaleship Two Brothers". Historic Nantucket 60 (3): 13–17. ISSN 0439-2248. 
  2. ^ "News Release: Lost Whaling Shipwreck with Link to Melville's Moby-Dick Discovered in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands" (PDF). Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  3. ^ McKinley, Jesse (2011-02-11). "No 'Moby-Dick': A Real Captain, Twice Doomed". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  4. ^ "'Moby Dick' captain's ship found". BBC Online. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  5. ^ Philbrick, Nathaniel (2001). In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. New York: Penguin. pp. 208–210. ISBN 978-0-14-100182-1. OCLC 46949818. 
  6. ^ a b c "Lost Whaling Shipwreck with Link to Melville's Moby-Dick Discovered in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  7. ^ Simons, Ben (2010). "Thomas Nickerson's Account of the Wreck of the Two Brothers". Historic Nantucket 60 (3): 12. ISSN 0439-2248. 

External links[edit]