Ships That Sail Alone
There is one such ship that is probably the most famous of them all - The Flying Dutchman. The picture is from Wikipedia and is The Flying Dutchman by Albert Pinkham Ryder c.1887 (Smithsonian American Art Museum).
According to that source this ghost ship can never sail into a port and is doomed to ply the oceans for ever. But its all ocean lore which raised the shackles of many a sailor on a lonely watch in the middle of the night. Waves can play tricks on the imagination and in moolight take on a glisten which is eerie in itself and scary to say the least,
Many sailors have died at sea and never made it back to land so it's little wonder that stories such as this floated on the oceans along with the ships.
The Men Simply Disappeared
Pirates are not considered blameworthy for this.
April 27th, 2007, the Australian newspaper published a report on a ghost ship off the Queensland Coast. It had set out from Airlie Beach, in the Whitsundays, to travel to Perth. It had 3 men aboard when it set sail.
In its share to the world story the papers reports: "A newspaper lies open nearby and a laptop computer is switched on. Wallets and mobile phones belonging to the vessel's crew are still lying on the table, while their beds have recently been slept in.
The boat's motor is running and its safety equipment, including life vests and an emergency EPIRB beacon, is stowed on board, while an inflatable dinghy is securely tethered to the stern.
Everything appeared to be normal on board the luxury catamaran Kaz II on Wednesday when Corrie Benson, from Emergency Management Queensland, was winched from a helicopter on to the abandoned vessel, drifting in the outer Great Barrier Reef, 160km off the coast of Townsville."
Its position when located is relatively close to its point of sail from the beach so what could have gone wrong in that short space of time and within just a few nautical miles?
Whales migrate up and down the coast here and if one had knocked the boat and tipped the men overboard that might explain their disappearance, but all three at once. To my knowlegde the men have never been found to this day,
Any Idea what could have happened to these men? - This is not the only case of a ship's crew disappearing.
How would you handle an investigation into a ghost ship with no crew onboard. Which of the following would be the way you would go?
Would you suspect foul play or men disappearing for other reasons
The Mary Celeste
Do You Love the Sea?
Would you sail on the oceans again if you met a ghost ship?
Carrol A. Deering
Another Famous Ghost Ship
This 5 masted schooner was found after it had run aground off the North Carolina coast in 1821 No one was found aboard and evidence led investigators to a conclusion that a mutiny had taken place.
Wikipedia notes: "The vessel set sail again for Rio on September 8, 1920, and arrived there, delivering its cargo without incident. Wormell gave his crew leave and met with a Captain Goodwin, an old friend who captained another cargo vessel. Wormell spoke of his crew with disdain, though he claimed to trust the engineer, Herbert Bates.The Deering left Rio on December 2, 1920, and stopped for supplies in Barbados. First Mate McLellan got drunk in town and complained to Captain Hugh Norton of the Snow that he could not discipline the crew without Wormell interfering, and that he had to do all the navigation owing to Wormell's poor eyesight. Later Captain Norton, his first mate and another captain were in the Continental Caf and heard McLellan say, "I'll get the captain before we get to Norfolk, I will". McLellan was arrested, but on January 9 Wormell forgave him, bailed him out of jail, and set sail for Hampton Roads.
The ship was next sighted by the Cape Lookout Lightship in North Carolina on January 28, 1921, when the vessel hailed the lightship. The lightship's keeper, Captain Jacobson, reported that a thin man with reddish hair and a foreign accent told him the vessel had lost its anchors. Jacobson took note of this, but his radio was out, so he was unable to report it. He noticed that the crew seemed to be "milling around" on the fore deck of the ship, an area where they were usually not allowed."
The report concludes that the ship ran aground on January 31st. but could not be boarded until February 4th when it was discovered that all the crew were gone. The log book, navigation equipment, personal effects and 2 liferafts were also missing. It appears that the ship was deliberately abandoned and quite possibly whilst at sea.
Death at Sea
The horror of knowing there is no chance of survival
The sea is full of mystery and great stories. They are chilling to watch sometimes when a ship is floundering and there is no hope for those on board. As it was for the Titanic when so many died and knew they faced a watery grave when the ship went down. The survivors watched in horror as their loved ones drowned.
Yet, the sea is our greatest asset. It feeds us, entertains us, cools us down on hot days and provides the essentials of life. So should we venture across its waves or should we just simply respect it from the shore and take what it gives us with gratitude and humility. We are not the master over it and it is surely the sustainer of life on this planet. Without it we could not suvive.
A Sea Monster - This is not so scary
© 2010 norma-holt