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Two Brothers: 1823 whaling wreck located

Honolulu (global-adventures.us): The wreckage of a famous 1800 century Nantucket whale ship. The two brothers has been found and identified on a reef off French Frigate Shoals, nearly six hundred miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Honolulu in the remote Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

The rare archaeological site is the first discovery of a wrecked whaling ship from Nantucket. The birthplace of America’s whaling industry.

Shipwreck sites like

this are important in helping tell the stories of the early days of sailing. Including whaling and maritime activities both in the Pacific and around the world, said Kelly Gleason.

The Two Brothers vessel was captained by George Pollard Jr., whose previous Nantucket whaling ship. The accident inspired Herman Melville’s famous book, Moby-Dick. Pollard gained national notoriety after the Essex sinking when he and a handful of his crew resorted to cannibalism in order to survive their prolonged ordeal drifting on the open ocean.

Pollard went to sea again as the captain of the Two Brothers and was likely the last person to think “lightning would strike twice,” but it did on the night of Feb 11, 1823. When the ship hit a shallow reef off French Frigate Shoals. For the past 188 years, the wreckage of the boat remained lost on the ocean floor. The vessel was part of a fleet of several hundred whaling ships that were part of America’s economic and political expansion into the Pacific, transforming the region, including Hawaii, both economically and culturally, and resulting in the near extinction of many whale species. The whaling fleets were also largely responsible for early exploration of the Indian Ocean and the Polar Regions.

In 2008,

a NOAA-led expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands started to search the area. Scientists did find initial clues about the resting place of the Two Brothers. They spotted a large anchor, three trypots used for melting whale blubber to produce oil. A second large anchor, hundreds of bricks and the remains of the ship’s rigging. Those artifacts conclusively indicated the wreckage was from a whaler dating to the early 19th century.

Subsequent expeditions during 2009 and 2010 resulted in the discovery of blubber hooks, five whaling harpoon tips, three whaling lances, four cast-iron cooking pots and ceramics and glass indicating a U.S. origin. The artifacts did help to estimate the age of the wreckage.

“Discoveries like the Two Brothers serve an important role in connecting geographically separated regions and communities, the past to the present. After that Provide context and better understanding human decisions that have altered the planet,” said James Delgado.

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Chief Editor at Global Adventures Magazine

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