I love it when marine archaeology and literature collide…
Especially when it involves blubber pots. After years of excavation and research, scientists have been able to identify the sunken remains of a nineteenth-century whaling ship located about 600 miles northwest of Hawaii as the Two Brothers, the second vessel to sink under the command of Captain George Pollard Jr., Herman Melville’s inspiration for Captain Ahab. After he survived his first shipwreck (caused by a giant sperm whale ramming his ship), Captain Pollard thought that lightning wouldn’t strike twice. It did. After he watched the Two Brothers sink, he never went to sea again. Apparently he became a night watchman.
For more details about this fantastic tale (including cannibalism!) check out this article published by NOAA.
Lost Whaling Shipwreck with link to Melville’s Moby Dick Discovered in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
Here’s one from National Geographic with photos of some recovered whaling artifacts.
Illustration is “And I only am escaped alone to tell thee,” by Tom Neely.