Wreck of New Bedford Whaling Ship Found off Hawaii

A diver examines an anchor at the Two Brothers shipwreck site. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Various news agencies have reported that a team of marine archaeologists have located the wreck of the Two Brothers, a whaling ship based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, that sank in 1823 after hitting a shoal some 100 miles northwest of Hawaii. The Two Brothers is notable for being skippered by George Pollard, the same captain who commanded the fated whaling vessel Essex, which was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale a few years prior. The incident inspired Herman Melville to write his famous novel Moby Dick. Pollard survived both wrecks and eventually retired to Nantucket.

A trypot at the Two Brothers shipwreck site. Trypots were large cast iron pots used to melt whale blubber to produce oil. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Yahoo News: A fierce sperm whale sank the first whaling ship under George Pollard’s command and inspired the classic American novel “Moby-Dick”. A mere 2 years later, a second whaler captained by Pollard struck a coral reef during a night storm and sank in shallow water.

Marine archaeologists scouring remote atolls 600 miles northwest of Honolulu have found the wreck site of Pollard’s second vessel—the Two Brothers—which went down in 1823.

Most of the wooden Nantucket whaling ship disintegrated in Hawaii’s warm waters in the nearly two centuries since. But researchers found several harpoons, a hook used to strip whales of their blubber, and try pots or large cauldrons whalers used to turn whale blubber into oil. Corals have grown around and on top of many of the objects, swallowing them into the reef.

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Two Brothers Maritime Heritage Video

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