kottke.org posts about nantucket

Found: sunken Nantucket whalerFeb 11 2011

In the 1820s, two Nantucket whaling ships captained by George Pollard sank within three years of each other. The sinking of the first, The Essex, inspired Moby-Dick. Remains of the second ship, the Two Brothers, have recently been found off Hawaii, the first time artifacts from a sunken Nantucket whaler have been found.

"Nantucket whaling captains were renowned for being what was called 'fishy men,' meaning that they didn't care what was involved," said Nathaniel Philbrick, a maritime historian and author of "In the Heart of the Sea," the acclaimed account of the Essex's sinking. "They were hard-wired to bring in whales, because whales meant money."

Pollard, however, was different, "a little more contemplative," said Mr. Philbrick, despite earning his first helm -- the Essex -- at the young age of 28.

"He definitely garnered his men's respect," Mr. Philbrick said. "But he was twice unlucky."

And understandably gun-shy. According to an account by Thomas Nickerson, who had been on the Essex -- and nearly starved to death at sea after it sank, but still re-upped for another voyage with Pollard -- the captain froze on the deck of the Two Brothers after the ship began to sink, and he had to be practically dragged into a smaller whale-chasing boat.

"His reasoning powers had flown," Nickerson later wrote.

Dr. Gleason says she was impressed that Pollard even went back on a boat at all, considering, you know, the cannibalism of his first trip.

"You just imagine this man who had the courage to go back out to sea, and to have this happen?" she said. "It's incredible."

(via @juliandibbell)

Sunken forest of NantucketDec 06 2005

Scientists have found evidence of a sunken forest off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. (thx, malatron)

Ah, summerOct 17 2005

Well, summer is definitely over in the eastern United States. The leaves on the trees are going or gone, sweaters and light jackets have started making their appearance, and everyone is sick of tomatoes but drinking apple cider by the gallon. As a goodbye to a great summer, here are a few photos I took over the last few months:

Summer 2005

The above photo was taken near the end of the summer on Nantucket, just before sunset.

Class "conflict" on Nantucket: the old richJun 07 2005

Class "conflict" on Nantucket: the old rich meet the new super-rich. And then there's the rest of the island's population that can't afford to live there anymore.

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