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William Bradford--Shipwreck off Nantucket (Wreck off Nantucket after a Storm)

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"On August 8, 1859, the whaling ship Nantucket ran aground during the night at Nashawena Island, Massachusetts, part of the Elizabeth Islands at the entrance to Vineyard Sound. The next day, Bradford left his studio in New Bedford to observe the scene in preparation for painting this large, epic depiction of the shipwreck. He had recently worked alongside Albert Van Beest, who had been trained in the tradition of Dutch marine painting, and the dramatic effect of heavy seas and tilting ship show the other artist’s influence. Bradford’s impressive knowledge of seagoing vessels, however, is seen in the careful delineation of the deck of the whaler and the small craft that surround it."


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how many bugs died when they scooped that sand to make glass?


Oh, I certainly agree and empathize with those who lose their lives so horribly. But there's always the other side of the coin to consider. Those folks scraping by did nothing to cause the wreck - unless you believe in the power of prayer, and then who's to blame? (DUCK!) So, in a way, it just recycling. But a sight more depressing than redeeming that 5 cent bottle deposit...


Bill's thoughts. :-/


Oh my, that's depressing. Praying for a shipwreck so you don't starve to death? What about the poor souls drowned in the process? :-[


Even before I read the comments, the song "Tall Ships" by the English folk group Show of Hands came to mind. As @kshastings mentions, much of what a wrecked ship lost to the sea made its way to shore. This was often a boon to those living on the coast, trying to survive a rough winter. The into to the song goes like this:

"Give us a wreck or two, good Lord;
Winter along this coast is hard.
Grey frost creeps like mortal sin,
No food in the larder, no bread in the bin.

One rich wreck is all we pray,
Busted abroad at break of day
Broken and splintered upon the reef,
Bread and wine to calm our grief.

Lord of rocks and tide and sky,
Heed our call, hark to our cry!
Bread by the bag, beef by the cask,
Food for poor hearts is all we ask."

For those interested, the entire song (22 minutes!) and the lyrics can be found at the following links. Good puzzle solving music ;-)


Authentically terrifying!


Once again, thanks, Nev.

Mike, I think at times ships aren't easily pulled off things--especially in the days before tugboats.

Thanks, kshastings, for your explanation--thus flotsam (and, jetsam, lagan, and derelict).


Getting the boat off the rocks would be a very dicey deal. It would be breaking up, anyway, and the "rescuing" boat would, itself, be in peril. So, you unload what you can and make the best of it. Some things will drift ashore, in time, and can be salvaged them.


Gayle, I didn't see any angels in this sky. if the ship wasn't broken up and they were able to salvage the oil, why couldn't they just pull the boat off the rocks or sand bar?


A dramatic, frightening sight, for all on board! Gave me the shivers, just looking at this!
Dusty : o


Footnote:- It was exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1861 - Google Books.


Some excerpts from Wikipedia:-

.....The Nantucket was a 350-ton whaler built in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1837.

.....On Nantucket's last voyage, Richard C. Gibbs carried his wife, Almira, who kept a detailed and very interesting journal. The ship whaled off the Pacific coast of South America, and Almira Gibbs' journal includes many descriptions of South American ports and people, as well as accounts of social encounters with other whaling wives.

.....The Nantucket did not raise the shores of home until the afternoon of August 7, 1859. Block Island was sighted at two p.m. A pilot was taken on board at four p.m., and he wrecked the ship on the southwest end of the Island of Nashawena. "So ends a long voyage," wrote Almira. "Saved our oil but lost the Ship after carrying us safely over thousands of miles by water we left her upon the Rocks."

Thanks, Gayle. Wikimedia Commons gave the date of execution as circa 1860-61. But I couldn't find another site to confirm this.


You are on the ball, Plum, and you've passed your eye test for this year. Dire distress it is.


I see the flag is flying upside down; isn't that the distress signal?