Monday, August 5, 2013

30187. Captain Ebenezer F. Nye


(Sigh)...and so our story continues. Captain Ebenezer F. Nye, "Who lost his life in the Arctic," was in charge of the whaler Mount Wollaston when last seen in the winter of 1879. Sadly, he, too, was in pursuit of the same prize as Captain Hiram Baker, whales.

The hunting may have been good, too good, perhaps, to heed the warning signs. The ice closed in and locked up his ship, stranding him and his men in a wasteland of frozen water from which there was no escape. A rescue effort was launched via the Revenue Cutter Service (forerunner of the Coast Guard), but for Nye and crew it was too late. Officers of the USRCS Corwin retrieved items taken from the ship or its remains by the local Native Americans which included Captain Nye's glasses.

Some evidence gathered from the locals suggested that Nye, at least, left the Mount Wollaston and boarded a second whaling ship, Vigilant, before it, too, was crushed in the ice. With ever-depleting food supplies in the freezing cold mostly darkness of the Arctic, the end must have been horrible for Nye and his men.

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