The boys were young,Captain Pollard was 28,Seaman Thomas Nickerson was 17.
Owen Coffin was 14.First Mate Owen Chase was 22.
The whaling ship Essex left Nantucket 187 years ago and never came back.
The boys spotted whales once they made it to the Pacific,they jumped into thier small whaling boats to give chase.
They harpooned a whale and were in the process of waiting for it to come to the surface.
A few men were left on the Essex to watch over it while the others were gone.
Owen Chase was one left on board.
As he was doing his watch,he spotted a sperm whale a hundred yards off.He watched the whale with great intrest as the whale was just swimming in a stationary manner.
The whale began to swim towards the boat,faster and faster.Chase said he was totaly mesmerised.The whale was headed for the front of the ship,so fast it was unreal to Chase.
The whale hit the boat,causing large cracks in the Essex.Chase says the whale appeared stunned and floated for a few minutes.
While inspecting the damages he saw the whale again about 50 yards off.
The whale fanned his tail,causing great foam in the ocean.He charged again only faster than before.The crash about broke the boat in two this time.
Chase was stunned,the whale dissapeared and was not seen again.
The boat was sinking,Chase did what he could to try to salvage any goods.
The men who were chasing the harpooned whale came back and with disbelief watched as the Essex was sinking fast.
The captian was in whale boat number one,it is said he could not speak.Finnally he shouted to Chase as to what happened to the Essex.
They took what they could from the ships remains and decided to head for land.They were very afraid of cannibals on the islands so the headed for South America.
20 survivors,running out of food.Bad storms,little water left.They resorted to what seems to us as unthinkable,cannabalisim.They drew lots.
Sadly this is how a few survived but obviously were all changed forever.
This is where Herman Mellville got his idea for Moby Dick.