Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Ghost Ship Mary Celeste And GIVEAWAY!

I don't have a huge fascination with ships but when I read the stories on the Mary Celeste, I have to admit it had me at ghost ship for I do love a good mystery. If you haven't heard about the Mary Celeste, she was an American merchant brigantine ship that sailed out of New York City on November 7, 1872 with her captain, his wife and infant son, his first mate and six crew members


Benjamin Spooner Briggs, a devout spouse, who owned a portion of the ship became the new captain. Briggs was said to be a brave man who would never abandon his ship for any reason other than to save his life. And I suppose that is what makes this mystery even more perplexing. Briggs had carefully handpicked his crew and had stated that he was quite pleased with his choices. 
Benjamin Spooner Briggs

On December 4,1872 the ship Del Gratia captained by Morehouse saw a ship that seemed to have some trouble in the choppy waters. The ships were said to be about 6 miles apart but with erratic movements and the sails oddly set, Morehouse knew something was amiss. Changing course to help the unsteady ship, Morehouse was taken aback when they grew closer and he discovered it was none other than the Mary Celeste that  had left New York eight days before him and should already have been in Genoa. It was as they neared the ship that concerns grew greatly when they saw no one on deck.

Ships log
By No machine-readable author provided. JoJan assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=171969
Once they reached the Mary Celeste, Morehouse sent his first and second mate to climb about the ship. What they found left them troubled. There was no one aboard the ship. Below the decks left them no less troubled. The ships charts were found scattered but the crewmen belongings were still in their quarters. No food was in the process of being prepared however there was enough food and water aboard the ship to last the crew another six months. The ships single lifeboat was missing. Three and a half feet of water could be found in bottom of the ship and one of its two pumps had been taken apart but that certainly wasn't enough water to cause concern. The 1701 barrels of denatured alcohol, a poisonous substance, remained intact for the most part. Also it was noticed that the main halyard rope was broke and hung over the side of the boat.

Perhaps the most troubling thing was that despite the fact that the Mary Celeste was seaworthy, the last entry in the ships log was ten days prior and the men's pipes had been left behind as well as the crew's personal belongings, leaving many to believe they had left in a panic

sextant

The things that were missing were a chronometer and sextant, tools used for marine navigation and guidance, as well as the lifeboat.  

Chronometer
By User:Ktr101 - Ladd Observatory, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45968685
The captain, his wife, and crew were never found. Through the years there has been a lot of speculation on what happened to the crew. because of the rope hanging over the ship the idea that the crew had climbed in the life raft hand followed behind the ship, watching it to see if it would be safe to reboard. But even if that was the case what happened to the lifeboat and crew and why would they tie onto and follow behind the ship?A few of the ideas on what happened to the missing crew are--the crew mutinied, a sea monster, a giant waterspout took them off the ship, pirates, and an underground earthquake. 

GIVEAWAY: So what are your thoughts? What do you think happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste? Let me know what you think for a chance to win choice copy of either Sword of Forgiveness or Shattered Memories in paperback, ebook, or audio (Sword of Forgiveness only). Don't forget to leave your email address. Share on FB or Twitter for an extra entry.


Debbie Lynne has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, She and her husband enjoy camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses. 

Visit Debbie Lynne at www.debbielynnecostello.com
www.theswordandspirit.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/debbielynnecostello https://plus.google.com/+DebbieLynneCostello/posts
https://twitter.com/DebiLynCostello

Sword of Forgiveness: After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father's estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn't enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.

Royce Warwick returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin's wise and kind nature begins to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim. Purchase here.

NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO HERE!

SHATTERED MEMORIES: Olivia Macqueen wakes in a makeshift hospital, recovering from a head injury. With amnesia stealing a year of her memories, she has trouble discerning between lies and truth. When her memories start returning in bits and pieces, she must keep up the charade of amnesia until she can find out the truth behind the embezzlement of her family’s business while evading the danger lurking around her. Doctor Drew Warwick frantically searches through the rubble left by the Charleston earthquake for the lady who owns his heart. He finds her injured and lifeless. When she regains consciousness, the doctor’s hopes are dashed as he realizes she doesn’t remember him. But things only get worse after he discovers she believes she’s still engaged to the abusive scoundrel, Lloyd Pratt. Now Drew is on a race with the wedding clock to either help her remember or win her heart again before she marries the wrong man. Purchase here.
 

Thank you to Wiki for the photographs.

51 comments:

  1. I have a huge fascination with ships and this was so intriguing. I tend to lean towards pirates....yet, pirates would not have left that ship and it's contents behind. Maybe it was a slave ship looking for new recruits.

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    1. Chappy, that is a delicious idea that wasn't given as a suggestion. I LOVE it! :o) So mysterious...

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    2. I just read your reply and we said the same thing, Chappy! MaryLu would be proud!

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  2. Very interesting story!!!! Definitely kidnapped....that's my thought.

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    1. Ah! And like Chappy said above it could have been a slave ship that kidnapped them. ;o)

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  3. That's spooky! If they were kidnapped, why didn't they take the rations too? No one leaves food, do they? Or take command of a good boat. I've read too many pirate books (MaryLu Tyndall)!

    Both books offered sound great. Think I'd pick murder and demanding Kings, love that era!

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. Hey Melody! Good to see you. :o) LOL. I know I thought about ML's books too. Heehee. But you do bring up a very good point. Who would leave the food? Good luck!!

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  4. Another intrigue! I'm leaning towards kidnapped, myself.
    kathrynlvossATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Hey Kate! Thanks for weighing in! Kidnapped over a giant squid? LOL. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  5. Oh wow! What a story! I think a crew of scaly wags boarded and overtook the ship and took what they wanted, even the crew!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. LOL! Well now, that sure would make for a great story, Melanie. ;o)

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  6. FASCINATING!!!! I love this!! They must have either been kidnapped or perished in the ocean somehow, maybe from sharks attacking their boat. If they had been kidnapped, one would think that eventually in time something would have been heard about them. This is an intriguing bit of history!

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  7. Fascinating! If there was a sudden, seemingly deadly infection/disease to appear in one of the passengers, that person would either be the person left or more likely the person set adrift. Awful, cold thought. Kidnappers are plausible, but why would the navigation tools be missing and not anything else? Would enjoy the book Shattered Memories, as I enjoy historical fiction, particularly in the mid to late 1800's time span. Thanks for the interesting and educational interview and the opportunity to participate. Cathy. dixiedobie at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hey Cathy! This really is quite an intriguing story. I do wonder about the under ocean earthquake. They say those quakes can shake a boat apart. One has to wonder if they left the ship for fear it would fall apart.

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  8. Sounds like a captivating tale. I think they left in a hurry and ended on a secluded island somewhere waiting to be rescued?

    Would love to win one of these books. Thanks for sharing I am now full of curiosity

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    1. forgot to leave my email amylsmith AT bledsoe DOT net

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    2. Hey Aimee! It does sound like they left in a hurry. But I was thinking they may have drowned but I like your idea more! A secluded Island like Gilligan's island. :o)

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  9. Got to see some of the tall ships when this country celebrate our 200 birthday back in 1976. Was amazing to see.

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    1. I think that is part of what makes this such a mystery! Those tall ships are awesome!

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  10. So very interesting. I really enjoyed reading about Mary Celeste. What could have happened to all these people? Maybe they were about to get on the lifeboat but never made it to land or made it to land boy eventually died. Why did they leave the ship? Maybe a sickness? Too many unanswered questions and I would like to know the ending :(.

    mbarri7@me.com

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    1. Me too! It is sad that these people disappeared and no one ever discovered what happened to them. I wonder if they got into the lifeboat due to fear of the ship being torn apart from an under ocean earthquake. Perhaps the life boat ended up capsizing and they all were lost.

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  11. Fumes ~ especially with a child aboard... would have continued when the arriving crew came aboard; they would have determined the same ~ so alas, 'tis a mystery unsolved (my question is: how could all of the crew, captain, wife and child all fit on the "life" boat?)
    paperback Shattered Memories will be my selection
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

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    1. lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    2. Hello, Kathleen! It is a mystery that may never be solved. I don't know how large the life boat was. It would have been a small wooden boat. And perhaps they had too many people on the lifeboat...

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  12. I adore these kinds of mysteries! I feel if they were kidnapped then the lifeboat along with the few navigation tools would not be missing. The happenings of the Bermuda Triangle make me think something made the people on board feel the need to leave the ship and in a hurry. Maybe they hit a rough storm and thought the ship was going down and thus all jumping into the life boat? Either way I do believe they were in the lifeboat and then perished. So sad!
    lattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. Hey, Susan! That is very true. A sad end to an unsolved mystery. I do think that they entered the lifeboat, and I believe it could have been a storm or the under ocean earthquake that caused these people to flee for their lives. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck!

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  13. My initial thought is that they got into the lifeboat and drifted behind the ship to watch and wait for something aboard the ship to change or go away.
    Sickness? I would think they'd be more likely to put the sick person in the lifeboat than the entire crew.
    Maybe there was a leak of the denatured alcohol? Does that put off poisoned fumes into the air? Maybe they were gonna wait till the air was clear or something.
    But then why take the navigational tools unless there was a possible necessity of leaving the ship behind completely? And, in that case, why leave the food behind? Was it contaminated somehow? Or were they just in such a fearful rush that they didn't have time to get any or forgot it? But how could you forget food when you know you may be stranded in the ocean (after all, they took the navigational instruments)?
    My "possible solution" scenario, then, would go something like this: Something happened aboard ship (poison, sickness, some kind of toxic leak, etc.), forcing all aboard to leave very quickly. Perhaps they grabbed a little food to last a day or so (expecting to be able to board again very soon) and took the navigational instruments so as to be able to maintain where they were while they waited and know whether they began to drift off-course. Maybe sometime during the night (or day) a storm blew in and the rope holding them to the ship broke loose (You did say the rope was broken, not severed, right?) and they were set adrift in the ocean. There they probably perished.
    Any number of things could have happened and are very likely, so I suppose this is just another possibility to throw out there lol.
    Elly -Indiana-
    jcservantslaveATicloudDOTcom

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    1. Elly, I love your scenario! I could see it happening just like that! And yes, the rope was broken. They found it dangling off the side of the ship.

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  14. Wow! I've never heard that story, but it is definitely intriguing. Maybe some pirates did come and capture some of the people, but the others managed to get away unnoticed. Later, the lifeboat sank with those people disappearing beneath the ocean's waves.

    nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

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    1. Hey Sylvia! I am loving these scenarios. I never thought about half the crew getting kidnapped and half escaping to the lifeboat. But that is a real possibility. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Wow, that is a good question! If someone had raided the ship, wouldn't they have taken the ship and everything else? It would be interesting to know what did happen to the Mary Celeste.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'd love to find out. I may have to do more research and see what I can come up with! That may have to be another post. ;o)

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  16. Wow, that is a good question! If someone had raided the ship, wouldn't they have taken the ship and everything else? It would be interesting to know what did happen to the Mary Celeste.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. And that is a good point! If the ship was raided, wouldn't they take some of the things from the ship if not the ship itself.

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  17. I think the Mary Celeste was a ghost ship of it's own and all those aboard were so frightened by the ghosts on board that they got in the lifeboat and set out on their own. Then the choppy sea took them all to their watery graves. princessdebbie1_2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. LOL! Good job, Debbie. The ship actually had a rough beginning too. I had written about that too but my post ended up being way too long so I had to delete part. :o)

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  18. I was going to say Pirates went aboard and got them. I don't know a lot about Ships, Boats and the such but that's my guess. I'd like to pretend it was a Sea Monster though ;) My email is iamabho (at) gmail (dot) com Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy of one of Debbie's Books I would Love Sword of Forgiveness since I already have Shattered Memories

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    1. I also shared this blog post on Twitter https://twitter.com/LindaMoffitt02/status/773603557669036032 Thanks

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    2. Hey Linda! I like the Sea Monster or giant Squid! Sounds like a movie idea. ;o) Thank you for sharing! I'll be sure to give you that second entry!!

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  19. Oh Wow! That was interesting! I think pirates because back in the day there were seemingly lots of them. I'm scared of ships with nothing but water to see but I did go on a cruise and I did fine. But maybe they all drowned when the lifeboat capsized.
    grandmama_brenda(at)yahoo(dot)com Thanks for the giveaway.
    I tweeted the giveaway!

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    1. Hello Brenda! It does lend to the idea that the lifeboat capsized for some reason. I am guessing that whatever sent them off the ship also sunk the lifeboat. Thanks for tweeting! I'll be sure to give you that second entry!

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  20. Whoo! A great mystery why they abandoned ship. I would say they panic, left in a hurry as they were fearful when they noticed an enemy ship or pirates approaching. Great blog post, Debbie. Thank you for sharing. HHH is a wonderful in gaining gems of history. marilynridgway78[at]gmai[dot]com

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn! History has so many hidden treasures. We love trying to dig them up. I love your possibility! I never thought of that! Perhaps they thought it was a pirate ship coming after them but as it turned out it was just just another ship passing in the night. ;o) And that is why the ship was found floating in the water.

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  21. Wow! I had not heard of the ghost ship Mary Celeste. There are so many possibilities that could have happened! I am like Brenda. I could never get on a ship with nothing but water to see around you. I like to stay on land. We may never know what actually happened but it sure is interesting that they would take the navigational tools instead of food! Thanks for the giveaway. d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. That is such a mystery! Taking the tools they must have known there was a possibility they'd never be able to get back on the ship. Maybe the life boat was too small to take many provisions. It sure makes one wonder what they were thinking.

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  22. Oooo....the Mary Celeste story certainly is a mystery! This is what I think may have happened.....A vicious storm blew in. In the midst of the storm, it was discovered the boat was taking on water for some unknown reason. With haste, the Captain quickly grabbed the navigation tools and had everyone get into the life boat, where he planned to observe the Mary Celeste from a distance to see if she was still sea-worthy as they were waiting out the storm. How everyone would fit into the life boat is indeed another question. As they waited for the storm to pass, a huge sea swell over-took the life boat and all aboard were swept to a watery grave.... So many possibilities! This is an awesome story in the making, Debbie! I think you should write a fiction book about it!! Go for it!!! :)

    Thanks for this spell-binding story and the opportunity of this giveaway! I would be thrilled to win 'Shattered Memories' :) ~ Alison Boss

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Hey Alison! You had ME spell bound with your scenario. LOL. I think your idea is very plausible. You are right! It does sound like a good making for a book though.

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  24. They made a wrong turn and wouldn't stop to ask for directions? Maybe? :D
    I can't imagine how insignificant they must have felt in the middle of the vast waters of the ocean.
    betherin02 at gmail dot com

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  25. Hey Beth! I can't imagine either. That had to been so frightening. I can't imagine what those people suffered, Thanks for coming by.

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  26. Surprised no one's brought this up, but we're looking at ten people in a lifeboat. at most. Provided all were well at the time to fit in it. One of which being an infant who would most likely be held by his mother or father, so he wouldn't take much room. On one hand, 10 sounds like a lot of people, but on the other, it's also not that many when you consider larger ships had lots more. What i'm wondering is if 10 people were enough to actually sail it. Given it suffered some loss of sail and was taking on water, though still considered seaworthy; would it have been feasible for 10 people to sail it? I'm going towards the storm idea. Bad storm. only 10 people. Perhaps one or two got injured in the process. Lines and beams would be wet and slippery. Perhaps someone fell and conked their head on the deck. Maybe more than one. If a couple people were down or unconscious, would make it all that much harder to control a vessel. Even a small vessel. Perhaps one or two people went overboard and drowned. Or maybe not. They could have been good swimmers given the captain hand-picked his crew. But then many sailors didn't know how to swim either, and were in fact, afraid of the water. Also factor in that one of the ten was an infant. Another was his mother who no doubt would be looking to his safety leaving us only 8 able-bodied crew left to sail said ship. If we lost a couple in the process perhaps the captain deemed it necessary to abandon ship because his size of crew could not handle the strain of the storm. However he may have figured once the storm passed they could probably re-board and life would be good. Hence they had a rope connecting their lifeboat to the ship. Perhaps they had tried to grab a few supplies, and succeeded in the navigational equipment, but when the rope snapped, and they were set adrift of the ship it prevented them from grabbing any further supplies. Perhaps the captain had already figured by taking the navigational equipment if they weren't able to re-board, or maybe he wasn't even intending to re-board. Perhaps just figuring they could make it in the lifeboat with only their small 10 person crew and navigate back to the mainland or a nearby island. (If all ten were alive and well, by that time. But most likely not, given they were abandoning ship. Even the best of seamen falter at times.)

    According to Wikipedia the Mary Celeste is about 198.42 gross tons as built in 1861. A similar ship the Mayflower is about 180+ tons, give or take. So not too much different in size. Both are considered smallish ships. The Mayflower was estimated to have 135 people. As far as her crew size goes, some sources say 20. Others say closer to 30. Either way, Mayflower's crew was twice the size of Mary Celeste's at least. Of course Mayflower also had about 100 passengers to contend with.

    Now, with all that said, what if the ship that found them floundering took advantage of their situation and made it look like they had abandoned by tossing them all overboard and claiming they had found them so they could take profit from it all? Perhaps there were only a couple survivors left from the Mary Celeste, so it would be easy to get rid of a couple more.

    No need to enter me into the drawing since I already won both your books a while back. Loved 'em by the way! Can't wait for more! =D Couldn't resist lending a few thoughts. MaryLu Tyndall has forever ignited a passion in me for a good seafaring yarn. =)

    ~Amber =)

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