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About Ebenezer F. Nye
Ebenezer F. Nye first became something of a legend when he was a mate on the George and Susan, sailing in 1848 under Capt. Wight. Nye's boat was chasing a whale, and being led too far off, lost contact with the ship. After spending the night in the whaleboat, and failing to sight the ship the next day, Nye and his men decided to try to reach the Marquesas. He made a sextant out of things available in the boat. For this skillful contrivance he was later recognized by Lieut. Murry of the National Observatory in Washington D.C. The little crew sailed for seventeen days without food, and with only what water they could catch in their linetub during showers. When a black crewmember died, the men considered eating his flesh the next day if they did not reach land.
However, during the night, which was stormy, a porpoise jumped into the boat, providing sustenance. At last Ebenezer's good navigation paid off and they reached land. Only Nye and one other man had strenght to crawl out of the boat. They dragged themselves to a pool of stagnant water where they filled their shoes and carried water back to their compainions, restoring them sufficiently to go on shore where they were found and cared for by the natives.
From the Marquesas, Nye volunteered to navigate a boat that was going to the Sandwich Islands. There he took command of a schooner bound for the United States. This vessel swamped in a violent storm, and again Nye was in an open boat, but this timme he was able to salvage supplies from the wreck. Rescued by a passing ship, he was soon back in New Bedford. The George and the Susan was still in the Pacific, looking for whales. - Legendary Lives by George P. Nye
Later he was master of the "Mt. Wollaston" which sailed into the Arctic seas and never returned.