Saturday, April 09, 2005

A Floating Figurehead

Elements of nature have wrought horrific and amazing feats. Some seem more mysterious than science fiction. For example, currents and winds have caused boats, ships and other items to drift incredible distances in relatively brief time frames.

An instance of drifting that challenged belief involved the Blue Jacket. The swift clipper ship, on a homeward voyage to America from New Zealand in March 1869, caught fire in the South Atlantic after rounding Cape Horn. It was destroyed, but fragments of it refused to be lost. Notably, its figurehead, a carving of a sailor, was found washed ashore almost three years later . . . half a world away, on an island off the western coast of Australia.


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