Captain Brighton and his men set sail
Hope was the name of his whaling ship
But they could not have imagined what they would find
On this particular whaling trip
For as the icy walls crashed and melted before them
An observant member of Brighton’s crew
Noticed a chasm in the ice barrier before them
And Schooner Jenny floated into view
Her decks were wreathed in ice and snow
Her once white sails hung in tatters and shreds
Her rigging was broken, the vessel was crushed
And yet still Schooner Jenny floated
And on the splintered decks still standing guard
Like statues made of marble or stone
Seven frozen stiff men for seventeen years
Had in vain searched blindly for home
Brighton boarded the ship and went below
Was it possible that anyone could survive?
The captain’s log read “Everyone is dead
I am the only one left alive”
May the 4th, 1823 was the final date written
“We have been without food for seventy-one days”
Frozen to his seat and perfectly preserved
The Captain had succumbed, eyes glazed.
And in a nearby cabin they found a dog
And the frozen corpse of a woman, the Captain’s wife was she
So the saddened crew of the Hope gave all nine people
And their dog an English burial at sea.
Poem by Bronwen Edwards, All Saint’s Day 2014
Note: The legend of Schooner Jenny sometimes has the date of September 1860 & sometimes 1840 as to when Captain Brighton came across this floating ship with everyone frozen & preserved on board. The ship was found in Drake’s Passage in the Antarctic. The Jenny’s last port of call being Lima in Peru. The story is considered to be “unsubstantiated”, but has passed into Maritime folklore as one of the top ten ghostly boat stories.