They said she was Satan’s plaything, accursed from the day her kell first tasted salt water.
“That vessel’s acting mighty queer,” said Captain Boyce, of the British ship Dei Gratia, to his First Mate. He was right, and his words were the beginning of one of the most baffling mysteries that ever occurred on land or sea, and one unsolved to this day.
The date was December 5th, 1872, and when, a few minutes later, Captain Boyce went aboard the American sailing ship Mary Celeste he began to realize that here was something far more mystifying than an ordinary shipwreck or fire. For the Mary Celeste was in perfect order, with sails set and plenty of food and water. There were no signs of violence or disorder.
But there was no living soul aboard her of the ten who set sail from New York for Genoa, Italy. This might not be so odd if the Mary Celeste were near land, but this was at 38 degree 620′ North, 1715′ West, far out in the broad Atlantic, and all the ship’s boats were found secure in the davits! The weather was good, a half-eaten breakfast was found on the table, the water in the ship’s tanks was excellent, and in the sewing machine of the Captain’s wife a pinafore for a child was found, half-finished.
Investigation showed the Mary Celeste had sailed from New York with Captain Griggs in command. Griggs’ wife and child were aboard, with seven other men making up the little vessel’s crew. The log book was found in perfect order, filled out up to ten days before the boarding by Captain Boyce of the Dei Grata.