“This Stock Market Will Eat You Soon Enough”
Fri, 07/17/2020 – 13:35
Captain George Pollard Jr. was hungry. Actually, he was starving. He’d been drifting aboard a small whaleboat with some of his crew in the South Pacific for over two months.
The sun was ravaging. The thirst was unquenchable. The meagre food rations had taken their toll. Thus, Pollard did what he had to do to survive. He took a deep breath, said a prayer…then he devoured his 18-year-old cousin, Owen Coffin.
The grim action was taken on honest terms. Mr. Coffin’s full commitment to the meal was decided fair and square. After nine week’s adrift at sea, with nothing but saltwater saturated bread that dehydrated the men as they ate, the starving crew practiced an ancient custom of the sea. They drew lots to determine who would be eaten. Coffin lost.
The trouble for Pollard and his crew began weeks earlier. In November 1820, they’d been harpooning a pod of sperm whales when something awful happened. An angry 85-foot-long whale smashed head-on into the captain’s ship, The Essex of Nantucket, sinking it to the ocean’s bottom. This distressing shipwreck inspired Herman Melville’s, Moby-Dick.