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Turning Turtle: Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea

Dec 6 2009
Instructions
thumbnail_shipwrecks

When you think of life at sea, what comes to mind? Excitement? Danger? Shipwrecks and mysterious disappearances? Pirates? Johnny Depp? This quiz has a bit of all of the above, with the exception of Mr. Depp. Test your knowledge of renowned maritime disasters and confrontations.


  1. On December 5th, 1872, the Mary Celeste was found sailing empty of all crew, but with all valuables—including her cargo of raw alcohol—still aboard. The yawl (a small boat) was missing, and two cuts were made to the bow of the ship. Which of the following theories was proposed by one of the captain’s relatives?
    A.

    Warm weather made the alcoholic cargo release gas, causing cargo barrels to explode and the crew to abandon ship.

    B.

    The crew sampled the cargo and, drunk, washed overboard during a gale.

    C.

    The crew’s African American men revolted, killing the rest of the crew prior to abandoning ship.

    D.

    The cuts to the ship’s bow unbalanced her, making her impossible to steer, and the crew abandoned ship.


  2. In November 1819, a vessel was struck and wrecked by a sperm whale the crew had seen before, at previous whaling sites. What is the name of the ship?
    A.

    The Queen Anne’s Revenge

    B.

    The Essex

    C.

    The Pequod

    D.

    The Redoubtable


  3. The 1904 loss of the New York excursion steamer the General Slocum resulted in over 400 dead. Which factor did not contribute to the loss of life?
    A.

    Fire

    B.

    Inaccurate nautical charts

    C.

    Many of the passengers could not swim

    D.

    Ineffective life preservers


  4. In December 1717, Blackbeard captured the sloop Margaret. What did the pirates take from the ship?
    A.

    Pistols, the carpenter, tea, and sugar

    B.

    Chickens, extra clothing, sea chests, and the ship’s logs

    C.

    Cutlasses, hogs, books, and navigational tools

    D.

    Shipping route documents, grog, currency, and a Bible