Synopses & Reviews
In the misty dawn of January 31, 1921, a Coast Guardsman on watch at the Cape Hatteras Life-Saving Station sighted a mighty five-masted schooner, all sails set, wrecked on the treacherous Diamond Shoals. Rescuers rushed to the ship, but when they arrived they found the Carroll A. Deering
deserted, with no trace of the captain, Willis B. Wormell, or the crew. When, several months later, a bottle was found on a nearby beach, purportedly containing a note from a crew member who ascribed the schooner's fate to its capture by pirates, a sensational panic in international shipping ensued. The captain's daughter successfully lobbied for a federal investigation, but months of inquiry failed to turn up either the missing crew or a reason for the ship's demise. To this day, the fate of the Deering
has remained one of the greatest mysteries of maritime history.
Bland Simpson assembles the known facts into a compelling reconstruction of the Carol A. Deering's final voyage and its baffling aftermath. Using contemporary sources including newspapers, FBI reports, ship's logs, and personal and official correspondence, he weaves together historical narrative with the voices of key participants in the drama. Simpson's haunting chronicle keeps the story of the Deering alive, an apt memorial to the ghost ship and its lost crew.
"There have been differing reports on the mystery of the Carroll A. Deering. . . . Simpson has merged those accounts with additional in-depth research, to present in detail the fascinating story of the ghost ship of Diamond Shoals. (David Stick, author of Graveyard of the Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast)"
"What one of Simpson's characters, a newspaper editor, says is also true of him: 'Just give this boy a yarn, especially a yarn of the sea, and I'm off and running.' And a spanking good yarn it is. (Janet Lembke, author of River Time: The Frontier on the Lower Neuse)"
Simpson assembles the facts of the mysterious shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina in 1921 which to this day remains one of the greatest mysteries of maritime history. Using contemporary sources including newspapers, FBI reports, ship's logs, and personal and official correspondence, he weaves together historical narrative with the voices of key participants in the drama.
About the Author
Bland Simpson is author of Into the Sound Country, The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey, The Great Dismal, and Heart of the Country. A member of the Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers, Simpson has collaborated on such musicals as King Mackerel and The Blues Are Running, Kudzu, and Broadway and international hit Fool Moon. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Table of Contents
Part One. The Shoals
Part Two. The Ship
Part Three. The Search and Beyond
From the Deck Logs of the Light Vessels at Frying Pan Shoals, Lookout Shoals, and Diamond Shoals,from January 23rd-31st, 1921