The Octavius is a legend about a famous ghost ship that was found floating off the coast of Greenland in 1775. It was a three-masted schooner and the entire crew were mysteriously frozen to death.
According to legend, on the morning of August 12, 1775, an American whaling ship called The Herald was cruising off the west coast of Greenland when the captain spotted a three-masted schooner drifting aimlessly through the icebergs like a ghost ship. Although its hull was encrusted with ice, they could make out the name on the side. It was The Octavius.
They shouted at the ghost ship, but there was no answer, so the captain took eight crew with him and rowed over to The Octavius. When they boarded the ship, they saw that the deck covered in a strange green moss. Carefully picking their way through it, they went below deck where they discovered something that filled them with horror.
The dead bodies of the crew and passengers of The Octavius lay in their bunks. All of them had been frozen solid by the arctic cold. Eerily, they were all perfectly preserved at the moment of their death.
The captain of The Octavius was still sitting at his desk, his pen clutched in his cold, dead hand. It seemed like he had been writing a log entry when he was mysteriously frozen solid. On a bed next to the wall, there was a lovely blonde woman lying frozen to death beneath her blankets. In the corner, a sailor and a young boy crouched around a pile of wood shavings. The sailor was still holding a tinderbox in his frozen hands.
The log entry the captain had been writing was dated 1762, which meant The Octavius and it’s frozen crew had been adrift for 13 years. The captain of The Herald took the log book and the crew went back to their own ship. They could only watch helplessly as The Octavius drifted away through the icebergs, never to be seen again.
After examining the log book, they eventually determined what had happened. The captain of the Octavius had taken a dangerous and risky gamble. He wanted to make a quick return to England from the Orient so he tried to save time by using the treacherous Northwest Passage. The ship became trapped in the ice as it was travelling past North Alaska.
The crew froze to death, but the Octavius somehow broke free of the ice and completed its passage to the Atlantic. The ghost ship, with its captain and crew long dead from exposure to the elements, continued to drift aimlessly across the sea, blown by the winds.
Although it was never seen again, The Octavius remains one of the most famous ghost ship legends in maritime history.