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THE MYSTERY OF THE MARY CELESTE!

‘Ghost Ship’ Found Near Azores PASSENGERS & CREW MISSING December 4th, 1872

ship of the Dei Gratia. ‘She left a week before us,’ says Captain Morehouse. ‘She should be in Genoa by now. And why is there nobody on deck?’ ‘I don’t know , sir,’ says the first mate. A Friend More men came out onto the

It’s a hot afternoon. A Canadian ship called the Dei Gratia is sailing from the Azores towards the Portuguese coast. e sea is calm. e first mate is looking out to sea through his telescope. In the distance he sees another ship. He watches it for a few minutes. en he calls to his captain. ‘Look at the ship over there, sir’ he tells Captain Morehouse. Captain Morehouse looks through the telescope. en turns to the first mate. ‘What’s the Mary Celeste doing here?’ he says. e Mary Celeste is the sister

First mate spots ship drifting in the ocean

deck. ey watch the Mary Celeste drifting on the tide. ‘What’s happening, Captain?’ ‘I don’t know,’ says Captain Morehouse. ‘But something is wrong. Briggs wouldn’t allow his ship to drift like that ’ Morehouse has known Captain Briggs for many years. On the night before the Mary Celeste left New York the two old friends had dinner together.

Crew - workers on a s Captain - commands/leads ship First mate - 2nd in command Telescope - to see objects in distance

‘We need to find out what is going on,’ Captain Morehouse tells the first mate. ‘Prepare a party to board the ship. ’ Boarding Party e first mate and two other men form the boarding party. ey sail out towards the Mary Celeste in a small boat. As they get closer to the ship all conversation stops. ey can hear the sound of the sails blowing in the wind. But nobody comes on deck to greet them. e men from the Dei Gratia board the ship. ‘Ahoy there!’ they call out. ‘Is anyone here?’ But there’s no answer. Captain Briggs is not on board. Nor are his wife and daughter. Nor are his seven crew. ‘ey’ve all gone,’ the first mate later tells his captain. ‘It’s like a ghost ship’.

Genoa - port in Italy Drift - move slowly without direction. Board - enter a ship Boarding-party - team boarding ship

The Mary Celeste Teaching Pack © 2013 Kieran McGovern |


Mary Celeste: Worksheet Ghost Ship? Before Reading: Skimming 1. Look at the headline and the pictures: What do think this text is about? Choose from the following: a) a ghost on a ship b) a lost ship c) an abandoned ship 2. Who is missing? Scanning 3. Find the names of the following by looking quickly through the text for the names of: a) the ‘ghost’ ship b) the ship which found the ‘ghost’ ship c) the captains of both ships 4. From which city did both ships sail? 5. How many people are missing? 6. How many men are in the boardingparty. True or False 1. The weather is bad when they find the Mary Celeste. 2. The Mary Celeste sailed in November 1872 3. Captain Morehouse leads the boarding party. 4. The boarding-party find hot food on the Mary Celeste. 5. The Mary Celeste is in very bad condition. Put these events in the order they happen. d. Passengers and crew leave the Mary Celeste. e. The Dei Gratia discovers the Mary Celeste. f. There is a storm near the Azores. g. Captain Morehouse & Captain Briggs have dinner h. The Mary Celeste leaves New York.

Mary Celeste Teaching Pack !

i. There is an enquiry into the Mary Celeste. Grammar: Reported Speech. At the enquiry into the Mary Celeste, Captain Morehouse, reported what he and crew said. The rule for reporting speech is to go back one tense. Report these comments 1. ‘Do you recognise that ship?’ He asked if I recognised the ship. 2. ‘What’s it doing here? 3. ‘I can’t see anyone on deck.’ 4. ‘Captain Briggs wouldn’t allow his ship to drift.’ 5. ‘It’s like a ghost ship’. Vocabulary Fill in the gaps with the words below: Every ship has a team or ---- of workers. The leader is the ------ and the first mate is his assistant. The first ---- spotted the Mary Celeste through his ------. He saw that the ship was ------ and reported this to the captain. Captain Morehouse then ordered his first mate to organise a -----party. boarding * telescope * crew * captain * drifting * mate

Writing

You are the first mate on the Dei Gratia.

Write your diary entry for the day you discovered the drifting Mary Celeste. Describe a) first seeing the ship in the sea b) your conversation with Captain Morehouse c) leading the boarding party onto the ship. Speaking (pairs)

Role-play the conversation between

Captain Morehouse and his first mate.

* ESOL Teaching Pack!

The Mystery of the Mary Celeste  

In 1871 a deserted ship is found drifting in the sea. The captain and the crew have disappeared ... What happened to the Mary Celeste is on...

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