The Dei Gratia spotted the Mary Celeste. She was sailing erratically but at full sail, though they were slightly damaged, near the Azores Islands. The ship was seaworthy with several feet of water in the hold, and the lifeboat and navigational instruments missing, with stores and supplies untouched. No one was on board.
On November 7, Mary Celeste sailed from New York harbor for Genoa, Italy, carrying Captain Benjamin S. Briggs, his wife and two-year-old daughter, a crew of 8, and a cargo of some 1,700 barrels of crude alcohol. The last entry in the captain's log shows that the Mary Celeste had been 9 days and 500 miles away from where the ship was found by the Dei Gratia. Captain Briggs, his family, and the crew were never found. The reason for the abandonment has never been determined.