2011-08-08 22:39:48St. Roch and the Northwest Passage
JMurphy
John Murphy
aphex30@hotmail...
213.120.211.100

Hello.

I am working on a post involving the above, and am presently in the process of reading the original accounts written by or about Henry Larsen (the skipper of the St. Roch) - thank goodness for the British Library !

Anyway, I was wondering whether anyone had any sources or links that they think might be useful for me, especially with regard to other accounts of journeys by other people, especially more recently and by smaller vessels. I have found several sources but am always on the look-out for more.

Also, I'm looking for some advice as to the best graphics program (free, of course) to use, to manipulate a map of the area to show various journeys - it would involve adding lines of different colours to a base map, with a different coloured line representing a different journey. Hope that makes sense ?

Any other comments or advice welcome !

Thanks in advance.

 

JOHN

2011-08-09 10:41:00
scaddenp

p.scadden@gns.cri...
161.65.53.59

I use GMT (Generic Map tools)  which is free but does have rather steep learning curve. You could look at something like QGIS (Quantum GIS) or even ArcExplorer if it supports polar projections (it should).

2011-08-10 01:55:38
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
198.96.178.33

Hi John,

Heh heh... Maybe one of these guys can help:

That's my Dad in the middle, shipwrecked and living with the Inuit near Cape Dorset on Baffin Island in 1947. Those are seal skin coats the Inuit gave them. I think all three of these guys are alive. Dad is still working! I'll run your request by him. Not sure if it fits, but he might be able to point you to some other sources. After they were rescued, they got dropped off at Churchill, Manitoba. I think he made his way to Montreal and signed up on another ship and went to northeastern tip of Baffin Island later that year...

I also cycled in the French Alps a few years ago with one of the guys who completed the first successful completion of the Northwest Passage on a sailboat. That voyage was completed in 1988 - and it was on a Hobie Cat!

Jeff's Dad, Joe MacInnes also has some experience in Arctic expeditions in the 1970's and 1980's.

Not sure this would be of any use, but I could at least make it a "warm call" if you wanted to get in touch with Jeff.

2011-08-10 02:42:54
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

John

I have GlobalMapper software and I should be able to help with your mapping problem. Email me at agskuce@gmail.com

2011-08-10 22:27:51Thanks for the replies
JMurphy
John Murphy
aphex30@hotmail...
213.120.211.100

Thank you for the replies !

 

The link to the 1988 voyage has been very useful, as were the info and photos contained in your post, rustneversleeps. I don't want to get into too much of a diversion into the experiences or details of various passages at the moment : so thanks for the contact offer but I don't want to bother anyone else for now ! However, any further sources from your father would be welcome.

 

Thanks also to scaddenp for the pointers; and I may well be in touch, Andy S - thanks for the offer.

 

JOHN

2011-09-15 01:35:29Update
JMurphy
John Murphy
aphex30@hotmail...
77.99.164.139

Hello.

 

I have uploaded a post now but don't know if any of you will find it easily enough, or if I should put a note here to let you know that I have done something.

Anyway, I need some help with it so I hope you can find it and are able to give me some feedback.

Thanks.

JOHN

2011-09-15 10:04:23
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.177.54.84

Link to your article in progress -

http://www.skepticalscience.com/StRoch.html

 

I can recommend the book 'Arctic Assignment' by Sgt. F. S. Farrar R.C.M.P. (Posthumous publication, 1955).

In 1950, when he stepped off the St. Roch, Sgt Farrar became the first man ever to have circumnavigated the entire North American continent.  The book is a popularised account of the 1940-1941 voyage.

 

Good luck with the article - more power to your elbow.  I am fed up to the back teeth with people who write tosh and piffle about how the NWP was open way back in [insert year].  The best one yet is cited by 'bill the frog' in a comment to my latest article 'A Brief History of Arctic Warming':

"Anyway Patrick, everything you said must be wrong, as I recently read a comment on a Daily Telegraph blog stating that one of the Ptolemys had a map showing that the NWP was open about 1900 years ago. See, I bet you didn't know that, did you? (I think it was next to the bit that said "here be Dragons" - in Greek of course.)"

 

The article is here:

http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/brief_history_arctic_warming-82545

 

rustneversleeps:  Can we hear more?  Maybe you or your dad could write about his experiences of ice conditions.  That shipwreck - was it the Hudson Bay Company's SS Nascopie?  Was it ice or a rock that did the dirty deed?

2011-09-15 21:12:19
JMurphy
John Murphy
aphex30@hotmail...
81.144.132.166

I enjoyed that article of yours, Patrick, and have read your stuff previously so I know you know what you are 'writing' about.

And thanks for the book recommendation - accounts by people who achieved such things in those days are always worth reading, because the accomplishments are so incredible when you read about the conditions they had to bear and go through.

2011-09-16 04:32:19
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
198.96.178.33

@ logicman: The shipwreck was indeed the SS Nascopie. It wrecked on an uncharted reef.

I'll ask my Dad about the ice conditions. (It's kind of a touchy subject. When I was grade 1, 2 or 3, we had a "White Elephant Sale" at school, and were told to bring old objects from home to sell and raise money for some cause. I brought some of those "old" seal skins and ivory carvings that were hanging around the house. Probably got upwards of a quarter to fifty cents per item. Parents were not amused when they discovered what junior had done... I think I've been forgiven...)