Burial of John Franklin. Author: me


Kabloonas is the way in which the Inuit who live in the north part of Canada call those who haven´t their same ascendency.

The first time i read this word was in the book "Fatal Passage" by Ken McGoogan, when, as the result of the conversations between John Rae and some inuit, and trying to find any evidence of the ill-fated Sir John Franklin Expedition, some of then mentioned that they watched how some kabloonas walked to die in the proximities of the river Great Fish.

I wish to publish this blog to order and share all those anecdotes that I´ve been finding in the arctic literature about arctic expeditions. My interest began more than 15 years ago reading a little book of my brother about north and south pole expeditions. I began reading almost all the bibliography about Antarctic expeditions and the superknown expeditions of Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton, etc. After I was captured by the Nansen, Nobile and Engineer Andree. But the most disturbing thing in that little book, full of pictures, was the two pages dedicated to the last Franklin expedition of the S.XIX, on that moment I thought that given the time on which this and others expeditions happened, few or any additional information could be obtained about it. I couldn´t imagine that after those two pages It would be a huge iceberg full of stories, unresolved misteries, anecdotes, etc. I believe that this iceberg, on the contrary than others, would continue growing instead melting.

martes, 26 de junio de 2012


Una de las entradas del diario de Robert Hood (de "To the Arctic by Canoe 1819-1820: The Journals of Robert Hood"-Clarence Stuart Houston) escrita a su llegada a York Factory en agosto de 1819 menciona la imposibilidad de que buques de más de 200 toneladas pudiesen aproximarse al nuevo emplazamiento del puesto comercial aguas arriba del rio Hayes

York Factory

Gjoa Haven
En esa entrada menciona que sería recomendable el uso de barcos más pequeños, mas maniobrables entre los témpanos de hielo y que serían mas adecuados para aproximar las mercancías a los puestos ascendiendo por la desembocadura de los ríos. Aunque al parecer la Hudson Bay Company ya estaba en proceso de cambiar parte de su flota por una de buques más ligeros, parece que nadie en el Almirantazgo compartió o se hizo eco de estas ideas para dotar a las futuras expediciones con este tipo de barcos.
Prince of wales_contact with Inuit people_from Wikipedia_By Robert Hood_1819

Hasta casi 100 años después cuando Amundsen, entre los años 1903 y 1906, precisamente con una embarcación diminuta el Gjo Haven de apenas 45 toneladas, fuera el primero en completar la travesía no se pondría de manifiesto lo acertado de la elección de este tipo de buques para semejante viaje.

Barcos como el HMS Erebus de 372 toneladas o el HMS Terror de 325 toneladas eran probablemente los barcos menos adecuados en cuanto a tonelaje para realizae el intento, aunque estaban ciertamente muy bien equipados en otros muchos aspectos.

One of the commentaries of the Robert Hood journal wrote at his arrival at York Factory in august 1819 mention the impossibility that ships of more tan 200 tons could approximate to the new emplacement of the trade fort upstream of the Hayes River.

In this commentary he mentions that it would be advisable using less heavy ships and more maneuverable between the ice floes and that they would be more appropiate to approach the load to the forts ascending by the mouth of the rivers. Although it seems that the Hudson Bay Company was already in the process of changing part of its fleet for ligther ships, it seems that nobody in the Admiralty shared this philosophy or heard them in order to supply with this kind of ships to  the next expeditions.

It was not before 100 years after when Amundsen, since 1903 to 1906 precisely with a tiny ship, the Gjoa Haven of just 45 tons, was  the first on completing the crossing when the things would be evident, the adecuacy of the decision to select this kind of ships to this kind of travels.

Ships like the HMS Erebus of 372 tons or the HMS Terror of 325 tons were, probably the less appropriate ships, concerning in weight, to try the passage, although they were certainly very well equiped in a lot of other aspects

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