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.


This page pretends to be a collection of feelings or remarkable sentences said by the arctic explorers and also historians, scholars, writers, etc. that can help to describe the enviroment that surround them and other feelings:

1.- Robert Barlett in "The last voyage of the Karluk"
Call it love of adventure if you will; it seems to me the life that ought to appeal to any man with red blood in his veins, for as long as there is a square mile of the old earth's surface that is unexplored, man will want to seek out that spot and find out all about it and bring back word of what he finds. Some people call the search for the North Pole a sporting event;to me it represents the unconquerable aspiration of mankind to attain an ideal.

2.- Apsley Cherry - Garrard

"Dante was right when he placed the ice circles below the circles of fire"

3.- Ferdinand Von Wrangel about the SIberian TUndra

Nothing can be more melancholy than the aspect of the tundra, where, says Wrangel, endless snows and ice-covered rocks bound the horizon, nature lies shrouded in all but perpetual winter, and life is an unending struggle with privation and with the terrors of cold and hunger ; where the people, and even the snow, emit a constant smoke, and this evaporation is immediately changed into millions of icy needles, which make a noise in the air like the crackling of thick silk ; where the reindeer crowd together for the sake of the warmth derivable from such contiguity ; and only the raven, the dark bird of winter, cleaves the sombre sky with slow-laboring wing, and marks the track of his solitary flight by a long line of thin vapor. 
4.- Answer received by Ransmussen by his guide Aua after asking him about his beliefs:

"We don´t believe, we fear."

5.- William Edward Parry seems to have a very particular feeling about the arctic silence. during the winter of 1819 he wrote:

"The smoke which there issued from the several fires, alfording a certain indication of the presence of man, gave a partial cheerfulness to this part of the prospect, and the sound of voices which, during the cold weather, could be heard at a much greater distance than usual, served now and then to break the silence which reigned around us, a silence far different from that peaceable composure which characterizes the landscape of a cultivated country ; it was the death-like stillness of the most dreary desolation, and the total absence of animated existence."
Then again, during his third expedition he wrote the 24th of october of 1824 the following:

"In the very silence there is a deadness with wich a human spectator seems out of keeping"

6.- This was writen by Willia Beechey in Magdalena Bay in Spitzsbergen on board of the Trent comanded by Franklin in june of 1818.

"...there was a stillness which bordered the sublime-a stillness which was interrupted only by the bursting of an iceberg, or the report of some fragment of rock loosened from its hold. These sounds, indeed, which came booming over the placid surface of the bay, could hardly be considered interruptions to the general silence, for, speedily dying away in the distance, they left behind a stillness even more profound than before"

7.- Russell Potter describing the Daguerrotypes of the men of the Franklin expedition:

" It is that odd solitude -- the awareness that every photograph is both oddly living -- preserving the gaze of the subject in a way that almost seems, wizard-like, to peer back at you out of its frame -- and yet announcing, without even having to say so, the ultimate mortality of us all -- that makes the Franklin daguerreotypes especially rich. Every one of them is a window, and a tombstone.

Which makes, I suppose, the mounting at Matlock a sort of cemetery, ranked in rows. "

8.- Rev. W.L.Gage D.D. De "Our lost Explorers the Narrative of the Jeannette Arctic expedition":

" Las historias de guerras y batallas traen a la luz mucha valentía, mucha resistencia, y a menudo también mucha grandeza de espíritu, pero éste testimonio está manchado con mucho derramamiento de sangre y crueldad, que no pocas veces parece más una transcripción de las más básicas pasiones humanas que de coraje heroico y nobles logros."

9.-" No middle road. It was cold or hot; it was night or day; it was stunningly calm or terrifyingly violent. Home. "
Jerry Kobalenko.

10.-" The dead don't feel the cold. " Moritz Stygge - Jens Munk expedition 1619-20.

"But if either by the Northeast, Northwest or North a passage be open, the sight of the globe easily sheweth with how much ease, inhow little time and expense the same might be affected, the large lines or meridians under the line, containing six hundred miles, contracting themshelves proportionably as they grow nearer the polewhere the vast line, the circunference itself becomes, (as the whole earth to heaven, and all earthly things to heavenly) no line any more, but a point, but nothing but Vanitie."