- 11 -
are bound for."
Knight and Maurer believed, on the basis of their arctic
experience, that living by hunting would be easy on Wrangell Island. This
was an inevitable view for men who had taken part in our expedition of 1913-
1918, where we repeatedly staked our success and lives on the proposition
that it is safe to travel ahead over unknown seas and unknown lands (i.e.
lands which we ourselves discovered), relying upon game for both food and
fuel. In Wrangell Island fuel is abundantly supplied by driftwood, so that the
fat of the animals killed need not be used for fuel and could, therefore, be
saved for food. Furthermore, Maurer had the specific knowledge gained in
six months of residence, and on that basis a sure confidence.
I never knew exactly what outfit was purchased in Seattle
and Nome. We had had general discussions in which we agreed that ammunition
and hunting appliances should be paramount. Of all these the most important
single item would be a skin boat, an almost indispensable thing for securing
walrus where the ice is thickly packed. Apart from that, I merely gave the
boys all the money I had, telling them to use it as they considered best,
for their expedience and theories of the Arctic were the same as mine. I
did point out that, since both the money and the carrying capacity of the
schooner they would hire would be limited, it would be well to avoid purchas-
ing tinned fruits, vegetables or meat, for these are costly, bulky and
heavy. I also suggested that they should carry sugar only if they wanted
to do so as a luxury. Of course, sugar is a good food; but it has a nutritive
effect about equivalent to animal fat and, since the animals known to
frequent Wrangell Island have proportionally more fat than lean, it would
be better to buy some other thing than sugar to supplement the hunting diet.
On arrival at Nome the party chartered the small auxiliary
schooner Silver Wave. In spite of all efforts at secrecy they had to tell the
Notes and Questions
Nobody has written a note for this page yet
Please sign in to write a note for this page