stefansson-wrangel-09-25-006-025

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- 25 -

Crawford and he agrees with me on this as a good plan."

I think this excellent plan may have come indirectly from
Maurer although it is here mentioned as being discussed by Knight and Craw-
ford
, for this was the method adopted by Hadley the spring of 1914 after the
shipwrecked men of the Karluk landed in Wrangell Island. On the north shore
of Wrangell the ice is landfast for about forty miles. Hadley crossed this
stretch and camped at the meeting edge of the floe and the moving pack where
bears were numerous and where sealing was occasionally possible - whenever the
wind was right. The scarcity of polar bears on Wrangell Island itself in the
spring could be legitimately presumed to mean that they were abundant out
at the floe edge thirty or forty miles offhsore. Knight never tells us exactly
why this plan was not carried out but we can read in between the lines. It
was still the same confidence in the island as such a good game country that
precautions which might be necessary elsewhere would not be necessary here.
The impression of the first few weeks when they "could see bears in every
direction" was still strong in their minds.

In the Arctic February is usually the coldest month of
the year. On the 17th, "Last night was the coldest it has been since we have
been on the island, -40° F. " They did have it -47° February 25th, but even
that does not seem co very cold to one brought up in the United States
or any continental country. For comparison I have looked up the lowest tempera-
tures in various cit states of the Union and in the various provinces of
Canada. We find that the following have at one time or another recorded lower
minimums than the Wrangell Island party experienced. Other states and provinces
that have records below -40° are:

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