Status: Needs Review


A Six Month DRIFT on an ice Floe IN THE BEAUFORT SEA*

(By Storker t. Storkerson, in Maclean's Magazine,
March 15 and April 1, 1920.)

When in 1914 I was with Vilhjalmur Stefansson on the first trip
across the Beaufort Sea from Martin Point, Alaska, to Banks Island, it
was a matter of considerable annoyance to me while/we were living off the
country to have to haul heavily meat-laden sleds through the soft snow in
the spring. I could never see any necessity after our groceries were
gone to have more than one or two days' rations on our sleds, because it
appeared to me evident that when we needed meat and stopped to look for it
it could always be obtained.

While the Commander and I had the same ideas on the subject, our other
companion, Ole Andreasen, continued pessimistic. When he saw a seal he
thought we had better get it because no one knew what might happen or when
we would see another. So the Commander killed it and a good many besides
to please him. This resulted in a great amount of useless hard work as in
the latter part of the spring, when warm weather came, the snow was soft
and the heavily-laden sled would sink deep in. At times it would take us
several hours to travel a quarter of a mile. This could all have been
avoided if our comrade had been of the same attitude of mind as the Command-
er and I. Work would have been considerably less, as the sled would have
been lighter, and naturally our speed of traveling would have been greater
than it actually was.

This skeptical attitude of each fresh lot of men towards the Command-
er's plan to live off the country on his exploring trips caused us a good
many inconveniences. The new men never were willing to leave camp and
start to live off the country right away. They always wanted to have at

*These magazine articles are reprinted here because they show what sort
of school it was in which Lorne Knight had been trained for the
work of arctic exploration.

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