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post #1 of 8 Old 07-29-2010 Thread Starter
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HMS Investigator found!

Well... how about that, huh?!?


A team of Canadian archaeologists has found a British ship that has been missing in the Arctic for more than 150 years. HMS Investigator left Britain in 1850 under the command of Captain Robert McClure. It was on a rescue mission to find an earlier expedition led by Sir John Franklin. but the Investigator became trapped in sea ice and was abandoned by crew members, who were rescued.

The vessel was located on Sunday with the help of sonar, just 15 minutes after workers from Parks Canada started looking. It is about 11 metres from the surface, near Banks Island, in the west of the Arctic archipelago, where the crew abandoned ship in 1853 after spending three winters on the ice.

The wreck was described as being in good condition.


Missing ship found after 150 years - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

(emphasis mine)

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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-29-2010
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It is about 11 metres from the surface, near Banks Island, in the west of the Arctic archipelago, where the crew abandoned ship in 1853 after spending three winters on the ice.
Three Winters?! Holy crap!

I'm continually amazed at the resourcefulness and mental fortitude of the old navies.

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post #3 of 8 Old 07-29-2010 Thread Starter
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It'll be interesting to find out what they plan to do with it.

An archaeologist's dream find!..

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post #4 of 8 Old 07-29-2010
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When you look at the sheer amount of logistical overkill they loaded on these boats, you understand a) how they were able to stay on the ice for 3 winters and b) WHY they had to stay on the ice.

http://www.arcticwebsite.com/Frankli...rovisions.html


Quite simply their expedition equipment was so bulky, heavy and ill-suited for arctic use, they had no choice but to stay with their boats because it would be suicide to leave.

The 19th century Brit explorer philosophy was simple: Industrial Age technology and Monarchist arrogance is far superior to crude native vehicles and thinking. By trying to bend the elements to the whim of overbuilt clumsy sledges and heavy canned foods, instead of adopting native travel and menus, they were simply doomed.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-29-2010
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The 19th century Brit explorer philosophy was simple: Industrial Age technology and Monarchist arrogance is far superior to crude native vehicles and thinking. By trying to bend the elements to the whim of overbuilt clumsy sledges and heavy canned foods, instead of adopting native travel and menus, they were simply doomed.
Yeah - and then we invented the EPIRB.


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post #6 of 8 Old 07-30-2010
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That's really exciting. Hopefully, the captain's logs or other journals will be found intact and legible. Those men were a different breed! To sign up to live with 20 other guys in a vessel the size of a mobile home for three or more years is not my idea of an ideal job. Oh, by the way, we're sailing to uncharted arctic latitudes to find a theoretical passage way.......
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Yeah - and then we invented the EPIRB.
and we had invented the EPIRB FIRST, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

Of course if the Brits had invented the EPIRB it would have Lucas electrics, thereby making it so unreliable it's signals would have been ignored.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-31-2010
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There's a great book out a few years ago, "Resolute" that chronicles the search for the NW Passage, including the Investigator. It's featured on the book cover, in fact. Great read for anyone interested in maritime history.
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