Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle

Winter 2017/2018

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine

Issue link: http://read.dreamscapes.ca/i/905839

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Page 47 of 79

TOP: Walruses on the shores of Devon Island. ABOVE: Inukshuk in Cambridge Bay. OPPOSITE BOTTOM: Aerial view of the George River landscape in Nunavik. DREAMSCAPES WINTER 2017/2018 48 I was finalizing my book, Arctic Kaleido- scope, and the lyrics to the late singer's iconic song about Sir John Franklin's ill- fated voyage of discovery in the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror had become an irritating ear- worm, as I sorted through images of Beechey Island in Wellington Channel, then the last place Franklin and his crews were known to be, in the harsh winter of 1845–46. Like many Canadians—helped along by Stan's baritone—I was fascinated by the story of Franklin and how he and his crew disappeared, without trace, somewhere in the Northwest Passage. And like a lot of Canadians, I figured the visual remnants on Beechey Island—"like broken teeth, four gravestones poke up out of the beach gravel," went the description in my book—would be the last we would hear from Franklin's ill-fated quest. FRIGID DISCOVERIES Well, I was wrong. (And, as it happens, Stan Rogers got his wish, posthumously.) In September 2014, HMS Erebus was discov- ered by a dedicated crew from Parks Canada, in the frigid waters around King William Island, in Nunavut. HMS Terror was found in Terror Bay, Nunavut, two years later. It had been a long time coming. After the two ships failed to report back to Great Britain, the British Admiralty sent investigators to dis- cover their whereabouts, alive or dead. On Beechey, they came across three sailors' gravesites, several small buildings and a cairn. (The fourth grave marker is that of Thomas Morgan, who died a few years later, during one of the many expeditions to the Franklin site.) Nearby are the rapidly crumbling remains of Northumberland House, an emergency shelter Our Canadian ARCTIC BACK IN 2013, I COULDN'T GET STAN ROGERS OUT OF MY HEAD. "AH, FOR JUST ONE TIME I WOULD TAKE THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE, TO FIND THE HAND OF FRANKLIN REACHING FOR THE BEAUFORT SEA. . ." EDITORIAL & PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELLE VALBERG

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