Twenty-five people escaped onto the ice, isolated for a year before rescue arrived. By then, 11 people had perished--some in trying to reach land, others by suicide, malnutrition, or disease. McKinlay's first-hand account of the Karluk debacle is Shackleton's Endurance story in reverse: Leaderless and despondent, the stranded resorted to treachery, lying, cheating, and pure folly. Karluk is a story both unbelievable and familiar, and it is convincingly told: William Laird McKinlay returned from the Arctic to serve as an officer on the Western Front during World War I, and spent much of his life thereafter as a school headmaster in Scotland.
His account of the Karluk disaster was first published in , when he was eighty-eight years old. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Learn more about Amazon Prime. In , explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson hired William McKinlay to join the crew of the Karluk , the leading ship of his new Arctic expedition. Stefansson's mission was to chart the waters north of Alaska; yet the Karluk 's crew was untrained, the ship was ill-suited to the icy conditions, and almost at once the Karluk was crushed-at which point Stefansson abandoned his crew to continue his journey on another ship.
This is the only firsthand account of what followed: Written some sixty years after the fact, and drawing extensively on his own daily log, McKinlay's narrative of this doomed expedition is rendered with remarkable clarity of recollection, and with a combination of horror and a level of self-possession that, to modern eyes, may seem incredible.
Like most of his companions, McKinlay was inexperienced, without a day's training in the skills essential to survival in the Arctic. Yet he and many of his fellow crewmen, with the help of an Eskimo family accustomed to such conditions, survived a year under the harshest of conditions, enduring mile-per-hour gales and temperatures well below zero with only the barest of provisions and almost no hope of contact with civilization.
Nearly a century later, this remains one of the most compelling survival stories ever written-an extraordinary testament to man's overpowering will to live. Read more Read less.
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The Doomed Voyage of the Karluk. A True Story of Survival in the Arctic. In the Kingdom of Ice: In the Land of White Death: Sponsored products related to this item What's this? A WW2 novel about resistance, love, and honor.
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Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition May 19, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. When I returned from the seal fisheries to Brigus, my old home in Newfoundland, in the spring of , I found awaiting me a telegram from Stefansson, asking me to join his expedition and take charge of the Karluk.
I went at once to New York, then to Ottawa for a day with the government authorities and direct from there to Victoria, BC. It was the middle of May and there was work to be done to get the ship ready to sail in June.
It was an elaborate expedition, one of the largest and most completely equipped, I believe, that have ever gone into the Arctic. It differed, too, in one other respect, than that of size, from previous Arctic expeditions, in that its main objects were essentially practical—in fact, one might say, commercial. It was in two divisions. The northern party, under Stefansson himself, was primarily to investigate the theory so ably advanced by Dr.
Harris of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey that new land—perhaps a new continent—was to be found north of Beaufort Sea, which is that part of the Arctic Ocean immediately to the north of Alaska. The Karluk was to sail north approximately along the st meridian until her progress was interfered with either by ice or by the discovery of land.
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If she should be beset in the ice and forced to drift, it was expected that certain theories about the direction of Arctic currents would be tested, and there would also be opportunity for dredging and sounding. Holden manages to render fresh Bartlett's descriptions of igloo building, dogsledding and polar bear hunting. Rattling adds nice atmospherics, too—the crunching of ice and snow bookends the tale. Bartlett played Chopin's Funeral Waltz as the ice claimed his ship, and the music accompanies Holden's recounting of the event. The narration soars as the typically reserved Bartlett reunites with his rescued crew, an emotional breathiness imbuing Holden's voice.