Northwest Passage


Lost Franklin expedition ship found in the Arctic

Cairns:  Messengers in Stone (David B. Williams)   …   On May 10th, 1845, Sir John Franklin and his company of one hundred men set sail from England in search of a fabled waterway through the Arctic called the Northwest Passage. His two vessels, the Erebus and the Terror, were last seen moored to an iceberg in Baffin Bay preparing to voyage east into Lancaster Sound before the winter of 1845. Sir John Franklin and his men were never heard from again with the exception of a single note found inside a cairn on King William Island.

Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers)

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.

Westward from the Davis Strait ’tis there ’twas said to lie
The sea route to the Orient for which so many died;
Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones
And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones.

Arctic yields fresh evidence for Elizabethan gold swindle   …   In 1577 and 1578, Kodlunarn Island, in what is now Frobisher Bay, was the site of British mariner Martin Frobisher’s infamous Arctic Eldorado turned New World financial nightmare. Now two Laval University scientists say there’s solid evidence that Frobisher and his chemists were in on a massive fraud that was an Elizabethan-era “prelude to Bre-X.”


Advertisement for Antarctica Expedition, 1914   …   Shackleton received over 5000 applications….

Newfoundland Sealing Disaster, 1914

Sans Souci (Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, 1914)


flow  The Psychology of Optimal Experience  (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

Ø  flow—the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it. (p.4)

Ø  The mark of a person who is in control of consciousness is the ability to focus attention at will, to be oblivious to distractions, to concentrate for as long as it takes to achieve a goal, and not longer. And the person who can do this usually enjoys the normal course of everyday life. (p.31)

Ø  First, the experience usually occurs when we confront tasks we have a chance of completing. Second, we must be able to concentrate on what we are doing. Third and fourth, the concentration is usually possible because the task undertaken has clear goals and provides immediate feedback. Fifth, one acts with a deep but effortless involvement that removes from awareness the worries and frustrations of everyday life. Sixth, enjoyable experiences allow people to exercise a sense of control over their actions. Seventh, concern for the self disappears, yet paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger after the flow experience is over. Finally, the sense of the duration of time is altered; hours pass by in minutes, and minutes can stretch out to seem like hours. The combination of all these elements causes a sense of deep enjoyment that is so rewarding people feel that expending a great deal of energy is worthwhile simply to be able to feel it. (p.49)

Ø  The ability to take misfortune and make something good come of it is a very rare gift. Those who possess it are called “survivors,” and are said to have “resilience,” or “courage.” Whatever we call them, it is generally understood that they are exceptional people who have overcome great hardships, and have surmounted obstacles that would daunt most men and women. In fact, when average people are asked to name the individuals they admire the most, and to explain why these men and women are admired, courage and the ability to overcome hardship are the qualities most often mentioned as a reason for admiration. As Francis Bacon remarked, quoting from a speech by the Stoic philosopher Seneca, “The good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.” (p.200)