Burial of John Franklin. Author: me


Kabloonas is the way in which the Inuit who live in the north part of Canada call those who haven´t their same ascendency.

The first time i read this word was in the book "Fatal Passage" by Ken McGoogan, when, as the result of the conversations between John Rae and some inuit, and trying to find any evidence of the ill-fated Sir John Franklin Expedition, some of then mentioned that they watched how some kabloonas walked to die in the proximities of the river Great Fish.

I wish to publish this blog to order and share all those anecdotes that I´ve been finding in the arctic literature about arctic expeditions. My interest began more than 15 years ago reading a little book of my brother about north and south pole expeditions. I began reading almost all the bibliography about Antarctic expeditions and the superknown expeditions of Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton, etc. After I was captured by the Nansen, Nobile and Engineer Andree. But the most disturbing thing in that little book, full of pictures, was the two pages dedicated to the last Franklin expedition of the S.XIX, on that moment I thought that given the time on which this and others expeditions happened, few or any additional information could be obtained about it. I couldn´t imagine that after those two pages It would be a huge iceberg full of stories, unresolved misteries, anecdotes, etc. I believe that this iceberg, on the contrary than others, would continue growing instead melting.

martes, 31 de julio de 2012


This is a poem (sonnet) of William Shakespeare which is interpretable as almost everything in the world, (I think that the poems are particularly matter of interpretation), in several ways and I have to say that this post is going to be the most strange post that I´ve ever put here by now, likely because my boredom or a kind of pre-holyday syndrome. 

I found the poem by chance looking for more information about the Peglar Papers, specifically  putting this phrase in google:

'Oh death where is thy sting? Oh grave thy victory?'

Which is in the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (15:15) and which appears in the book found in the lonely skeleton found in KWI in 1851, the called Peglar Papers. (By the way, I highly recommended you to read the whole blog Aglooka).

The interpretation made here: http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/sonnet/6  of the 11th phrase of the sonnet has been relationated with the biblical phrase mentioned before and was the light which was turned on on my brain, this is the sonnet:

Then let not winter's ragged hand deface,
In thee thy (you) summer, ere (before) thou (you) be distilled:
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty's treasure ere (before)  it be self-killed.
That use is not forbidden usury,
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
That's for thy self (yourself) to breed another thee (you),
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
Ten times thy self were happier than thou art (are),
If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
Then what could death do if thou shouldst depart,
Leaving thee living in posterity?
Be not self-willed, for thou art much too fair
 To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.

I´ve found more than the only coincidence mentioned with that phrase so I thrown myself on this chimera and bizarre labour, and at the end of all this strange work here is my logical interpretation made phrase by phrase:

NOTE1: Please, don´t take it seriously, it is just that I wanted to do force some connection between the poem and the sad history of this man who died alone (or not) on that place.

NOTE2: But...what if Peglar-Armitage-Gibson wrote that thinking on this poem??? Well it could be although I really doubt it.

Here it is my interpretation:

(1) Don´t let the winter harm you: He refers to the ships blocked by the ice floes and the necessity to land and of the beginning of a long and desperate journey.

(2) In the summer you´ll be taken something that becames vital to survive: carrying their own supplies?, hunting? fishing? any other source of food? (thinking on the worse measures).

(3) the vials are of course the famous  tins or cans, and the sweet is the sweet flavour of the lead dissolved on their content.

(4) The same source of life (food) is the same that is going to kill you (poisoned by the welded lead  cans?) (or their conscience killed to appeal to the last resource?)

(5) If we refer to the second explanation of the (4) it is not a forbidden use because your life depends on doing what you have to do in order to survive.

(6) This could make happy to those who were used to let others live. (I doubt it)

(7) Suppossing you would have made the same for others (not counciously of course).

(8) Obvious that more can breed more (chilling thought)

(9) the same than before

(10) You will recover your strength

(11) and what could do the death? this is the connection with the Letter to the Corinthians.

'Oh death where is thy sting? Oh grave thy victory?'

(12) They, the men, the explorers, will continue living in the memoir of those who known the tragedy and of their relatives.

(13) This is hard to ascertain, but it would be something like "don´t be proud for doing what the necessity oblies you to do" (I am afraid that this thing is slightly picked up (or grab?) with tweezers).

(14) And finally and no less important, that the death of these men involved the strongest subsequent attempts to discover the Northwest passage, as worms trying claim the price.

viernes, 27 de julio de 2012


Commander Graham Gore (from the only known photo of him for me) author: me
My drawing hasn´t got a big physical resemblance, or any resemblance at all with the original, I would say, but it is the first aproximation. From the study of his face in the original photo while drawing his face features I became familiar with his gesture, and It is fun to watch his slight smile, nearly ironical. It seems that he is trying to contain his laugh, showing that perhaps he was a man of good humor. He is staring at something or at someone, perhaps to a good friend or a mate who was laughing at the same time when the photo was taken. It is also remarkable the dimple or wound in his cheek.

The original photo is here:

And a very very interesting analysis of the original picture is in the Russell Potter blog which I highly recomend to read and it is here:

The byography of this man is fascinating, he was another artist as could be George Back and Robert Hood, some of his sketches are really impressive, two of them are here:

A complete an really interesting account of his life and of the life of  his ancestors is here in the blog of William Battersby: 

From all this places I´ve learned that he was a talented artist and curious details about his life like he was in the "Beagle" for three years, something about his mood and other curious anecdotes.

Mi dibujo no tiene un gran parecido físico, o ninguno en absoluto con el original, diría yo, pero es la primera aproximación. Del estudio de su cara en la foto original al dibujando sus rasgos faciales me he familiarizado con su gesto, y es divertido observar su ligera sonrisa, casi irónica. Parece que está tratando de contener la risa, mostrando quizás que se trataba de un hombre de buen humor. Está mirando a algo o a alguien, quizás a un buen amigo o compañero quien estaba riendo en ese mismo momento cuando la foto fué tomada. Es de señalar también el hoyuelo o herida que tiene en la mejilla.

La foto original está aqui.

Y un muy muy interesante análisis de su foto está en el blog de Russell Potter, cuya lectura recomiendo encarecidamente y está aqui.

La biografía de este hombre es fascinante, fué otro artista como lo pudo ser George Back y Robert Hood, algunas de sus pinturas son impresionantes, dos de ellas están aqui.

Una descripción completa y realmente interesante de su vida y de la de sus antecesores está aqui en el blog de William Battersby.

De todos estos sitios he aprendido que el fue un talentoso artista y curiosos detalles sobre su vida, como que estuvo embarcado en el Beagle durante tres años, algo sobre su caracter y otras curiosas anécdotas.

lunes, 23 de julio de 2012


Landing of the Erebus crew on KWI Author: me
Perdón por no haber borrado parte del boceto a lápiz ni haber terminado el aparejo, pero es el precio de la precipitación.

Sorry for not erasing part of the pencil draft  nor finishing the rigging, but this is the price of my precipitation.

jueves, 19 de julio de 2012


Now that I am finishing the book "To the Arctict by Canoe" by C.Stuart Houston, I am even more intrigued with the life of Robert Hood. There is something in his history which capture my attention and spellbound me.
Yes, I´ve taken a picture of my book.

The manner in which that young Irish (or english-irish) man of nearly 24 years old write full of irony, wit and sarcasm, his unfinished narration of the journey, the realistic descriptions of the Indians and their behaviour, the landscapes descriptions, his drawings and some situations which are described carry us, while reading his journal, to that places in a different way that the Narrative of Franklin of this same journey. 

And the events which happened close the circle. His love by an Indian woman, his fight to get her love with George Back, his daughter whith the Indian Greenstockings who was registered in the Fort Resolution in 1823,  his attempt to save the life (risking his own throwing himself to the wild river) of the steerman who unfortunately died drowned in the river and which he didn´t reflect on his journal, and finally his cruel assessination. Even the death of his brother George in africa, soon after his own, increase the tragedy and the "halo" of mistery and misery.
The spirit of Robert Hood was full of energy and talent, if he hadn´t died there, probably he would be nowadays between the most famous explorers linked to the northwest passage expeditions as happened with George Back.

Through his brief byography we can see that he was assigned to serve off the iberian peninsula soon after the Trafalgar Battle, (is something that I will try to analyse closer). He joined the Navy with only 12 years, and his career, though brief, was intense, he was in cape hope, in the attack of ALgier, etc. ON the journal i ´ve found a mention in which he compares one of the Canadian rivers with the Ganges, but there is no mention to any stay of him in the India. He also compares the mosquitoes with the african ones.

I supposse that I would be able to obtain more information on this article, but I can´t get it through Internet (I will continue looking for it and more information).
Article titled 'Lieutenant Robert Hood, R.N. 1797-1821' by A.G.E Jones. 

Why is not his byography in wikipedia? I tried to write it several years ago and I even write some lines but I renounce at last to complete it, in the end I am not more than an amateur...

Ahora que estoy termiando del libro "To the Arctict by Canoe" de C.Stuart Houston, estoy incluso aún mas intrigado sobre la vida de RObert Hood. Hay algo en su historia que ha capturado mi atención y me ha hechizado.

El modo en el que este joven hombre Irlandés (o Inglés Irlandés) de casi 24 años escribe, lleno de ironía, ingenio y sarcasmo, su relato inconcluso del viaje, las realísticas descripciones del comportamiento de los indios, las descripciones de los paisajes, sus dibujos y algunas situaciones que se describen nos transportan, mientras leemos su diario, a aquellos lugares de un modo diferente a como lo hace Franklin en su narración del mismo viaje.

Y los acontecimientos que cerraron el círculo. Su amor por aquella mujer India, su lucha por su amor con George Back, su hija con Greenstockings, quien fué registrada en Fort Resolution en 1823, su intento de salvar la vida del timonel que desafortunadamente murió ahogado, arriesgando la suya propia lanzándose al salvaje rio,acción que RObert Hood no reflejó en su propio diario, y finalmente su cruel asesinato. Incluso la muerte de su hermano en Africa, poco después de su propia muerte, añade un "halo" adicional de tragedia a esta historia de misterio y miseria.

El espíritu de Robert Hood estaba lleno de energía y talento, si no hubiera muerto allí, probablemente se encontraría ahora entre los mas famosos exploradores vinculados a las expediciones en búsqueda del paso del noroeste como ocurrió con George Back.
 A través de su breve biografía, podemos ver que fue asignado a servir frente a la península ibérica poco después de la batalla de Trafalgar, (es algo que intentaré analizar de cerca).. Se incorporó a la marina con solo 12 años, y su carrera, aunque breve fue muy intensa, estuvo en el cabo de buena esperanza, en el ataque de Algiers, etc. En el diario he encontrado una comentario en el cual compara un rio Canadiense con el Ganges, pero no hay menciones en su biografía a que estuviese destinado en la India anteriormente. También establece comparaciones entre los mosquitos Canadienses y los Africanos.

Supongo que sería capaz de obtener mas información de este artículo, pero no he podido encontrarlo disponible en Internet, intentaré encontrar mas información.

Article titled 'Lieutenant Robert Hood, R.N. 1797-1821' by A.G.E Jones.

miércoles, 18 de julio de 2012


Algo hay en lo inhóspito del ártico Canadiense que atrae, seduce y captura a  artistas de todos los lugares. Es algo que hace poco he oido nombrar la "llamada del Norte".
Maurice Hall Haycock, fue cautivado y hechizado por el ártico Canadiense en el año 1926-27 después de pasar un año, por motivos de trabajo, conviviendo con los Inuit en la isla de Baffin. Después, de regreso a casa contactó con Alexander Young Jackson (miembro fundador del grupo de los siete) y fué a raiz de este contacto cuando comenzó su verdadera carrera como pintor allá por el año 1930.

Maurice volvió al ártico en 1949 con Jackson al lago del Gran oso y ya después de aquel viaje continuó yendo al ártico cada año durante los siguientes 40 años.  

El grupo de los siete fué un grupo de siete artistas que focalizaron su trabajo en pintar paisajes del ártico Canadiense, a estos siete hombres se les asocian otros dos hombres aunque no fueron oficialmente admitidos como parte del llamado "Grupo de los siete".
Fué en 1930, cuando al morir uno de sus socios fundadores, sucedió a este peculiar grupo otro llamado "Canadian Group of painters" más amplio y que además afortunadamente permitía el acceso a mujeres.

Maurice, tratando de pintar la "historia del norte", los primeros asentamientos, la historia de la búsqueda del paso del noroeste, etc. en algún momento fué cautivado por el hechizo de la Expedición perdida de Franklin y parte de su obra está centrada en este asunto. Maurice contribuyó con su gran archivo documental y fotográfico en las investigaciones, incluyendo su participación en el descubrimiento del HMS Breadalbane en 1980.

Illustrated London News republished at Rhode Island College's overview entitled Franklin in the Public Eye: 1818-1859
Entre sus obras están las tumbas de la expedición de Franklin en la isla de Beechey, una vista poco frecuente de la isla de Beechey desde el Cabo Spencer, los restos de Northumberland House, etc.

Aquí está su trabajo recogido en tres galerías: http://mhaycock.com/gallery1.html

Sus hijas han recogido el legado, e igualmente han sido hechizadas por la "llamada del Norte".

There is something into the inhospitable arctic that attracts, seduce and capture at artists of every where. It is something that recently I´ve heard and it is called "The Call of the North".

Maurice Hall Haycock, was captivated and haunted by the Canadian Arctic in the year 1926-27 after spending a year, working there, living with the Inuit in the Baffin Island. After, when he came back home he conctacted with Alexander Young Jackson (founder of the "Group of Seven") and it was because this conctact when he began his artist career in the year 1930.

Maurice came back to the arctic with Jackson to the Great Bear Lake and after this trip he return every year to the arctict the next 40 years.

The Group of Seven was a group of seven artist who focused their work on painting Canadian arctic landscapes, to this seven men are relationated other two although they didn´t be admited as part of the Group.

It was in 1930, when one of the founders died when the peculiar Group of seven was succeded by other group called the "Canadian Group of painters" bigger then the former and which fortunately admited women.

Maurice tried to paint "The history of the North", the first settlement, the history of the searching of the Nothwest passage, etc. In one particular moment, he was captured and spellbounded by the spell of the lost Franklin expedition and part of his art work is focused in this aspect. Maurice contributed with his big archive of documents and photographs in the investigations, including his participation in the discovery of the HMS Breadalbane in 1980.

Between his work are the graves of the men of the Beechey Island, a non common view of the Beechey island from cape Spencer, the rests of the Northumberland House, etc.

His art work is collected in three Galleries on his own web page here: http://mhaycock.com/gallery1.html

And his daugthers (Kathy and Carole) have taken his legacy and equally have been captured by the Call of North.

domingo, 15 de julio de 2012


Remorses in KWI_Author: me
Como se vivieron los últimos momentos de aquellos que tuvieron la fortuna o la desgracia de ser los últimos en morir en la última expedición de Franklin es algo que sin duda será siempre motivo de conjetura. Lo que sin duda seguro algunos debieron  sentir debió de ser remordimientos por recurrir al "último recurso". No obstante analizando las fotos de los oficiales de la expedición y los restos de William Braine, sabemos que los hombres que conformaban aquella expedición eran hombres duros, experimentados, con muchas millas a sus espaldas y algunas batallas, y que durante todos aquellos viajes habían convivido con la muerte e incluso la habian invitado a cenar y por tanto la conocían bien.

How would be the last moments of those who had the lucky or the misfortune to be the last to dye in the last Franklin expedition is something that, clearly will be forever a matter of conjecture. What some should feel would be remorse to fall in the "last resource" decission. However, only studying the photographs of the officers and the corpse of William Braine, we know that the men which form that expedition were hard men, experienced, with a lot of miles after them and some battles, and that during all those voyages they had been coexisting with the death and  they had even invited her for dinner and hence they known her well.

viernes, 13 de julio de 2012


No voy a decir mucho, tan solo por favor echad un vistazo a esta obra de arte,  (link al final del párrafo) de los hombres de la expedición de Franklin que fueron enterrados en la isla de Beechey, todavía no tengo palabras impresionante. Frozen in time: Los hombres de la isla de Beechey

La autora: Kristina Gherman (Maidith), En mi opinión ella es una auténtica genio.

Estuve hace poco pensando en reconstruir loe rostros de estos hombres con Photoshop para tratar de averiguar cual podría haber sido su aspecto en vida, pero después de este hallazgo, creo que no me tomaré la molestia, es una obra de arte.

I am not going to say much, only, please, take a look to this work opf art (link at the end of the paragraph) of the Franklin expedition  men buried in the Beechey Island, I am still without words, impressive!!!. Frozen in time: Los hombres de la isla de Beechey

The author: Kristina Gherman (Maidith) . In my opinion she is an real Genius.

Her work here:   http://maidith.deviantart.com

I was thinking in making the reconstruction of the faces of these boys with photoshop to guess what could have been their appearance in live, but after this discovery, I think that I am not going to do now, this is a masterpiece.

miércoles, 11 de julio de 2012


Por fín tenemos una película, pero me temo que no es histórica. Aunque puede ser divertida. Además trabaja el famoso actor de películas de terror Michael Berryman.
Michael Berryman

La película se llama: EREBUS,

Después de la novela de Dan Simons "The Terror" aparece esta película justo con el nombre del otro buque, aunque no he sido capaz de dilucidar cual es la relación exacta con el barco de la expedición de Franklin, no deja de ser curioso, y los carteles están muy bien. 

Seguiremos esperando a que alguien se anime a llevar la expedición perdida de Franklin a la gran pantalla. Cada vez que veo las nuevas películas de Sherlock Holmes no dejo de pensar en como quedaría ambientada una película hecha con los medios actuales.

At last we have a film, but I am afraid that it isn´t an historical one. Although i think that it could be funny. Besides, on it works the famous actor of terror films Michael Berryman

The film is called:EREBUS

After the novel "The Terror" by Dan Simons" appears this film just with the name of the other ship, although I haven´t been able to discover the exact conection between the script and the Franklin expedition ship, I think that the film is curious, and the posters of it are very good.

We will be waiting till someone wants to bring the Franklin lost expedition to the big screen. Each time I watch the new Sherlock Holmes films I can´t avoid thinking on how would be a movie about Franklin using the same technological means and using a similar enviroment.


Model of Erebus ship made by Robert Wilson.
Original location: http://www.finewaterline.com/pages/albums/rwilson/rwilson.htm
Model of Erebus ship made by Robert Wilson.
Original location: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=17248
Permitidme el título sensacionalista, pero aquí está, lo encontré al fin. Congelado y abandoned en el ártico. La página web donde están esta y otras maquetas similares de barcos es una maravilla. Concretamente encontrar al Erebus así representado me parece una idea de lo más original. La maqueta es una preciosidad y el artista, Robert Wilson, un virtuoso, sin duda alguna, el efecto del hielo sobre el casco parece real y el tamaño es increíble.

Forgive me the sensationalist title, but here you have her. I found it at last. Frozen and abandoned in the arctic. The web page where it is with other similar models is marvelous. Particularly finding the Erebus so represented seem to me a very original idea. The model is beautiful and the artist, Robert Wilson, a virtous, without any doubt, the effect of the ice over the ship´s hull seems real and the size is incredible. 

jueves, 5 de julio de 2012


Peter Rindisbacher_from The Lord Selkirk Association.

Peter Rindisbacher es otro artista ártico no muy conocido, a pesar de que sus pinturas son de las primeras que retrataron a las tribus indias del norte de Canadá e hizo increibles cuadros sobre la caza del búfalo. Hay 40 pinturas conservadas en los archivos de Canada. Las pinturas de Peter representan escenas desde el estrecho de Hudson hasta el asentamiento de Red River, en las proximidades del lago Winipeg.

Peter nació en Suiza y no fue el único artista Suizo que aterrizó en la bahía de Hudson a principios del siglo XIX . Peter, con solo 15 años llegó a York Factory el 17 de agosto de 1821 junto con su familia, apenas un mes después de que Franklin, George Back el Dr. Richardson y John Hepburn llegaran también a York Factory después de terminar su funesta expedición a la costa norte de Canada por la desembocadura del rio Coppermine . En el camino de hecho se cruzó con el Prince of Wales (el barco que llevó a Franklin a York Factory y donde posiblemente se encontrara de vuelta ese mismo agosto) y también con el Eddystone.

Izquierda Red River Settlement_Right barcos de la HBC atrapados en la bahía de Hudson _from wikipedia_by Peter Rindisbacher 1821.
Nada más desembarcar Peter comenzó su labor pictórica y representó imágenes como la de los esquimales remando en la bahía de Hudson en sus piráguas, los buques atrapados en el hielo en la bahía, etc.

Aquel primer invierno de 1821trabajó como clérigo y acompañó a varias partidas de caza que fueron a cazar búfalos. Estas imágenes tuvieron mucho éxito por la novedad que suponían en cuanto a lo creado hasta la fecha, por la exactitud de los temas que dibujaba y por el nivel técnico y el estilo.

La obra de Peter pasó después desapercibida  cuando hasta 1940 fue redescubierta y se considera el primer artista con residencia permanente en Canadá al oeste de los grandes lagos.La sensibilidad con la describía las cosas que veia han convertido su obra en material de estudio para historiadores, antropólogos, etc.

Parece que hay un alma de artista vagando por aquellas tierras desde que George Back y RObert Hood la pisaran en 1819 por primera vez, que ha ido sucediéndose en la forma de diferentes personas y que de hecho sigue allí vagando actualmente.  Quizás el alma de Robert Hood aunque no creo en espíritus.

Peter Rindisbacher is another arctic artist, not very well known, despite that his pictures are the first on retrait the Indian tribus of the north part of Canada and he did incredible pictures about the  hunting of the buffalo. There are 40 pictures conserved in the Canadian archives. The pictures of Peter are drawn from Hudson Strait to the Red River Settlement, near the WInieg Lake.

Peter was born in Swisstzerland but he wasn´t the only Swiss artist that landed in the Hudson Bay in the beginning of S.XIX. Peter, with only 15 years old came to York Factory the 17 of august of 1821 altogether with his family, almost a month after Franklin, George Back el Dr. Richardson and John Hepburn would come to York Factory  from their expedition to the north Canada by the mouth of the Coppermine rivero. On the way, in fact, he cross his way with the ship "Prince of Wales" (the ship which takes Franklin to York Factory and on where he likely was present in his way to come back in that moment) and with the ship Eddystone also.

Just landing there, Peter began his work and painted pictures as that of the Esquimoux paddling in their kayaks and the HBC ships trapped by the ice in the Hudson Bay. That winter of 1821 he worked as a clerk and accompanied several hunting parties to hunt buffalo. These drawings had a lot of success because their novelty compared with previous work done till then, for the accurateness of the images, and for the high skill and his style.

The Peter work pass without being known till 1940 was rediscovered and now it´s considered the first artist  with permanent residence in the west side of the great lakes in Canada. The sensitivity with whih he descrive the things he saw have become his work in subject of study to historians, antropographers, etc.

It seems that there is a spirit wandering in that land since George Back and Robert Hood  walked there for first time in 1819, and that has been changing into different people since then, and that it´s still wandering there now. Perhaps the Robert Hood soul though i don´t believe in spirits.

martes, 3 de julio de 2012


Erebus Camp Clear, Author: me.
Esta es mi propia interpretación del Campamento Erebus.
This is my own representation of the Erebus Camp.