05/23/20 • 71 min
The Inuit told of a group of forty men dragging a boat south, they were all very thin and using sign language made it known that their ship had been crushed in the ice, they purchased a seal from the Inuit. Later the same season, the same party were encountered, or at least what remained of them about a day’s walk from the Great Fish River. The men Rae spoke to had not seen the group first hand but were recounting a story told to them by others.
The scene described was apocalyptic, there were scattered dead bodies, in tents, under the upturned boat or out in the open. Many of the bodies has been hacked with knives and human remains were reported in cooking pots, they said there were thirty dead in that place, another five dead were found on a nearby island...
It was a quest that had consumed some of Europe’s most accomplished mariners for almost four centuries, a generations-spanning obsession that chipped away at the European understanding of North America’s high latitudes, oftentimes at great cost to both vessels and lives. The search for the fabled Northwest Passage.
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