Monday, August 30, 2010
No Franklin ships this year
As the Canadian Press put it in their article today, "Arctic Ship Searchers Come Up Cold this year." It's not the news we had all hoped to hear, but it's not entirely discouraging either. I have always felt that a large part of the difficulty in finding traces of Franklin's ships is that the area is, simply put, too vast to be searched without a significant, concerted effort over a period of time. Compared to the total area in which the ships may possibly be found, only a tiny percentage has ever before been systematically searched; by adding (by all accounts) a significant area to that total, this years's expedition increased the likelihood of success next year. According to the article, the team searched "150 square kilometres of sea floor under the waters near O'Reilly Island on the east side of Queen Maud Gulf." Some of this area, of course, had already been covered by Dave Woodman's earlier magnetometer searches, although that search may possibly have missed non-metallic targets, so in any case the news represents a meaningful step forward. I hold out great hope for next year's survey, and that the Canadian government and Parks Canada will redouble their efforts - and that they may find at least some trace of one of those long-lost vessels.