Let’s Chase Franklin into the Arctic

Adventure Canada is making it happen. Early this autumn, we’ll be chasing Franklin Into the Northwest Passage — sailing on August 27 from Greenland and emerging September 12 at Kugluktuk. Along the way we’ll visit Beechey Island, the most famous historical site in the Arctic, where in 1846 John Franklin buried the first three sailors to die on his final expedition. We hope to go ashore at the cairn John Rae built on Boothia Peninsula in 1854 to mark his discovery of the final link in the first navigable Northwest Passage. In 1999, along with two other men, I placed a plaque there to commemorate this achievement, so we’ll have to find a way to mark that 25th anniversary.

Cameron Treleaven, Louis Kamookak, and Ken McGoogan at the John Rae cairn

Having recently published my sixth Arctic book, I’ll be sailing as an ambassador for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. I’ll probably have a few things to say (don’t even try to stop me) when we call in at Gjoa Haven, the Inuit settlement nearest to where Franklin’s ships, the Erebus and the Terror, were found in 2014 and 2016. Maybe at the edge of town we’ll climb the hill to see where Roald Amundsen took magnetic readings through two winters. At the mouth of the Coppermine River, we will see the location where in 1821, on his first Arctic Overland Expedition, Franklin rejected the advice of his Dene and Metis guides to strike out eastward along the coast in two small canoes — a decision that proved disastrous. But you can read all about that — and much more — in Searching for Franklin. Or maybe you’ll catch a preview in Ottawa at the RCGS or in Manhattan at The Explorers Club or the New York Public Library. Worth noting: after my razzle-dazzle presentation at The Club, Philip Turner, NYC BookMan Extraordinaire, will join me on stage to chat. Oh yeah. Meanwhile, if you move quickly, you still have a chance to win a $5,000 USD travel credit towards the cost of the highlight voyage of 2024!





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