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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Still Searching for the Franklin Expedition

It's true; according to Randy Boswell's article, Parks Canada to lead new search for Franklin's ships:

The Canadian government confirmed Friday it will embark on the most extensive search ever for the fabled British shipwrecks Erebus and Terror...

Why send out the icebreaker Sir Wilfrid Laurier? Why look for Franklin's ships after all this time? Not just for global maritime history, but for the reasons that have lain behind maritime exploration for centuries: to boost a claim for sovereignty.

If you're unfamiliar with the Franklin Expedition, or the contemporary issues surrounding nations' claims to seabed rights in the Arctic, read Boswell's article--he summarizes the history and why it's important to the polar nations of today. He even includes a fascinating tidbit: Britain gave the ships to Canada, should they ever be found.

The resources concerning Franklin and the northwest passage are vast; some of the best include:

And a there's even a wonderful novel, Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal.

Want to explore virtually? Then follow the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier icebreaker via the website. Imagine what it would have been like for Lady Franklin to have had that option.

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