Monday, July 5, 2010
I keep up to date with maritime-related news items on the Old Salt Blog ("a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea"), and from time to time ongoing developments catch my attention. This summer, as those of us in the Midwest are starting to broil in the hot summer afternoons, Parks Canada is sending icebreakers up to the Northwest Passage to find the lost ships of the 1845 Franklin Expedition. Franklin's ships, the converted bomb ketches Terror and Erebus, are said by experts to be perfectly preserved under the ice. There's also a War of 1812 connection to these ships: the HMS Terror, in her pre-arctic exploration configuration, participated in the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814. Because of global warming, the passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that John Franklin was searching for has now opened up, which in turn may make it easier to find the remains of his ships.