Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Arctic team finds ship remains of the "Victory"


British team who are retracing the route taken by a group of nineteenth century Arctic explorers have found the remains of their ship, the Victory.

The Royal Navy team found parts of the ship's engine and anchor in Felix Harbour, deep in Canada's Arctic.
The Victory was carrying Sir John Ross and Sir James Clark Ross, during their search for the North West Passage.

The crew became stranded in the Arctic wilderness and had to endure three cruel winters before being rescued.

Their faithful ship was abandoned in 1832 after it became paralysed in ice. Until now, no trace of it has ever been recovered.

North Magnetic Pole
Although Sir John Ross and his nephew Sir James Clark Ross did not find the fabled sea route linking the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, they were made famous for other achievements.

They successfully charted the lands of Boothia, and in 1831 Sir James discovered the position of the North Magnetic Pole.

Now their footsteps are being followed for the first time by modern-day explorers led by Dom Mee, 33.
The Royal Navy expedition, called Exercise Arctic Quest 1832, began its journey at the beginning of August this year.

The group of six men and one woman contains Mark Hankey, who is a direct descendent of Sir James Clark Ross.

They are the first British explorers to visit this region of Canada's Arctic in 172 years.
Wild dreams

The team hoped to revisit the path that had taken their predecessors so painfully close to death.

They also harboured a dream that they would find some trace of the Victory.

Those dreams have been spectacularly realised by the discovery of the Victory's anchor and parts of her steam engine, in the bleak Felix Harbour.

"To be the first British expedition to reach the winter harbours is itself a great achievement especially in the worst ice conditions in 60 years," Dom Mee wrote in his online diary.

"But to make such discoveries is beyond our wildest dreams."

Dom Mee attempted the mission solo last year - but his attempt failed just short of the mark because of severe ice and trouble with a musk ox.

See the article here.

Remains of the "Victory".

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