On the Brink of Success

Although Franklin was not the chosen one for the expedition, his voyage and unfortunate end has become ingrained in stories in Canada. Not living in Canada, I have not heard of this tale before and it was interesting to learn about. I have a deep fear of the ocean and am not a fan of boats; however I find ship wrecks to be one of the most interesting discoveries to me. Just like the Fitzgerald that was lost to the sea, so was Franklin’s ships.

Just to find the Northwest Passage and try it out, Franklin and his crew left to explore. However, they were unprepared for what they came to face. The cold, bitter conditions gave them more than they bargained for. Especially since they suffered two winters on King William Island, waiting to see if their frozen ships would miraculously break free of the ice. And they did not. As time went on men started dying of pneumonia, scurvy, lead poisoning, and starvation – which was concerning considering their were bodies found with teeth marks and signs of de-fleshing from cannibalism.

Cannibalism is not something seen on the news nowadays, maybe one here or there, but something that is specifically looked down upon. Who would allow individuals to eat other people? Circumstances of course can alter ones perspective on cannibalism, yet in everyday life it would be horrific.

This makes you wonder how individuals in the frigid temperatures manage their ways when the weather can be disastrous. Seeing how the temperature can alter courses, and crewmen who are not prepared for their expedition, can result in a disaster that managed to hide for 167 years up in the ice. Although none managed to survive the expedition, they did try to their best abilities to keep themselves and each other alive in a time of need. I think it was with courageous thoughts and need for survival that they did what they had to do to survive the conditions they were stuck in.

They were on the brink of success in navigating the passage when disaster struck, leaving them alone an isolated on the ice.