FEATURED BOOK for December, 2000
The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk and the Miraculous Rescue of her Survivors
By Jennifer Niven
384 pages
Published by Hyperion
ISBN: 0786865296  November 2000
Hardcover  (9.5 x 6.6)  
List Price US$24.95
From the publisher . . .  "It was to be the greatest and most elaborate Arctic expedition in history, with the largest scientific staff ever taken on such a journey. It's leader, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, was celebrated for his studies of Eskimo life and, with this mission, hoped to find evidence that proved his staunchly held belief that there was a last unexplored continent, hidden beneath the vast polar ice cap. In June 1913, the H.M.C.S. Karluk set sail from the Esquimalt Naval Yard in Victoria, British Columbia. Six weeks later, the arctic winter had begun, the ship was imprisoned in ice, and those on board had been abandoned by their leader.
For five months, the Karluk remained frozen in a massive block of ice, drifting farther and farther off course. In January 1914, with a thunderous impact, the ice tore a hole in the vessel's hull, and the redoubtable captain, Robert Bartlett, gave orders to abandon ship. With nothing but half the ship's store of supplies and the polar ice beneath their feet, Captain Bartlett, twenty-one men, an Inuit woman and her two small daughters, twenty-nine dogs, and one pet cat were now hopelessly shipwrecked in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, hundreds of miles from land. These castaways had no choice but to try to find solid ground where they could wait while they struggled against starvation, snow blindness, a gruesome and mysterious disease, exposure to the brutal winter -- and each other. Bartlett and one member of the party soon set across the ice to seek help. Nine months later, twelve survivors were rescued by a small whaling schooner and brought back to civilization.
The Ice Master is an epic tale of true adventure that rivals the most dramatic fiction. Drawing on the diaries of those who were rescued and those who perished, and even an interview with one living survivor, Jennifer Niven re-creates with astonishing accuracy and immediacy the Karluk's ill-fated journey and her crew's desperate attempts to find a way home from the icy wastes of the Arctic."
About the Author . . .   Jennifer Niven, an award-winning screenwriter, was an associate producer at ABC Television in Los Angeles before she left to research and write The Ice Master, her first book.
For additional reviews and ordering information, click on the cover image.
The Karluk became trapped in the ice off the north coast of Alaska in Aug. 1913 and began a westward drift. It sank northeast of Wrangel Island in Jan. 1914 and survivors trekked to land. In Mar. 1914, Bartlett began a journey for help traveling first to Siberia. He reached St. Michael, Alaska in May. 1914. The survivors were rescued in Sept. 1914
Map: Copyright 2000 PolarFlight Research Forum
For additional north polar regions maps, click here.
Suggestions for further reading . . .
For more information, click on the cover image.
A Survivor's Memoir of Arctic Disaster
by William Laird McKinlay
by Ralph T. Hale,
 et al.
For more information . . .
Links to two recent news articles about the remains of Sandy Anderson, first officer on the Karluk.  Anderson died in 1914 following an attempt to find help for his fellow explorers. Anderson and his companions left the Karluk and were never seen alive again, but in 1924 their remains were discovered on Herald Island.
From the London Telegraph
From the Scotsman
PolarFlight Online