Talk:Last voyage of the Karluk

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Featured article Last voyage of the Karluk is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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February 6, 2010 Peer review Reviewed
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Current status: Featured article

What is the flag state of the ship, where was she built, launch date and so on. --Stunteltje (talk) 21:24, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Balkan book[edit]

The following further reading item was posted 02:14, 8 July 2009 by and reverted 08:37, 8 July 2009 by on the grounds that it was spam.

  • Balkan, Evan. Shipwrecked! Deadly Adventures and Disasters at Sea. Birmingham, AL: Menasha Ridge, 2008, pp.91-106

The book exists and the table of contents can be browsed on Amazon. The book has multiple chapters covering various shipwrecks and was posted to several apparently appropriate locations. I think the judgment that it was spam may have been hasty. Although this could, of course be commercial spam, it could just as well be a fan of the book. The fact that no URL was posted argues against it being commercial spam.Dankarl (talk) 13:44, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Dankarl. It is not clear why this book chapter is described as "serial ref spam" by A check of the contributions of these two editors shows that yes, has inserted references to chapters of this book in several articles about wrecked ships, all reverted by with the same explanation. Why not assume that just read the book and decided that each chapter is a good reference for the appropriate Wiki article? Yes, this might increase the sale of the book by Balkan, but the same could be said for many Wiki references. I suggest this book be restored as a source here and in the other articles, UNLESS someone who has read the book can show that it is not a valid source of information. Dirac66 (talk) 16:09, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I went through the contributions list a bit more. There are two books being posted/promoted here, one on shipwrecks one on missing explorers, both by Balkan. This is looking a bit more like the poster could be someone associated with the books. Another problem is that although the listing was appropriately placed in Karluk as Further reading, it put in References for some of the other articles. I've seen no evidence for any modification of the article text, so it was not used as a source and placement in References is IMO inappropriate. That could be remedied by creating a Further reading section.
We are left with the conflict of interest issue.
Wikipedia's policies on conflict of interest and NOR do not prohibit citing oneself. If the two books are reasonably well done they are probably good additions if appropriately placed. But then we have the issue that both editors are known only by IP addresses.
I'm going to revert a couple of the reversions to try to get the attention of both original editors; hopefully they can join the discussion.Dankarl (talk) 00:13, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
doneDankarl (talk) 13:46, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I can't find any discussion of Further reading items. I posted a policy query at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard#What is COI policy for Further reading and similar items?Dankarl (talk) 13:46, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Article expansion[edit]

I am expanding this article to a full account of the Karluk disaster using multiple sources. The effects should start appearing on this page within a week. Editors are welcome to comment and/or contribute. Brianboulton (talk) 11:21, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

I have moved the article name to "Voyage of the Karluk" to represent the focus of the expanded article. I have begun the expansion process by posting a new lead, and several further sections. More will follow over the next days. When completed the article will be sent for a detailed peer review. Brianboulton (talk) 11:30, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Please note that the map of the drift will be replaced by a more readable version. Brianboulton (talk) 00:24, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Karluk registration[edit]

HMCS Karluk? I could easily have missed something, but as far as I know Karluk was a US ship registered to Stefansson; certainly was at one point: see Bureau of Navigation, US Dept. of Commerce. Annual list of merchant vessels of the United States 1913 edition with part 6 (usually separate) bound together, separate pagination: Part 6 p35Dankarl (talk) 02:00, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

"HMCS" is how Jennifer Niven refers to the ship in The Ice Captain, p. 7. She does not elaborate on details of the ship's registration. However, the expedition was sponsored by the Canadian government, and the official directly responsible was the Deputy Minister for Naval Affairs (Henighan, p. 58). The ship was fitted out in the Canadian naval dockyard at Esquimault. There are other online references to "HMCS Karluk", for example here. I will investigate further for clarification of Karluk's registration at the time of the voyage and will annotate the article accordingly. Brianboulton (talk) 11:56, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Also, McKinlay's account refers to the Canadian Blue Ensign flying from the mast as the ship sank. Brianboulton (talk) 16:54, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Doug Thomas, writing in [Trident, Aug 7, 2006], reviewing Jim Lotz The Best Journey in the World Pottersfield press, 2006: "In fact Karluk was never commissioned to the Navy, although the ship was chartered by the Canadian Government and fitted out in Esquimalt dockyard..."
It appears members of the expedition referred to the ship as HCMS Karluk in personal and official correspondence. A letter from Stanley Morris is quoted [[1]], and I've seen some other things that appear independent of Niven. Gray uses HMCS once in a video caption (perhaps original?)[[2]].Dankarl (talk) 17:20, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure from other reading a chartered ship generally could fly the flag of the charterer, don't know whether this was a must or whether it depended on the type of charter.Dankarl (talk) 17:20, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
In McKinlay's account, Captain Bartlett's note left at the ice camp before the march to Wrangel Island refers to "DGS [Dominion Government Ship] Karluk" There does not seem to be a definitive position. I am inclined to withdraw the HMCS designation for uncertainty, and summarise the known position in a footnote. Any other ideas? Brianboulton (talk) 23:45, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Canadian Coast guard bio of Bartlett [3] captions photo "CGS Karluk"
No strong opinion, needs a footnote either way. I think use of HMCS would be informal for a chartered ship with a non-Navy captain, but is historically documented. Has your reading extended to the Canadian government inquiries? Usage there would be more nearly definitive. In case you missed it, WP:Ships has just had a big discussion of proper use of USS, HMS, etc.Dankarl (talk) 02:08, 17 January 2010 (UTC)


According to Stefansson, Hadley was recruited (hired) to the expedition at Point Barrow. Gray seems to concur [4].Dankarl (talk) 15:06, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Whatever Stefansson said in The Friendly Arctic some years later, Hadley's position was by no means clear at the time. Bartlett (p.20) clearly considered him as on route to Banks Island, even though he was "put on the ship's articles as a carpenter." McKinlay (p.23) says "We had no idea why Hadley was joining us." Brianboulton (talk) 21:40, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, but no reason to develop an air of mystery with ' "passenger" ' etc. The historically relevant facts are: Hadley had both maritime and northern experience (Gray, Stefansson), had been working for Hudson's Bay Company (Gray), Stefansson states he knew Hadley previously and wanted his experience, Hadley was added to the ships company as carpenter (no quotes needed)(Bartlett), Bartlet wrote that Hadley required passage to Banks Island for reasons of which he was not informed, and McKinley did not know what Hadley's role was.
Though Bartlett's account is fresher than Stefansson's both are after-the-fact. Stefansson, Bartlett, and McKinley all had agendas in writing their books.
I'll make appropriate adjustments to the text when I go through the finished draft in a few days' time. Brianboulton (talk) 00:44, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


I uploaded a couple more pics which should be more appropriate than the Anadyr shot for this article. Particularly the first is a typical arctic-coast yaranga. The Uelen residents in the second are on a ship and one wears a stocking cap, maybe more typical of East Cape residents than those farther up the coast. They are at least close in geography and time (both 1913).

The third is at Port Dezhnev, either synonomous with or adjacent to Emma Town. This would be the view Bartlet saw as he headed south with Baron Kleist. The American-style cabins near the lagoon are probably a trading station (Carpendale's?).

Dankarl (talk) 04:07, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for these. I will replace the Anadyr pic wth the Uelen residents. When the draft article is complete, and edited down to its final length, we'll see if either of the others can be used. Much appreciated, Brianboulton (talk) 10:04, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Bartlett's suspicions[edit]

Niven's contention that Bartlett was suspicious of Stefansson's reasons for leaving the ship are not specifically supported by the quotation given in her book p 56 and she cites no other source for this assertion (the quote could just as well be simple exasperation). A lot depends on the context of the Bartlett quote; I have not read 'The Log of Bob Bartlett' so I can't say. In the absence of further information I do not think the Niven citation or the quote she cites is sufficient support.Dankarl (talk) 21:37, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

See my note below. Brianboulton (talk) 12:07, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

King & Winge[edit]

1914 does not seem to be on line, but in 1915 King & Winge was of American registry [5]. Since the vessel was built in 1914 in Seattle, owned by a Seattle company, and chartered to another Seattle company for the 1914 season, it seems unlikely she was registered in Canada for one year only.Dankarl (talk) 18:16, 20 January 2010 (UTC) See also

where it is stated that King and Winge was the only American schooner holding the required Russian trading permit that year (1914). (If Cochran is correct this also implies that Pedersen was taking a big risk in sailing into Emma Harbor to pick up Bartlett - unless of course he already had some understanding with Kleist.)Dankarl (talk) 18:36, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Also "American gas schooner King & Winge" p 82Dankarl (talk) 15:01, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

The assertion that King & Winge was Canadian seems to come from Niven's misreading of Bartlett p 301. There were two schooners there - King & Winge and a Canadian schooner. It was the Canadian schooner that was ill-suited and had the heavy deck load. From McCurdy's we know King & Winge was built for arctic service, with sheathing and stem-plates.Dankarl (talk) 19:06, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

At the moment I am trying to finish the article. I will take up your various points when this has been done - I expect there to be many alterations to this first draft. Brianboulton (talk) 00:26, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and fixed both instances, added Cochran to refs.Dankarl (talk) 15:22, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. By the way, the article is written in British English, except for names such as Rodger's Harbor, or when quoting from a Canadian or US text. So "maximise" is correct. Brianboulton (talk) 17:50, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Changed back. Dankarl (talk) 19:57, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Progress report[edit]

The draft article is now finished, a little bloated at 7,400 words.. These are the next stages which I envisage:-

  • Thorough prose check. The article could probably lose 1,000 words without affecting its overall comprehensiveness (verbosity, repetitions, unimportant detail etc). Also double-check for accuracy and neutrality.
  • Deal with outstanding talkpage issues and others as they arise
  • Decide whether to retain all images, or whether some should be replaced or merely deleted. Write alt text for all images that are kept.
  • Improve the "voyage" map. I can't do this myself, but I know people who can
  • Final copyedit
  • Peer review.

Not too many problems ahead, I hope. Brianboulton (talk) 00:20, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

This is a very well-done entry! When you are ready, I would be happy to nominate this for GA status! Clevelander96 (talk) 04:50, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

ice conditions[edit]

"ice conditions in the Arctic that year were widely reported as the worst in history". this is questionable; 1913 was a bad year, think 1914 was pretty ordinary. Suspect Niven (if that's where it's from) has got her years switched. Dankarl (talk) 19:00, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Niven says "The New York Times reported these were the worst ice conditions in the history of the Arctic", but doesn't give a date. Bartlett (p. 297) indicates that the ice was bad, though he doesn't say the worst. If you have a specific source that indicates that 1913 was the worst year and 1914 not particularly bad, let's see what it says. Brianboulton (talk) 19:37, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I'll work on it. 1913 shouldn't be hard but 1914 maybe more so since people don't comment on ordinariness. Dankarl (talk) 19:43, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Swenson, Northwest of the World, 1944 ed. p103 "As we pushed away from Nome for Herschel Island, in the middle of August...we encountered some of the worst ice conditions which had afflicted the Arctic for years." Dankarl (talk) 19:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Gray Disaster Loss of the Karluk and Wrangel Island Canadian Museum of Civilization "The ice conditions off the north coast of Alaska were severe in 1913 and Karluk, along with several other ships, became trapped in the ice." Dankarl (talk) 19:58, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Here's a couple candidates for Niven's source; both refer to 1913 shipping season:

  • KARLUK DRIFTING AROUND THE POLE Special to The New York Times. VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON. February 23, 1914, Monday Page 1.

3rd subheadline: "[Karluk} was drifting west in October in earliest arctic winter ever remembered" Stefansson to NYT: "On the way east from Barrow we found much evidence to confirm our conclusion that this was the worst ice year in the known history of the arctic east of Barrow. Eskimos who for a lifetime had made boat trips along the coast this year were frozen in during what they have considered to be the middle of the boating season.

"Leffingwell, at Flaxman Island, has been there six years and considers this season beyond comparison the worst he knows, as do the Eskimos there. Capt Mogg, ice pilot of the Polar Bear, and Capt. cottle of the Belvedere have been east of Barrow for twenty-five years, and consider the season unprecedented.

"This is the first time inthe history of arctic travel that power vessels have tried to reach Herschel and all have failed. Between Herschel and MacKenzie warm river water has always kept the waters ice free most of the summer since the memory of the oldest Eskimos, but this summer the sea east of the island is so full of ice that Inspector Phillips and the Eskimos used to working on whaling ships agree that had a vessel reached the island it could not have proceeded further east. This is unprecedented in the memory of the natives"

  • HAD DRIFTED FOR MONTHS.; Whereabouts of Explorer's Flagship Was Long an Arctic Mystery. New York Times May 30, 1914, Saturday Page 1, 3460 words

NYT quoting an earlier dispatch from W.E. Hudson of Seattle: "The year 1913 may go down in history as the worst season ever known in the arctic. It is at least the worst season which has been known in arctic annals thus far.

"Out of nine vessels that attempted this season to navigate the arctic east of Point Barrow, the Transit, Mary Sachs, and Elvira were crushed by the ice and sunk. All hands were saved. The Belvedere and Polar are frozen in near the beach off Griffin Point. The Ann Olga and the North Star are in a lagoon east of demarcation point. The Alaska is safe at Collinson Point." Dankarl (talk) 20:42, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

and another:

STEFANSSON'S QUEST TO TEST A THEORY New York Times September 18, 1915, Saturday Page 3, 2566 words "It was then that the party realized that 1913 was the worst in history of arctic exploration for ice"

However here's a vote for 1914:

STARTS FOR KARLUK'S MEN.; Revenue Cutter Will Race with Famine for Marooned Crew. New york Times July 24, 1914, Friday Page 7, 227 words

"The power schooner P.J. Abler, which arrived from the arctic yesterday with a cargo of furs, reported that the ice conditons along the American and Siberian shores of the arctic are the worst ever known."

Wrangel Island is not reachable every year. C.L. Hooper couldn't get there in 1880, made it in 1881, as did USS Rodgers; Joe Bernard couldn't get there in 1922, the resulting failure of resupply contributing the the deaths of Stefansson's colonists. King & Winge got supplies to the Belvedere, the CAE schooners got where they were going. And 2 ships (King & Winge and Corwin) reached Wrangel Island. These results argue that 1914 was not as bad as 1913.

  • Shipwrecks off Alaska's coast Minerals Management Service, U.S. Department of Interior. [6] shows 3 vessels lost to ice 1913, none 1914.

Tentative conclusion: 1914 may have been bad but probably not close to 1913. More later if you wantDankarl (talk) 21:06, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I think enough is enough on this point. A small change in the wording should suffice. Brianboulton (talk) 00:09, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Request re distances[edit]

The abbreviation "mi" is not used in British English; please do not alter the templates so that this appears. Likewise, "nmi" will be meaningless to the general reader. Unfortunately the nautical miles conversion template automatically includes "mi" in its readout, but that is acceptable if "nautical miles" is spelled out. Brianboulton (talk) 19:15, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Also, there are some distances not converted at all, which I will see to as I go through. Brianboulton (talk) 19:39, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

several small items[edit]

Soundings - I think it worth mentioning that the Karluk crew, per plan, kept up soundings and dredgings throughout the drift. Bartlett's sounding photo is uploaded if there's room. file:Karluk crew making soundings.PNG

I have added a sentence about dredging and sounding. I like the pic and have used it in place of the shot of Nome, which is much less relevant. Brianboulton (talk) 19:16, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Several sources list Mamen as Assistant Topographer, a little more plausible

Bartlett calls him a "forester", as does Thomas Appleton's article for the Canadian Coast Guard. McKinlay calls him "assistant topographer"; Niven calls him "assistant topographer/forester"; Stefansson lists him as "assistant to the geologist" which seems highly implausible given Mamen's lack of training in that area. Seems that either forester or assistant topographer will do, and I have no particular preference either way. Brianboulton (talk) 19:40, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I think a sentence on Stanley Morris, seaman, who had wanted to go with Shackleton at age 16 would be worthwhile; the crew were not all rummies; that also helps explain why Morris, though not disaffected, approached Bartlett to be allowed to go with the MacKay party.

According to this source it was Scott's Discovery expedition that Morris had sought to join at the age of 16, not Shackleton's 1907 Nimrod expedition (when he was apparently well over 16 anyway). From this, there doesn't seem to be a Shackleton connection. What source do you have and what does it say? Brianboulton (talk) 20:02, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Looks like my faulty memoryDankarl (talk) 20:08, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Add back count of whaling voyages? A reasonably successful ship.

Probably more related to a "ship" article than what is basically an account of a voyage, but if you can supply a brief sentence in the ship section, along the lines of "Between 1884 and 19xx Karluk had completed over yyy whaling voyages", and can source this, that should be fine; much more detail would be irrelevant to this article. Or point me to the source and I'll do it. Brianboulton (talk) 14:47, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Its now the lead into the sentence about Karluk not being constructed to resist sustained ice pressure; see how you think that works. Dankarl (talk) 01:40, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Works fine. Brianboulton (talk) 01:46, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

US registration records show Karluk built Benicia, California, though Bartlett says Oregon. [7] Dankarl (talk) 22:03, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I suppose the US registration records are more likely to be right than Bartlett. It could have been built in Oregon and fitted out in Benicia, or vice versa. Please change if you want. Brianboulton (talk) 14:47 24 January 2010 (UTC)
moved to footnote, both versions; I'm not clear how you want to handle references/sources; is your convention to use shortened notes only for multiply-cited material? only when page numbered material is involved? or something else? Dankarl (talk) 01:40, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Do it your way, and I'll reformat as necessary for consistency. Brianboulton (talk) 01:46, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
The polishing and tightening is looking very good; a few quibbles:
Believe the following recently changed passages were better in their original versions:
"Bartlett spoke in highly critical terms of his former leader"
"should remain on the island, while"
also propose: "where he could find passage to Alaska in June".
Mention of Bartlett's swollen legs would tie into the nephritis seen by the Wrangel party but suitably tight phrasing escapes me. Dankarl (talk) 18:07, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Stefansson leaves the ship[edit]

Dankarl: I see you have added the words "(although the quote she cites does not necessarily support that assertion)" to Niven's report that Bartlett suspected Stefansson of desertion. That may be so, but your wording suggests a point of view. We should not assume Niven is basing what she says solely on this quote from Bartlett's log. She mentions other factors on the same page, and apart from the log, she lists many unpublished sources for her book. In any event, her suggestion is now amply balanced in the text by the lengthy footnote which follows this passage, so the parenthetical caveat is unnecessary.

Niven is pretty clearly not a balanced source. Quoting her while relegating the counterarguments to a footnote does not provide sufficient balance. My parenthetical comment is probably pushing on NOR since it depends on interpreting the Bartlett quote. However, I don't think you can give Niven a free pass to tell you what a historical person was thinking without saying how she knows. Dankarl (talk) 16:20, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, let's not rely on Niven to bring up the question of Stefansson's alleged desertion, and let's leave Bartlett out, too. Jenness says that McKinlay's diaries and correspondence indicate that he thought Stefansson had abandoned the ship. So I have rewritten the passage accordingly, repositioned it, and put the rebuttal into the main text. This I think gives the proper balance to this issue. Brianboulton (talk) 17:28, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

On a related matter, can you provide page numbers for the Diubaldo and Jenness refeences that you have added to the footnote?

Brianboulton (talk) 12:07, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I'll get page numbers.Dankarl (talk) 16:20, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I got Jenness. Brianboulton (talk) 17:28, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Got Diubaldo, added a couple short quotes. If these pose a problem, feel free to cut them but I think it important to cite Diubaldo on this issue somehow since he otherwise is among Stefansson's strongest critics.
I'm still looking for the best 1 or 2 passages to cite for the lead section sentence on loss of credibility.Dankarl (talk) 20:06, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
The last para of the lead probably needs a bit of tinkering; can you give me 24 hours to work on it before selecting citations? BTW thanks for the "Inuk" correction which I ought to have known from my reading. Brianboulton (talk) 21:29, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Think that was from CambridgeBayWeather.Dankarl (talk) 22:08, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Lead revision[edit]

Per above I have redrafted the last pragraph of the lead to give a better reflection of what's in the article. As the material is already cited in the article it does not need citing in the lead. Brianboulton (talk) 16:14, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

in the second paragraph, how about
Shortly after the ship was beset, Stefansson and a small party controversially left the ship, with the announced intention to hunt for caribou. They did not return; unable to determine Karluk's position after her drift began, Stefansson devoted himself to the expedition's other objectives, leaving the Karluk's crew and staff under the charge of the ship's captain, Robert Bartlett. Dankarl (talk) 00:01, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, agreed and posted. Brianboulton (talk) 00:26, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Further progress[edit]

As of 25 January I have removed the "reconstruction" banner, because I think we are now down to fine tuning so far as the text is concerned. The redrafting of the voyage map is in hand, thanks to User:Finetooth. I think the article is now ready for comments from the wider Wikipedia community and will send it to WP:Peer review shortly. Brianboulton (talk) 09:46, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I'd be happy to help with the Peer review. Clevelander96 (talk) 16:47, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
It should be at WP:PR within the next 24 hours. Brianboulton (talk) 00:34, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Article for ship[edit]

This is an excellent article; I've enjoyed watching it grow over this past few weeks. Just as a thought, it would be nice if a separate article gets created which talks about the ship, builders, where built, its career, owners, etc. Excellent article... --HJKeats (talk) 20:03, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

This aerticle was actually expanded from a stub ship article called Karluk. I thought initially that there wouldn't be sufficient information to maintain a separate article on the ship, so I moved the title to "Voyage of the Karluk". This may have been a mistake; thanks mainly to User:Dankarl there is probably enough info to justify a separate article for "HMCS Karluk". I'll think about it - perhaps Dankarl will comment? Brianboulton (talk) 00:32, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
If someone thinks it's of interest I could help, but I think it would be a short article. Dankarl (talk) 03:44, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll draft something that we can take a look at & decide if it's worthwhile. Brianboulton (talk) 16:27, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
HMCS Karluk article now created Brianboulton (talk) 19:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Map revision[edit]

(Discussion transferred from User talk:Brianboulton)

I'll help if I can, but I'm not sure where to find a base map in the public domain. I usually use U.S. Census maps for things within the U.S., but this map has to include Wrangel Island and eastern Russia. I don't see anything in the pile of Alaska maps at the Commons that would be suitable. Got any ideas? Finetooth (talk) 20:11, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I think File:Chukchi Sea.png covers the area we need (other place names can be marked). Is it PD though? Source information missing. Tell me what you think, but I'll keep looking. Brianboulton (talk) 21:44, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
That looks like just the thing. The base map looks so uncomplicated it's hard to imagine anyone claiming copyright. To be safe, I'll ask the author, Norman Einstein, of the underlying map File:Chukchi Sea map.png. Since he might not answer immediately, I'll assume his answer is going to be some version of "A-OK" and proceed with tinkering to see what else is what. Finetooth (talk) 23:10, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Norman Einstein responded promptly, saying that he'd used public-domain datasets to make his base map. I'll begin the map tomorrow (Monday). I just finished reading the article, which is very good. Finetooth (talk) 06:01, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Excellent! Thank you very much. Brianboulton (talk) 09:36, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

<outdent>The first (hopefully not too rough) draft of the map is done and uploaded to the Commons as File:Karluk voyage map.png. I can change anything on the map to suit your preferences. I might have made the point size on the four voyage segments a bit too small, though they are readable when the file is viewed at full size. I discovered that Emma Harbor is (was) on Providence Bay (both re-named since then), considerably south of where the New York Times map suggests. Another map, , was helpful in locating Emma Harbor. I had to improvise a bit toward the end of Bartlett's journey and base that part of the map partly on written accounts; hence the line from the Siberian north coast to Emma Bay and another line to near Nome and then southeast to St. Michael. Let me know what you think and what needs fixing. Finetooth (talk) 04:00, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Great work on the draft. A few suggestions:-
  • Since Herschel Island and Herald Island figure prominently in the narrative I think their locations should be shown. Both are tiny and can be represented by dots. Herschel Island is just off the northern Canada coast, immediately east of the Alaska border; Herald island is about 40m east of Wrangel Island. Some of the crew ended up on Herald Island, so a march line from the sinking to there should be shown.
No problem with these. I see where to put them. Finetooth (talk) 18:27, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Could the outward voyage and the drift lines be shown in different colours? I am happy with Bartlett's journey as a dotted line.
Yes. Just to be clear, is black an OK colour for the outward journey and then, say, red or yellow for the drift? Do you have any colour preferences for the coloured line(s)? Finetooth (talk) 18:27, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Unless you advise otherwise, I'll go with colour-coding similar to that used by Ruhrfisch for the voyage map in Nansen's Fram expedition. This will eliminate the need for the text labels for the five legs. Finetooth (talk) 21:41, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Could some of the labels ("Outward journey", "Icebound", "Karluk's drift", "Crew's march", "Bartlett's journey") be increased in size to improve readability?
Yes. Their smallness worried me when I hung things up last night and posted the draft. I will bump them up a couple of points. Finetooth (talk) 18:27, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't know if this would be a problem, but there is quite a lot of redundant landmass to the left of the map. Can the left-hand border be brought in?
That's certainly possible. It will require re-doing the scale and either moving it to the right or creating a substitute. Part of the fun in doing something like this is trying things I've never tried before. (Maybe I shouldn't have told you that. :-) Finetooth (talk) 18:27, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks again for this. Brianboulton (talk) 11:23, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I had a look at the map and have a couple comments; where's the best forum for these? Dankarl (talk) 15:34, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Here, I'd say. Brianboulton (talk) 16:24, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Cape Jakan (Mys Yakan) is 177.483 E (GeoNames); I think you are a bit farther east than that for Bartlett's landing point.
  • Though Bartlett headed south along the west coast of Kolichen Bay, he returned to the coast on the other side. Stopped at Cape Serdze-Kamen, proceeded from there on the sea-ice with Corrigan to East Cape (Cape Dezhnev) (probably crossed the neck of the cape overland but does not say). Proceeded down the coast with Kleist, last leg to Emma Harbor was overland.
Might be good to indicate Karluk stops at port Clarence, Point Hope, and Stefansson departure point (about 150 E). Dankarl (talk) 17:38, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
It would be very helpful if you could point me to an on-line map or atlas that shows where these places are. The world atlas I have in my office does not have this kind of detail for Siberia (or the Yukon coast for that matter), and I've been going back and forth rather clumsily among several on-line maps that are, well, less than clear. I wouldn't mind buying a paper map of Siberia if you can recommend one. Finetooth (talk) 18:27, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Wish I knew one. For areas of the Siberian coast that don't show on the Coast Survey charts (source for File:Providence Bay Region 1928.PNG) I like GeoNames best. Its easiest to start with the Wikipedia article and click the geolocator tag, if the Wikipedia article exists. Cape Serdze is Cape Serdtse-Kamen, North Cape is Mys Schmidta (the article is the village, not the headland), Cape Dezhnev has an article. Heading south from Cape Dezhnev, Saint Lawrence Bay has an article. To find Mys Yakan (no entry) head west from North Cape. It is the very shallow cape just west of the one you marked. There are links to 3 old Siberia maps on my user page; good for old terminology but often a bit off for shape and position. Also have a link to the Coast Survey charts. Charts after about 1940 have less shore detail. Coast Survey charts don't cover Siberian coast north of Cape Dezhnev. On the Alaska side Point Hope and Port Clarence, Alaska have articles and the Coast Survey has Arctic Coast charts. Dankarl (talk) 19:09, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Cape Vankarem and Kolyuchinskaya Bay have articles. Dankarl (talk) 19:50, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks much. That will save me a lot of hunting. If I get stuck, I'll ping you again here unless Brian would like to move all this to the article's talk page to keep from filling up his user talk page. Finetooth (talk) 20:58, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Tried to follow Bartlett's path from Cape Dezhnev to Emma Harbor; not much identifiable below Mechigme Bay (somentmes Mechigmen Bay) At the level of guesswork, Bartlett's Neogchan might be Nakchuan/Neegtchane/Nygtchigane, a village, cape, and point (1928 Coast Survey Bering Sea chart and Asiatic pilot, Volume 1.p 43) but why did he go overland? (Unless perhaps going along the point?) Chechekuyam Bay is the strait south of Ittigran Island (Asiatic Pilot p45), might be Bartlett's Chechokiium. Dankarl (talk) 01:05, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The second draft is done and uploaded. I did not figure out how to do a scale, and I did not do anything with the complications between Emma Town and Emma Harbor except to hug the coast and stay on land. Let me know how this one looks to you and if further changes are in order. Dankarl's links to various maps were extremely helpful as was his narrative. Finetooth (talk) 05:51, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

<outdent>The file is still at File:Karluk voyage map.png. One other thought. I think maybe I should slide "Arctic Ocean" and "Beaufort Sea" over a half-inch or so for better balance in the layout. Also, I tried to match the fonts exactly on the ocean names but could only come close. If I move "Arctic Ocean" and "Beaufort Sea", I would also change the font to match "East Siberian Sea". Finetooth (talk) 06:01, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

The map looks marvellous. I think the level of detail is just right; more would risk name clutter, and it's the overview which is most important. By all means do the tweaks which you suggest above, re the ocean and sea names. I am going to post this to the article to see what it looks like there - a welcome splash of colour! Thanks for all your efforts - and to Dankarl too for the helpful provisions of links. Brianboulton (talk) 09:56, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Glad you like it. I have tweaked the ocean names and moved them slightly. Finetooth (talk) 18:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
(PS - is it possible to restore the scale?)
Yes. I need to work on this some more to get it right. I will place it in the lower left. I've uploaded the latest version (draft 3) sans scale to the Commons. Finetooth (talk) 18:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Looks good. Port Clarence is misplaced. It is near the tip of the big hooked spit southeast of the marked location - see Geonames listing.Dankarl (talk) 14:01, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Good catch. Thank you. I have moved it to the correct position at the end of the spit. Finetooth (talk) 18:17, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Map scale added in miles and kilometres. I think that's everything. Finetooth (talk) 02:37, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Image clutter[edit]

During the peer review, Eubulides added a further image to the article. My view was that the article already had the maximum number of images that could be sustained without problems that would affect the text, e.g. squeezing. I therefore removed one of the images to make room for the new one.

Later, Dankarl restored the deleted image and moved others around to accommodate it. This had the cluttering and squeezing effects that I had tried to avoid, and reinforced my conviction that the article cannot incorporate any more images. The fairest thing to do seemed to be to restore the situation to what it was before Eubulides's image was added, and I have done this.

My sincere apologies to Dankarl for not consulting him before removing an image that he had supplied. I feel that any further changes to the number and configuration of the images ought to be on the basis of a discussion here. For example, I'm happy if Eubulides's image is restored, provided something can be removed to make room for it. Brianboulton (talk) 22:06, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

(later) After more thought, I've found a solution that enables both pics to be used. I've made them ever so slightly smaller and put them one under the other in the "Towards Herschel Island" section. That way he clutter is not apparent and there is no squeezing of text. I hope this solution is satisfactory to all. Brianboulton (talk) 22:25, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Seems to work pretty well. Sorry to just rush in and make my change, but it seemed worth a try and I don't have a lot of editing time available this week. Dankarl (talk) 00:50, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
No problem. As you know, I will shortly be nominating this article to FAC. In view of the level of attention shown at the peer review (seven reviews is pretty rare) it will be interesting to see how it fares there. Thank you for all your assistance and continuing interest.

Why and how the Karluk came to be iced in; Bartlett, Stefansson, and Arctic currents[edit]

Before you take this to FAC, I think we need to address why it was so dangerous for Bartlett to take the Karluk into offshore ice, how the decision came about, and the admiralty review. Stefansson gave a plausible explanation of why it was dangerous, in terms of the northward-setting current tending to pack the ice progressively tighter so leads don't re-open. Stefansson also indicated he concurred in the decision; however I've seen at least one secondary source (need to chase this down) say Bartlett acted against Stefansson's orders. I'll post a few references here as I chase them down. Does Niven give a reference to the proceedings of the admiralty review? Diubaldo's references are not on-line. Dankarl (talk) 18:04, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Niven does not give details of the admiralty commission's findings. The implication from Niven is that Karluk was not built or powered as an ice-breaking vessel . After a pretty exhaustive peer review I don't intend to delay the FAC nomination for this; if you can find an appopriate source, information can be added in later - FA does not mean setting an article in stone. Brianboulton (talk) 01:11, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I would agree that more on this isn't needed before review -- I think it is already very clear that, since the Karluk was not purpose-built for exploration in the high Arctic, and Bartlett himself had doubts about its seaworthiness, and ice is -- generally -- dangerous even to specially-designed ships, there's no question in my mind, or the mind of the average reader, why heading into the pack ice would carry some risk. As to the dispute between Stef and Bartlett over the decision, that's just one of the aspects of the dissent over the expedition between these two, which is amply covered elsewhere in the entry -- something about the Admiralty inquiry might add a splinter or two to the woodpile, but it is not as though the larger issue isn't described and documented. Clevelander96 (talk) 15:32, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Ice is indeed dangerous and Karluk was not built to the same standards as a dedicated exploration vessel or even a converted Newfoundland sealer like the Bear; Bartlett and Stefansson were doubtless both aware of these facts. The question is more whether they were aware of the magnitude of the risk they were taking. Opinion in the Western Arctic seems to have been that taking an offshore lead was not just dangerous but virtually suicidal. Also, if it is the case that the interplay between ice and currents can so radically alter the risk between different regions, that is a fascinating bit of arctic oceanography. Refs to follow. Dankarl (talk) 17:26, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Request: if you are proposing to add text and refs, could we preview it here, to ensure the best way of incorporating it and to make sure that ref formats are consistent? Text should be brief and to the point; I tend towards Clevelander's opinion as expressed above. The article has been in development for several weeks, and it is rather late in the day to be making significant insertions. Brianboulton (talk) 10:17, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Basically what I intended; I would not mess with your text in the middle of the FAC review any more than I did during the peer review. I held off mentioning the issue during the peer review so you would not have open issues or changes to muddy the waters. At this point I cannot keep up with your timeline. I'll put references up here as I find them.
BTW I did not start the stub, just cleaned it up a bit and added some references; several other editors contributed along the way. Dankarl (talk) 20:45, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, sorry, seen the disclaimer, but what I said about your helpful contributions stands. Brianboulton (talk) 00:42, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Table addition[edit]

Would the article be better served if the table was removed and the contents put into sentences/paragraphs. The table adds nothing to enlighten the reader with a outline in this fashion. Just a thought... --HJKeats (talk) 21:19, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

The table was added at the request of an editor during the peer review stage. The facts in the table are all in the text; the idea of the table is to provide a quick visual record of the primary accounts. It sort of highlights the immediacy of some accounts and the distance of others. I think it is marginally useful, but if the consensus is that it is not worthwhile, then it can be removed. Brianboulton (talk) 10:06, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
A bulletted list would be just as useful as a table, but I think putting the information in paragraphs would make it much less useful. At a glance, the reader can see who wrote accounts, when they were published, how many accounts were written, etc. That kind of information is much harder to see at a glance in paragraph form. Awadewit (talk) 22:29, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Firstly I would like to say I’ve enjoyed the article, kudos to Brianboulton and Dankarl on an excellent article. I’m also a bit biased, as Captain Bartlett was a fellow countryman. I only wish that more could be written about Captain Bartlett and his adventures. I agree with your comments and accept the application in table format. As I was reading the article it ended in a table, which somehow didn’t fit with the rest of the prose, but then again it is captured in it’s own section entitled ‘Published voyage accounts’. Second thought, I withdraw my previous comments as it was written in haste. --HJKeats (talk) 23:12, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Not addressing whether or not there should be a table, shouldn't it include [Niven, Jennifer (2001). The Ice Master. London: Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-39123-2]? Oddly, it's listed as a source for the article, but it isn't listed as an account of the this voyage (which it is). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:42, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Niven is not a primary account. Dankarl (talk) 03:15, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

"The" before ship names[edit]

This article normally says "Karluk" rather than "the Karluk", and similarly for other ship names, but occasionally it slips from this style: is this intentional? Here are some instances:

  • Robert Bartlett, master of the Karluk
  • who had chartered the King and Winge
  • The Corwin, chartered for a rescue attempt
  • he [Stefansson] wished he had never left [the Karluk]

For consistency, I suppose these instances of the should be removed. Eubulides (talk) 07:39, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Fixed these. Remaining instances of "the Karluk..." are all to "the Karluk voyage", "the Karluk disaster" or "the Karluk survivors", where I think "the" is justified. Brianboulton (talk) 09:57, 12 February 2010 (UTC)


There is a Canadian documentary, which is available on Hulu. I wasn't sure how/where/if to include it:

~Eric F (talk) 16:47, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

You could add it to the external links section Dankarl (talk) 18:25, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
 Added ~E: (talk) 21:22, 6 January 2013 (UTC)


I note that several of the images have the original descriptions as part of the file. For better reading experience, the original captions can be removed; the images in the article already have captions — Crisco 1492 (talk) 10:05, 25 March 2013 (UTC)


Please put a comma after sunk in the first paragraph. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:13, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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These are database references; Wayback machine does not archive the working database so there is only a non-working search screen. NMDL is still running; I will attempt a manual fix.Dankarl (talk) 00:43, 13 May 2017 (UTC) The search function on the site does not recognize Karluk. This is worth a retry in a few weeks.

Now fixed. The database has moved to Mystic Seaport.Dankarl (talk) 01:55, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Database ref; Wayback did not archive the database, has only the search screen.
I did a manual fix.Dankarl (talk) 22:25, 20 May 2017 (UTC)