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Old 10-14-2019, 09:30 AM   #21
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1891 Greeley Expedition

My Great Great Grandfather was the captain of a sealing ship called "Proteus". He sailed the Greeley expedition into the arctic in 1891. He lost his ship to ice in 1893 when they attempted to rescue the expedition for the second time. Ordered into the ice field by Lt Garlington, as the Army had official command of the rescue effort, my G G Grandfather told the army the ship would be lost in a pinch if they ventured further. They barely had enough time to get themselves off and some of the provisions. Proteus was built in Scotland of iron wood from the waterline down, and had steel sheathing for her prow. Proteus had a sister ship named "The Bear" and it was operated by the US Coast Guard in Alaska. When sailed by competent Arctic sailors, these ships can handle ice exploration quite well. When untrained government employees have control things can go south quickly. I don't recall the thickness of the iron wood for certain, but I think it was 6 inches from the waterline down. The steel prow sheathing I am not sure. The Proteus and the Bear were identical two masted steam assisted ships.

Not sure of this, but wouldn't copper be used on a mine sweep to avoid the magnetic field mines used by the Germans? No magnetism, no detonation. Just guessing.

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Old 10-14-2019, 06:26 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by moparharn View Post
Not sure of this, but wouldn't copper be used on a mine sweep to avoid the magnetic field mines used by the Germans? No magnetism, no detonation. Just guessing.

Cool story, Mr. More Old Parts And Rust

Makes sense that they’d use copper for “anti fouling” and light blast impacts. My old WW2 Jimmies were aluminum blocks. And I recall a Canadian minesweeper with big stainless steel 16V’s.

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Old 10-22-2019, 10:33 PM   #23
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I recall watching that Cousteau documentary as a kid, and specifically recall the scenes of the dislodged shaft and damaged hull.

Amundsen, Nansen and others used the FRAM, she was timber, designed for ice and did well on several passages to the arctic and antarctic. She sailed further north and further south than any timber ship, I've been aboard her in a museum in Oslo, her hull is 2 feet thick in some places. Originally steam, she was the first polar exploration vessel to use a diesel engine.

The Calypso, on the other hand, was no FRAM.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:51 AM   #24
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Cousteau's Calypso - polar cruising with a wooden hull

RCMP St. Roch is planked Douglas Fir over iron frames with ironbark sheathing. Bobbed around the Arctic for twenty years. Wintered over several years. First ship to go West to East. Can see her at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Gjoa was wood too.

Now over three hundred transits through the NW passage. Most of them small vessels.

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