Monday, 12 September 2016

HMS TERROR FOUND!

(Left) HMS Terror's wheel, found this week off King William Island.
(Right) The wheel from my Terror model. 

News came today that HMS Terror was discovered on the south coast of King William Island, in the aptly named Terror Bay.  Parks Canada is attempting to validate the discovery and I’m eagerly awaiting their assessment.

I’ve received many questions about how I feel about the discovery and what it means for my project.

In terms of my project, it is a wonderful thing, as was the discovery of Erebus. I’ve followed the plans and historical data very closely and now we get to see how it all compares. It can only lead to a more accurate model and plan, though I admit that the images I’ve seen so far don’t raise any alarms.

But, how do I feel? In a word, I’m elated.

I’ve been working on this project since 2013; I’ve studied and admired her formidable career; I’ve scrutinized every plank and bolt on her plans.

In my mind, I’ve spent nearly as many days on Terror as her men did. The thought that she may have been milled to splinters as they watched haunted me, because she (and her crew) didn’t deserve that fate. And frankly, it didn’t fit with what I knew (mostly in my heart, until now) of Terror.  I didn’t think she would have given up like that, even in that grinding pack off King William Island.

So the news that she sits on the sea floor, “in pristine condition” with her ”hatches closed and everything stowed” means everything to me. First it means that she actually made it – she essentially found the Northwest Passage. More importantly, it means that she took everything the Arctic pack could throw at her; that she sheltered her men to the very last; that she didn’t abandon them to the ice. 

There was nothing more anyone could have asked from Terror.  

That she survived it all in “pristine” condition, well, she deserves it.  She warrants all the attention, all the photographs, all the books and articles that will be written, all the documentaries and shows, all the accolades. 

She’s the greatest polar exploration vessel the world has ever seen. 

10 comments:

  1. Well said, heartily agree. And congratulations on your singleminded devotion to remodeling her.

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    1. Thank you Mr. Woodman. Such a pleasure to know that you read my blog. I hope that you write a definitive statement on all of this using your vast knowledge of the oral histories. Your mind must be buzzing!

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  2. Fantastic skill, yours. Wish I was skilled this way!

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  3. The news made my day ! So happy to hear it. Now , that both ships have been found, and in pretty good shape- more effort can be devoted to the shops themselves...instead of searching here and there. In the end, an Inuit provided the key clue. My thanks to all those who played a role in finding the ships.

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  4. Please consider, when more information about her remarkable condition is available, a 1/48 scale companion piece of Terror in 203 year-old state!

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    1. An interesting idea! But one step at a time!

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  5. I would have never been able to see and say the things as you are telling them. Such generosity expressed in so few words... the fact that she took care of the men as a good mother till there wasn´t any other options and that she was so strong that she endured the pressure of an unimaginable mass of ice to avoid her sons being snatched from their belly.... I don´t believe in souls but, if they exist, there must be surely something in yours which is somehow attached to the soul of the Terror. I can´t avoid thinking you have been keeping her alive since you focused your attention on it till the moment she has been found, keeping the fire alive. Maybe you have even unintentionally summoned her presence in such an appropiate place as she has been finally found, the bay which bears her name. I want to think that she has answer to your call.

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    1. Thanks Andres, for the kind words. She needed no help from me, but I appreciate the thoughts!

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  6. I became emotional, that was all but you know me better. he!

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  7. Well said! Always excited to hear news of your project and this makes it all the more!

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