Metcalfe, Ontario. Monday August 26, 2013
It has been a busy week! I have been putting a selection of photos together for a power point presentation on our expedition. We are planning an open event here on September 28th, so save the date if you are in the Ottawa area. We started dropping archival sounds and images onto the hard drive dedicated to the CAE documentary film on Saturday, in preparation for production work. At the same time, I have begun the process of finding additional sponsors for the film production costs. I have a few meetings next week which I hope will produce some new leads.
People have been asking, in view of the obstructing ice, if I consider the trip to have been a success. To that I answer, unhesitatingly, YES! We did everything, and more, that we hoped to at our major objective, the Mary Sachs site. We also reached four other different historic sites on the west coast of Banks Island, which were at least somewhat related to the CAE, and documented them as well. We documented several previously unrecorded sites not related to the CAE as well. The crew of the Bernard Explorer, though they didn’t get to Banks Island, did document CAE sites in Alaska at Barter Island (especially Pipsuk’s grave), Collinson Point (where the CAE overwintered in 1913-1914) and Cross Island (the last CAE ice party). They also photographed the Baillie Islands, Cape Bathurst and the Smoking Hills, all sites important to CAE history. Incidentally, the Bernard Explorer has now left Nome for southern Alaska, hopefully ahead of the Fall storms.
The attached photograph of one of our finds at Mary Sachs sums up my feelings! This is the door of a wood-burning stove that was in the sand on the ATV trail that goes along the beach below the site. I have been checking the CAE purchase records to see if the stove was purchased for the CAE or came with the Mary Sachs.