Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Ghost Ship of the Arctic

I found this fun short article at ezinearticles.com. As the site allows for the reproduction of articles by blogs and other websites, I am going to go ahead and reprint it here. The article is by Debra Cruz.


In 1914, the Hudson Bay Co. built the Baychimo, a steel cargo ship designed to withstand the dangerous ice packs and stormy waters of the Canadian north. Her purpose was to deliver food and supplies to the Eskimo community in exchange for pelts, and thus, was a pioneer in the Eskimo fur trade. On July 6, 1931, she set off on her usual 2,000 mile round trip to the Victoria Islands, arrived safely and left the Victoria coast back towards Vancouver. On October 1, ice packed around the Baychimo, leaving her stalled and frozen.

Luckily, it was not far from a small Alaskan village and the ship's captain ordered the men to walk across the ice to the huts seen in the distance. After 2 days in the frozen Alaskan winter, the crew saw the ice begin to loosen and boarded the ship once again. After 3 hours, the ice gathered around her again. On October 8, the captain sent out an SOS. October 15, two aircraft rescued all but 15 men, who stayed onboard waiting for the ice to melt. Preparing for a long, hard winter, the men built a wooden shelter on the ice. On November 24, a great blizzard trapped the men in their shelter and after the storm, the men emerged to find the Baychimo gone. Somehow the men trudged across the ice and reached the mainland.

Now here is where the story gets amazing!

- A few days later, the ship was found 45 miles south of where she was lost, but was again ice-packed.

- After several months, she was spotted again but about 300 miles to the east.

- In March 1932 of the following year, she was seen floating peacefully near the shore by a man travelling to Nome with his dog-sled team.

- A few months after that, she was seen by a company of prospectors.

- March of 1933, she was found by a group of Eskimos who boarded her and was trapped on-board for 10 days by a freak storm.

- August 1933, the Hudson Bay Co heard she was still afloat, but was too far a-sea to salvage.

- July 1934, she was boarded by a group of explorers on a schooner.

- September 1935, she was seen off the Alaskan coast.

- November 1939, She was boarded by Captain Hugh Polson, wishing to salvage her, but the creeping ice floes intervened and the captain had to abandon her.

- After 1939, she was seen floating alone and crewless numerous times, but always eluded capture.

- March of 1962, she was seen sailing along the Beaufort Sea coast by a group of Eskimos.

She was found frozen in an ice pack in 1969, 38 years after she was abandoned, and this is the last recording sighting of the ghostly Baychimo. In 2006, the Alaskan government began work on a project to solve the mystery of "the Ghost Ship of the Arctic" and locate the Baychimo, whether still afloat or on the ocean floor. As of yet, she has not been found.

Looking for more interesting history? Check out my Hub Page for more amazing stories.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Debra_Cruz

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