Mission Logs

Follow along as participants in the cruise provide updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, the technology, and other elements of the expedition.

 

Log 13: Mission Summary

Log 13: Mission Summary

We went to the Arctic to write the final chapter of this compelling story of American whaling heritage, and believe we have assembled the information to complete this task. 

Log 12: Drop Camera: In Search of the Lost Whaling Fleet

Log 12: Drop Camera: In Search of the Lost Whaling Fleet

As a University of New Hampshire senior project team, we were tasked to develop a cost-efficient and mission-specific drop camera system to explore shipwrecks off the coast of Wainwright, Alaska. 

Log 11: Coastline Observations

Log 11: Coastline Observations

The R/V Ukpik, making long close-to-shore transits in the survey area, provides the perfect platform for observing the state of coastal erosion here in the Arctic. 

Log 10: Tour of the R/V Ukpik

Log 10: Tour of the R/V Ukpik

The Research Vessel Ukpik (pronounced “ook-pik”) was purchased by Southern Cross, LLC, in 2011 as a platform to conduct research in the Alaskan Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. 

Log 9: Native Hawaiians and the 1871 Whaling Fleet Disaster

Log 9: Native Hawaiians and the 1871 Whaling Fleet Disaster

What was the impetus for thousands of young men taking up a dangerous and remote profession in unfamiliar waters? What was their experience on board the foreign vessels like? 

Log 8: Video Report from the Chief Scientist

Log 8: Video Report from the Chief Scientist

Video Report from the Chief Scientist, Brad Barr, Ph.D.

Log 7: Brief Time Ashore

Log 7: Brief Time Ashore

One of our tasks prior to conducting the side scan and magnetometer survey was to go ashore near Point Franklin and establish the base station for accurate navigation. The small inflatable boat was large enough for Arthur, myself, and Matt.

Log 6: The Cost of Abandonment

Log 6: The Cost of Abandonment

On this day, 144 years ago, the rescue fleet was beginning its journey back to Honolulu, having taken aboard the 1,219 survivors of who had successfully navigated the ice-choked and stormy waters along the Chukchi sea coast to safety.

Log 5: Magnetometer Survey Technology and Methods

Log 5: Magnetometer Survey Technology and Methods

During the search for shipwrecks, archaeologists rely on magnetometers to locate ferromagnetic material associated with the shipwreck. Magnetometers detect variations in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by iron or other magnetized material such as brick or rock.

Log 4: Our Dreadful Situation

Log 4: "...Our Dreadful Situation..."

On this date, 144 years ago, a momentous and unprecedented decision was being made. The captains of the 33 whaling ships caught in the ice had convened aboard the Champion to consider their options for saving the 1,219 officers, crew, and in some cases, families, from their fate.

Log 3: Setbacks and Unexpected Opportunities

Log 3: Setbacks and Unexpected Opportunities

It should be of no surprise to anyone that weather in the Arctic is often a challenge.

Log 2: The Best Laid Plans…

Log 2: The Best Laid Plans…

In 1871, 32 whaling ships were abandoned by their captains and crews who were here to catch whales. The best laid plans, as they say, often go awry.

Log 1: Arrival

Log 1: Arrival

After a long but largely uneventful flight, the mission team arrived in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, where we were to meet the boat.

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