Karluk: the Great Untold Story of Arctic Exploration. [1913-1916]

p. 36, at sea in Karluk: During the day a great deal of time was spent reading in our bunks, since there was not a single comfortable chair on board, except for those in Stefansson’s cabin, which was now shared by Captain Bartlett and Hadley.

p. 48, re lighting: We had only one pressure lamp, which gave an excellent light in the saloon, until early in November when it became so dim we could barely see to play chess…. I inspected my lamp every day, treating it as something beyond price. To contemplate life without it was unthinkable, for we would have darkness all round the clock for a long time to come.

p. 52: I spent the time in my bunk, studying in detail the eight hundred-odd pages of the record of De Long’s expedition, not in any mood of foreboding, but rather to learn what could be learned from the example of men whose plight had so closely matched our own so far—and in the probable future. The Jeannette had drifted with the pack for nineteen months before cracking up and being abandoned…. [an illustration before p. 51 shows 2 pages from De Long’s journals which notes a partial reading of Divine Service].

p. 56: The skipper [Bartlett] was a very lonely man…. The first time he called me in to collect something or other, I noticed on his table a copy of Dean Hole’s A Book about Roses. As I picked it up he asked, ‘Do you grow roses?’ And then we sat, in the midst of limitless ice, with between 60 and 70 ° Fahrenheit of frost outside, in perpetual darkness, numberless miles from the nearest garden, talking about roses. What an uplift that talk was to both of us! We progressed from roses to gardening in general. Later he lent me a book by Winston Churchill.

p. 57, a lyrical passage in which McKinlay confirms his belief in God.

p. 62, Dec. 31, 1913: New Year’s Eve: Then, standing round the mess-table we made the Arctic ring with ‘Auld Lang Syne’, and as a finale, each Scot recited something from Rabbie Burns, which delighted even those who could not understand a word we said.

p. 67, when alone on the abandoned Karluk, shortly before its collapse, Capt. Bartlett moved the gramophone in with the full stock of records: He played them one by one, throwing each record as it ended into the galley fire. He found Chopin’s Funeral March, played it over and laid it aside. He was really very comfortable, eating when he felt like it and drinking plenty of coffee and tea. There was just enough ice pressure to keep the ship from sinking.

p. 106: Just before I left home our family minister had given me a Bible, with ‘Psalm 121’ inscribed on the fly-leaf. My Bible was somewhere on the Mary Sachs or the Alaska, but just the thought of it sustained me….

p. 121, [1914]: Then I had my first smoke in many months—a cigarette made from the bark and leaves of one of Hadley’s freemasonry books, of which he had several.