Ron Carlson Arctic Expeditions

Ron Carlson Arctic Expeditions
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baymaud - Cambridge Bay

The Baymaud sitting on the bottom adjacent Hamlet of Cambridge Bay
While waiting out the weather here today, though I would go check out the famous local shipwreck in one of the bays called the Baymaud and snap some pics of her.  The location is very accessible and one can get close if you are willing to hike around 2 miles there and 2 miles back.  I wore my immersion suit for the walk for a couple of reasons.  One, I was pondered saving a lot of time by walking straight across the bay ice, after seeing a local cross in an ATV earlier in the week.  Secondly, if not taking the big shortcut, the bridge to get across was closed because of the rushing river, and, well, of course I would be walking across that closed bridge.  After walking down a snow bank to the ice, I quickly thought better of it.  Thinking carefully about how fast the current just might be under the ice, given that just upstream, that bridge was closed for a good reason - the fast melt off was overflowing with swift current and rapids (video).  I was thinking the news would read: "Smart American guy with 2 hour survival suit falls thru ice and never comes up, sucked away by current - But we'll find him next month when the ice melts by O'Reilly Island".  So I decided on the long march.

Maud, as she looked originally

Originally christened the "Maud" by Amundsen, the ship was later sold to the Hudson's Bay Company and renamed the Baymaud.  

There is a big controversy going on here right now between Norwegian proponents that want to raise the Baymaud and bring her home to put in a museum, and the locals who want her to stay right where she is.

First Catholic Church here
Stern of Baymaud - June 26, 2011


  1. What is the rationale or motivation of the locals who wish to retain possession of the Baymaud?

  2. It's a big Tourist attraction here.

    Not taking sides, but there is an argument to be considered. I will compare it all to what I have recently heard and seen in Churchill, for example, with the Prince of Wales Fort and "entities" taking away cannons and other relics away to museums far far away.

    Little by little the penny's add up and pretty soon you have lost a dollar. Nothing will be left up here. I want to go to "boat place" but I am betting there is nothing to see but rock, tundra and a fancy little bronze plaque from the last decade to read.

    I am glad to see that they left the bodies buried on Beechey Island, but someone mentioned that soon all the Goldner tin cans from the Franklin dump pile will all be gone.

    Tough call, because on the other hand, if you let it stay and lay, it get's taken by uncaring visitors and/or decays away totally and disappears forever.

    In my humble opinion, I think these things should be preserved but museums should be located in the village, town or hamlet closest to the relic. In a museum close to where the stories all happened. Let the people come to see it in the setting it was imprisoned. tourists will come, the Northwest Passage is a cool trip.

    But that's one man's view.

  3. Thanks for this. The nature of people being what it is, the "sanctity," if you will, of a historic site like those in that area are not likely to be respected as highly as others. I agree with you, actually, and hope, someday, that I'll be able to make that NW passage trip. I receive all sorts of Arctic Canada adventure tourism email from various outfits just to see what's offered. One can dream.

    Off to Newfoundland with my son and some friends tomorrow for 10 days. He's been dying to see L'anse aux Meadows for some time & I've been anxious to return. Incredible landscape.

  4. As a Canadian and a NWP buff, I apologize for the reception you received. I have often wondered what more "boots on the ground" would be capable of discovering. I hope you have more success with any future attempts. Unfortunately, the scientific community is quite possessive of what they feel is their territory. You are fortunate you have the ways and means of at least attempting this. I would love to myself!

    Ward Powell