01-03-2007 05:01 PM
Of all the events surrounding the abandonment of the Resolute, its discovery by Captain Buddington, its return to England, and its reincarnation as the presidents' desk, which did you find most compelling?
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01-14-2007 11:23 PM
I definitely found the fact the HMS Resolute was reincarnated as the president's desk the most interesting fact of the fate of the ship. However, I was most intrigued by the discovery by Captain James Buddington. I can only imagine what it must have been like for Buddington and his crew to stumble across a completely deserted ship, and one in such mint condition. I believe Martin Sandler even comments on how the crew discovered the articles laying about the ship as if everyone on board had just stepped out for a quick second and were going to be right back, so to become a part of something like that must have been truly extroardinary for the crew of the George Henry. What a great game of discovery for them, and to put the pieces together as they were exploring their "ghost ship" was a fascinating read.
Plus Captain Buddington is definitely an admirable character for deciding in that split second to return the Resolute to the US even though he didn't have the crew or the supplies for such an undertaking! Talk about courage!
01-20-2007 05:16 PM
I'm glad that you are so impressed with James Buddington As I researched his part of the story I was taken with both his courage and resolve in bringing such an enormous vessel back to New London with what amounted to a skeleton crew. And through ice and blizzards as well! You'd be interested to know that once his whaling days were over, Buddington still remained at sea in various capacities and on more than one occassion he performed heroics in saving the lives of fellow mariners in distress.He lived to a ripe old age, still in love with the sea. On February 7th I'm giving a talk at the
New London Historica Society where I"ve been promised I'll meet some of James Buddington's descendents. I'm really looking forward to it.Thanks for checking in.
01-21-2007 09:07 PM
Thanks for your response. It's great to get a chance to chat with you as the author of this absolutely amazing book. I have to tell you that I plowed right through "Resolute" in two days, I loved it so much! I am curious though, especially since we are discussing Captain Buddington in this thread, why do you think he did put so much effort into bringing the Resolute back to the US? As you pointed out, he had a small crew; he was in the Arctic dealing with those hazards (as he knew pretty well being a whaling captain); and the Resolute was no small fishing boat. Why do you think he really persisted in bringing the ship back to port? I suspect he just had a very strong feeling that he couldn't ignore, but I am very curious as to what you think.
Thanks for your feedback, and good luck at your talk at the New London Historical Society!
01-29-2007 09:35 AM
The British sailors would have avoided serious illnesses if they had adopted the food eaten by the Inuits but this food was repugnant to the sailors and if any tried it they couldn't stomach it literally. Those who adopted the eating habits of the natives were much healthier. The natives were excellent map makers and gave great help with navagation. On many occasions the Inuits supplied life saving food and shelter for the sailors but the British failed to utilize the hunting and building skills of the Inuits. The British felt that the natives were lazy but in reality they were conserving their energy and not like the sailors depleting their energy and endangering their survival. On many occasions the Inuits would eliminate their babies, elderly, and sick by leaving them alone and separating them from their group where they would be exposed to the elements and die. The Inuits were known to give some food to the sailors who were trapped in the ice and then suddenly leave them. To the Inuits these where survival technigues for they could not feed the helpless nor share their resources with the sailors without endangering their own survival. To the British these actions were inhumane and cruel.
There was an episode in the book telling of the Inuits anger at the sailors swearing and the eskimos thought that was giving them bad habits. The Inuits sleeping arrangements and eating habits were not to the sailors liking but it did insure warmth and health.
The eskimos could be aggressive and bad mannered but so were the British.
Martin W. Sandler, thank you for the book,"The Arctic Grail", there were so many interesting stories about the Inuits and British and their interactions.
01-31-2007 02:49 PM
01-31-2007 02:56 PM