CHARBONNEAU – The odds of making it through the Northwest Passage

Columnist David Charbonneau is on board the Ocean Endeavour in the Northwest Passage.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN, I would bet that we’d make it through the fabled Northwest Passage. Adventure Canada has had good success with our ship, the Ocean Endeavour. Eight of the last ten attempts have made to Kugluktuk.

However if you wanted me to bet on John Franklin’s chances in 1845, I would be more hesitant.

There were times when it didn’t look promising for us. Ice sloshes back and forth in the channels and it takes a skillful captain to pick a way through the ice. Some days one path would open up only to close up the next.

Many explorers tried to find the Northwest Passage, but probably the most well-known was Sir John Franklin. He left England aboard HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. We visited the grave sites on Beechey Island where two of his men perished where they overwintered.


David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at

About Mel Rothenburger (7758 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on CHARBONNEAU – The odds of making it through the Northwest Passage

  1. Bill Hadgkiss // October 1, 2019 at 6:10 PM // Reply

    John Franklin’s chances in 1845 depended on a magnetic compass. Was the North Magnetic Pole, when he was in Larsen Sound between Victoria Island and Boothia Peninsula on September 12, 1846, beneath his boat? The NM Pole has been on the move for a while now.

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