In May 1743 fourteen walrus hunters set sail from the northernmost edge of Russia to Syalbard, above the Arctic circle. When their ship was blown off course and was caught in a massive Arctic ice pack, four sailors went ashore in search of shelter. On return to the ship they discovered, to their horror, that a gale in the night had driven it out to sea and sunk it.
The four men were now stranded on one of the most inhospitable lands in the world with nothing but twenty pounds of flour, a musket, gunpowder, a kettle, a small axe, a knife, a tinder box and tobacco. Had they known how long they were to be marooned, they might have given themselves up to their fate. For they were to endure almost incomprehensible deprivations on Svalbard for the next six years.
When they were finally found in 1749 by a passing ship, they were living in a hut lit by lanterns they had made from the clay in the ground; eating reindeer and fox; and defending themselves with homemade spears from fierce polar bears, ten of which they had killed.
- Publication Date:
- 30 / 03 / 2004
- 160 x 245 x 31mm