Friday, November 26, 2010

[Resources] Stuck in the Ice

The HMS Investigator was a 422 ton ship lost during the McClure Arctic Expedition (1850-1854). Purchased by the Royal Navy in Feburary 1848, it underwent modifications for the Arctic at Blackwall Yard by strengthening her with steel plating and planking. Additionally, a modern stove, Sylvester's Warming Apparatus, was installed to warm the entire ship in the harsh conditions.

During the expedition, she was trapped in the ice for three years and was finally abandoned in June 1853. Another ship, the HMS Resolute (the wood from which the US President's desk is made), found the Investigator a year later and reported that, while still trapped by the ice, she was in fair condition even though she had taken in water at some point.

The Royal Navy received an official account of the expedition from Captain McClure and an unofficial account was published in 1857, written by the ship surgeon.

The native peoples of the area, the Inuit, have stories about the Investigator, since it was a treasure trove of material for them, from copper and iron to wood, for about 40 years. According to a 1910 account "one year she had still been on the beach and the next year she was gone without a trace." One expedition in 1915 couldn't find what was left of the ship.

Due to the difficulty reaching the location, it wasn't until July 2010, over 150 years later, that the wreckage was finally found in Mercy Bay. The remains were found within 15 minutes of starting the sonar scan, with the ship sitting upright under 8 yards of silt. Although scientists are not going to raise the remains, there are plans to investigate the ship with an underwater camera.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, "dungeons" don't often come floating on water, trapped in ice, do they? Maybe your next game will have one of them, then.


  1. Why this blog doesn't have triple or even quadruple the Followers it does have is beyond me. Your content is consistent, thoughtful and well-researched.

    Keep up the stellar effort, man.

  2. Thanks.

    Part of it is cruising on wikipedia, following links to see where they go. Plus a cool pic of a ship stuck in the ice - who doesn't think that's awesome?


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