The Luck of the Karluk

Shipwrecked in the Arctic

By (author): L.D. Cross
ISBN 9781772030204
Softcover | Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
144 Pages
$9.95 CAD

About the Book

When the members of Canada’s First Arctic Expedition set out from Victoria aboard HMCS Karluk in the summer of 1913, it was a moment of great optimism. The three-year mission would chart unexplored landmasses of the Western Arctic and secure Canada’s place in the international geographic community. Little did the team of distinguished scholars and scientists realize, however, how their hopes would soon be brought to ruin. Just a few months into the journey, the vessel became lodged in heavy ice, eventually sinking near the coast of Siberia.

With little polar experience among them but ample supplies salvaged from the wreck, the group of castaways slowly made their way to solid ground on desolate Wrangel Island. There they would wait while the ship’s captain and an Inuk guide embarked on a heroic 1,100-kilometre trek along the Siberian coast in search of help. By the end of the fifteen-month saga, eleven members of the original expedition would perish from frostbite and sickness, while the remaining twenty would survive to tell the tale. The Luck of the Karluk is a fascinating story about an important episode in Canada’s history and a revealing study of the strengths and weaknesses of human nature under treacherous conditions.

About the Author(s)

L.D. (Dyan) Cross is an Ottawa writer and member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Creative Non-Fiction Collective. Her business and lifestyle articles have appeared in The Globe and Mail and in magazines such as Weddingbells, Home Business Report, Legion Magazine, Profit Magazine, enRoute, and This Country Canada. Her creative non-fiction has been recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators, the EXCEL Awards for features and editorial writing, and the National Mature Media Awards. In 2011 she received the Ontario Historical Award for her book The Underground Railroad: The Long Journey to Freedom in Canada.

Reviews

"Drawing off journals and accounts of the survivors, Cross offers an engrossing story. A smattering of photographs is also included. A longer telling might have been appreciated, but the brevity and style make it suitable for young adult readers. The Luck of the Karluk makes clear that this story deserves inclusion among the epics of Arctic calamities." — David A. James, Alaska Dispatch News