| Unknown artist, Gold Ring, c1823, |
© National Maritime Museum Collections,
BAY ART BLOG: The National Maritime Museum
and Baffin Bay
|Captain John Franklin.|
The 59-year old captain, with a reputation for banning swearing and drunkenness with his crew, left England in 1845 as an experienced officer of the Royal Navy accompanied by 128 men. He had explored the Canadian Arctic previously three times, but this would be his last. The men were last seen in Baffin Bay waiting for good weather.
|A route thought to be taken during a search for Franklin. |
King William Island is near number 4.
Many search expeditions took route through Baffin Bay, named after William Baffin in 1616. It is connected to the Arctic and the Atlantic oceans and is mainly not navigable except for the North Water that provides air for aquatic life. In 1933, Baffin Bay experienced a strong 7.3 magnitude earthquake, the largest known north of the Arctic Circle. There are frequent winter storms with average temperatures -4 to -18 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer temperatures average 45 degrees Fahrenheit with about 4-10 inches of rain annually. About 20,000 Beluga whales are known to live there along with walrus, seals, fox and polar bears. Hunting has been restricted to protect the wildlife. Fish include cod, flounder, herring and halibut. Birds include the Snowy Owl.
The National Maritime Museum is home to the world's largest maritime library dating back to the 15th century. Founded in 1934, it is located by the 17th-century Queen's House and the 1950's Royal Observatory in Greenwich. The buildings began in 1807 as a school for the children of seafarers. Today's collection includes maritime art, maps, manuscripts, ship models, navigational instruments and more. In 2011 the museum opened its largest wing, The Sammy Offer Wing that includes exhibitions, a permanent gallery, a cafe, library and archive.
|The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.|