|Ships:||Sailing ( 1)|
Willem Barentsz (1550 – 20 June 1597) was a Dutch navigator, cartographer, and Arctic explorer. He went on three expeditions to the far north in search for a Northeast passage. During his third expedition, the crew was stranded on Novaya Zemlya for almost a year. Barentsz died on the return voyage in 1597. In the 19th century, the Barents Sea was named after him. (Source: Wikipedia)
To read more about Willem Barentsz's journey in Seaport, check his storylines.
A pleasure to meet you, captain. I would not bother you if it was not serious. I am a bit lost. We have been sailing in these icy waters for too long and we can't get past this iceberg.
Can I borrow your compass? I feel a bit embarrassed. You see, I am a cartographer. Usually, I can find my way anywhere, but these waters full of icebergs are a real challenge.
I am looking for the Northeast Passage to China. I am sure there must be open sea somewhere north of Siberia. But what are you doing here? Let's eat something and share our stories.
|4||Into the cold|
We could use another ship in our search. What do you say? Are you prepared for the biting cold? Has your ship enough stoves and firewood? You better build a big oven if you don't want to freeze.
|5||Explorer by heart|
I always loved making maps, but exploration is my real passion. Looking out to the unknown and discovering places which no one has seen before. Let's have a toast to the wonders of the explorer's life!
We have been trying to sail around this iceberg for days. I think we need to get down and explore it on foot. Put on a pair of snowshoes and get ready to disembark.
|7||Only the tough ones|
Choose a few of your sailors to accompany us. It's not good to go alone. But select the ones used to cold temperature. There will be no warm stove out there.
|8||Fishing on ice|
Take some harpoons with you. We might happen to be on thin ice and if we are lucky, even catch a few fish. Our supplies are not getting any larger.
Wait! Did you see that? Something moved over there. White almost like the snow around us. Do you have binoculars with you? They are not cheap but invaluable to any explorer.
|10||Avoiding a fight|
It's an animal. And it looks like a big one. Let's try to distract it with some fish. I do not want to get into a fight with it if we can avoid it. Throw the fish over there and let's run away.
|11||Here he comes|
This does not look good. It's a white bear and it's running right at us. The fish did not get his attention at all. You better get your harpoon ready and pick up a few rocks too. Maybe we can scare him away.
|12||The bear is beaten|
I am sad it had to come to this but we had to kill it or it would have had humans for dinner. He already had a taste of me. It's just a scratch but I need to disinfect it. Do you have some alcohol with you?
Someone should return to the ships with the wounded sailors and take the dead bear too. I heard bear meat is not very tasty but once we eat all our food, we will be glad to have it.
Please just hide the bear inside a crate before the stench of blood attracts another one. I don't think we would win such a fight again.
Let's continue on. Don't forget the harpoons. We might yet encounter other dangerous beasts. And I think I am getting hungry too. We should have kept a piece of the bear with us.
|16||Hungry like a bear|
I think I might faint from hunger. Do you think the ice here is thin enough to make a hole into it? I have my icepick with me. Let's hope we can catch some fish. I won't even mind eating them raw.
|17||Vision of a fortune|
Do you see that? The large seals with tusks? These must be walruses. Well, I am not hungry anymore but I bet their tusks are worth a fortune. Some people believe that it will give them strength.
|18||You are right|
It's bad to kill the poor animals just for their tusks. They don't want to kill us and we are not dying from hunger, so we will leave them alone. You did not have to pay me to let them be. But thank you.
|19||Willem was here|
Let's leave a sign of our passing here with the name I gave this bay, the Tusk Bay. Original, right? Do you see some big rock into which we can engrave it?
I bet those dark clouds are bringing a storm to us. We need to hurry back to the ships. We must sail away from the iceberg or the storm will throw us against it and that will be the end of this voyage.
|21||Storm is here|
We need all the men on deck and ready to face the storm. Make sure they are bundled up good. This will be a freezing situation.
|22||We hit an iceberg|
No! An iceberg made a breach into our hull. If we manage to close off the hole with some planks, we may yet get out of this alive. Bring the nails and my men will get the planks.
The crew managed to seal the breach off but our food supplies are drenched in cold water. Most of them are suitable only for the fish.
We managed to get through somehow. The storm is behind us and our ship is still sailing. Let's give the men a drink to warm them up. They did well.
|25||Damage is done|
We need to survey the damage and fix what we can. Let's look if we can find a good spot to anchor. Some rocky shore would be best, I don't like anchoring near the icebergs.
Let's get the ship back in shape. I have some wood below deck but I am afraid we will need more than that. The damage was pretty serious. We were lucky we did not get wrecked.
Get everyone to work! We must finish the repair quickly before the ice closes around us and we won't be able to leave for the next few months.
|28||Can you sew?|
It's terribly cold here. All those goods we have on ships will be for nothing if we freeze on the way to China. Let's use the cloth to sew some more clothes. Do you have any needles?
It looks like we won't finish the repairs in time. Ice is already closing in around the bay. We should at least fish for supplies while there is still open water.
I promised the crew double payment if they finish the repairs in time. Well, I actually don't have the money but it looks like I won't need it anyway. The bay is almost frozen by now.
|31||And that's it|
We are stuck here. The mood is like the temperature, pretty low. Even the beer has frozen and broken the barrels. At least we still have some wine, let's give out double wine ration today.
|32||Safe on land|
I am afraid the ice will squash our ship like a ripe tomato. I hope it won't come to that but we should not sleep on the ship, just in case. We need to build a house on land.
You are really good at finding resources. However, I am afraid we can't use the stone to build a house. We have nothing to hold the stones together nor the proper equipment.
|34||All to work!|
Yes, a wooden cottage is a better option. Let's call the men from the ship, we should finish it before it gets dark. And the work will warm us up a bit too.
|35||Full of fish|
I am so sick of fish already. We need some proper meat. Some animals must be living here too. Let's make a few traps and place them around our cottage.
|36||Bite the bait|
Nothing was caught in the traps today either. I think we need some bait to attract the animals. And since we still have plenty of fish, let's use them as bait.
|37||Tips and tricks|
I can't feel my feet. We must think of something before we lose our toes. We could use some hot stones to warm up our beds. Or put a few warmed up coins into our socks.
We have been here for months now and the ice still holds the ship in its grip. We can't wait any longer. Let's build some boats and move on or we will starve and freeze here.
Row properly, lads! You will feel warmer and we will come closer to salvation too. I promise once we get to a nice warm inn, I will pay a round for everyone.
There! You see those boats? I bet those are some fishermen, so a village must be close. So we made it, we crossed the icy sea. Now I think this deserves a toast!