"We did not all come back." Thus begins the rare firsthand account of the extraordinary ordeal of the Karluk, the flagship of explorer Vilhjalmar Stefansson's Arctic expedition of 1913-1916. When ice trapped the Karluk, Stefansson abandoned Captain Robert A. Bartlett and the crew-eleven of whom perished-to their fate.
When the ice crushed the Karluk and sank her, Bartlett led the shipwrecked survivors safely to Wrangell Island. From there, with one Inuit companion, he journeyed across 700 miles of frozen seas and Siberian wilderness to return with rescuers. It is a feat that rivals Shackleton's own celebrated efforts to seek for the crew of the Endurance.
Captain Robert A. Bartlett, the greatest ice captain who ever lived, commanded the Roosevelt on Robert E. Peary's last two attempts to conquer the North Pole; pioneered the trail over rough ice that brought Peary to within 150 miles of his goal; and was the last white man Peary sent back before his final dash to the Pole. Edward E. Leslie is the author of Desperate Journeys and Abandoned Souls: The True Story of Castaways and Other Survivors. He lives in Massillon, Ohio.
I. The Expedition and its Objects II. The Voyage Begins III. We Meet the Ice and Get a Polar Bear IV. We Are Frozen In V. Our Westward Drift Begins VI. Stefansson's Departure VII. Driven By the Storm VIII. We Drift Away from the Land IX. In Winter Quarters X. The Arctic Night XI. The Sinking of the Karluk XII. Our Home at Shipwreck Camp XIII. We Begin Our Sledging XIX. Kataktovick and I Start for Siberia XX. Across the Moving Ice XXI. In Sight of Land XXII. We Meet the Chuckches XXIII. Eastward Along the Tundra XXIV. Colt XXV. "Music Hath Charms" XXVI. We Arrive at East Cape XXVII. With Baron Kleist to Emma Harbor XXVIII. In Touch with the World Again XXIX. Waiting XXX. Off for Wrangell Island XXXI. The Rescue from Wrangell Island