33 :: North Star

This quadruple-masted smack is a good example of Canadian ships of the mid-19th century, aboard which life was hard. Working conditions, fatigue caused by evolutions and transshipments, and often rough mores, all contributed to shape their reputation of being floating prisons, at least for the lower hands.

 

This 500-tonne boat travelled to arctic waters in 1849–1850 and 1852–1854, to search for survivors of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition on Erebus (1845–1848).

 

It is admirable that Lecouvie, who as a youth lived this harsh side of the sailor’s life, nevertheless retained the sense of wonder and the serenity to which his work bears witness.