Sailing ships in the Arctic Ocean

19 Feb 2012

There has been some speculation on sailing ships traversing the Arctic Ocean in the late 18th/early 19th centuries - see http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/the-arctic-voyages-of-william-... which is a stir of the broth as at this time the earth was supposed to be in the embrace of very cold weather. Surely the Arctic Ocean would have been thick with ice and a flimsy wooden boat with sails could never have got further north than the rowing team last year. After all, modern global warming is supposed to be unprecedented. However, there may be a little confusion onboard the blogosphere as there were two William Scoresby's, father and son - see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/ where the guest author delves into the escapades of one Captain Scoresby, a whaler. He sailed out of Whitby in 1806 - quoting one of the first climate sceptics, John Daly, much maligned by the CAGW fraternity for running his blog, www.johndaly.com/polar/arctic.html (now defunct - no, he didn't play golf).  Scoresby sailed the seas around Greenland and northwards and mapped the region extensively. In the Tall Bloke blog it is Scoresby's father, also a whaler, a working man of little education who is rebuffed by the academics at the Royal Society, somewhat miffed that someone that spent his life getting his hands dirty had beat them hands down. However, the son appears to have had a working relationship with the Navy and with the Royal Society - so when did Scoresby senior make his journey?