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  #1  
Old 07-29-2008, 10:42 PM
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Barry Lee Hands Barry Lee Hands is offline
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Default Arctic Exploration

On june 19, 1878 a group headed by a US Cavalry Officer, Lieutenant Schwatka, left New York headed north in an attempt to locate the records of the Franklin party of 1845.
C.Sharps Arms Co. donated two Rifles to the Schwatka expedition .
This piece is inspired by that journey.
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...DE&oref=slogin







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Old 07-30-2008, 03:38 AM
rick woodward rick woodward is offline
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Hi Barry
Really like the idea's of themes. The history behind it adds interest and collectability. ( is that a word? LOL ) Cant wait to see this develop. Your scroll work is clean and very nice as usual. I have circled a part of your scroll here. I have resisted scroll work til now. But will be getting into it soon. My question is; Are you using a rounded graver to cut these concave area's of the scroll ? If so could you show a close up of that tip ? I really like that sculpted look. Thank you. rickw

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  #3  
Old 07-30-2008, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Barry,

Beautiful design and execution. I especially like the sculpted effect of your scroll.

I read the article in the link. Did they find what they were looking for and survive? At first I couldn't understand what the writer was referring to until it dawned on me that Esquimaux is another way of spelling Eskimo!

Roger
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2008, 08:55 AM
weldon47 weldon47 is offline
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Barry,

A always, your work never fails to inspire! What a rewarding commission for you.
Like Roger, I too read the news article. What a difference between then and now. I refer to the description of the weaponry and ammo listed by the author. Outside of a firearms related publication I bet most of today's writers wouldn't have a clue about anything of the sort.

WL
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2008, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thanks guys,
Rick the part you have circled was cut with a flat, the curvature in that pic is just an illusion.
Hi Roger, all they found was skeletons, a small boat, corpses and a few trinkets, they never found the logbook.
and they barely made it out alive.

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  #6  
Old 07-30-2008, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

looking good!! Ive been waiting to see a sneek preview of this gun. can't wait to see the finished job. I know this project has been in the works for quite some time now, Ill bet DD is getting excited.
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2008, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Hi Barry,

I am always lost for words when I see such work and don't reply to prevent a thread from becoming "oh's"and "Ah's" only.
Be asured that you allways have my Oh's and Ah's though.
Very beautiful! The story behind this design really is way more special then for instance Greek Mythologie because its not a myth and not 3000years ago.

I do have one question,
In the second picture you show the sideplate (?) with a transfer and some touching up with a marker. Is that as far as you go when getting your design on your work? Or does it look a lot more eleborate just before you start engraving?

Thanks for showing!

Daniel
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2008, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Always a pleasure to see your work Barry.

Looking forward to the progression.

Thanks,
Peter
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2008, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thanks Peter.
Dan, In the Lockplate pic that is all the layout I have at that stage.
The procedure was as follows: I took the drawing, reduced it on the photocopier to the size of the lockplate, and transfered it on. That was mainly to locate the scene. I then erased the transfered scroll with acetone on a qtip and redrew the scroll lines. This keeps me from doing anything too stupid. I then freehand the leaves as I cut.
How much layout I use depends on the style of the scroll, and the shape of the leaves, this style I know well enough I dont have to fill in much, as I can see it in my mind as I cut.
I look at my drawing and count how many leaves are in a certain area of the scroll, and put in that many. There are really only three kinds of leaf elements I am using here, so I put them together in my mind to fill the space.
Some people might view this as risky, but I have found as long as I am familiar with the style of scroll I am using, it allows more creativity than slavishly following a transfered layout.





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  #10  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

hi Barry .. fantastic work , thanks for posting and showing us how you do it , looking forward to seeing more .. ron p
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2008, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Beautiful work Barry, Thanks for sharing, it really helps to study your work...
Jerry
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2008, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

So Barry, do you use a flat engraver to the scroll work? How wide a flat. That just amazing to me. Could you post a pic of the graver please.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2008, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thanks Ron, you are always welcome.
Here is a link to the story for those who want it.
B
http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&...result#PPA3,M2
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thank you for your answer Barry,
Quote:
Some people might view this as risky
I think this is what separates needing a compass to see where you are from just looking at the stars. Just to speek in Polar Expedition terms.
I still need a TomTom navigation system to guid me around the most simple scrolls.

Thanks again,

Daniel
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2008, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Here is a pic of the underside of the flat, the face is 45 degrees.
Its .040 wide
This is the first graver I learned to sharpen, 30 years ago.
And Dan, I have often found my direction by looking up at the stars when I have been guiding elk hunters in the Bob Marshal wilderness, coming home late (when on a green horse that doesn't know the trail),hehe.

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  #16  
Old 08-01-2008, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Quote:
I have often found my direction by looking up at the stars
Ah, your a natural! :yesnod:
Happy to see that my fine flatgraver looks just about the one a "natural" uses. Only mine was 0,4 in mm to do some line inlay. Have to get to learn to do beautifull scrolls somewhere in the future.
Greetings


Daniel
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thank You for the interesting post and effort to make this available for all of us.

Cheers

"VAN"
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  #18  
Old 08-06-2008, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thanks Dan and Van, here are some more pics.
The first is layout, the second is completion.



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  #19  
Old 08-06-2008, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Gained a bit of detail in the process, wouldn't you say?

Really looks nice! :thumbsup:
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  #20  
Old 08-06-2008, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Hi Barry,
Very nice work and layout the more I study your work the better understanding I get of what Ron Smith is saying in his books about the right layout and design/background perspective, I have a question though the method you use to hold this work piece? am I right to say it looks like molten aluminum and that the work piece was pushed in there just before solidifying to form the two mushroom buttons in the holes and that will be chiseled/ grind out to remove the work piece (quite I strong hold you got there)


:thinking:

Thanks again for sharing

Cheers
"VAN"
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  #21  
Old 08-07-2008, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Barry ,, its just beautiful ,, i like your lay out on that tang piece very good job and i am glad to see that some one else bucks the normal trend , i have been told by some other big name engravers in Reno that i shouldn't buck the trend ,,i am glad to see that you have done it ,, it looks GREAT.. ron p
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  #22  
Old 08-07-2008, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thanks Steve,
Yes, it picks up some detail, my layout is just like lines on the road, to keep me from doing anything too stupid.
Thank you also Van. I have not read Ron Smith's book, he is a very talented engraver.
The holding material is cerrosafe, available from Brownells, it melts at 200f or so, handy stuff.
And Ron p, thanks as always, you should buck the trend. It builds character.
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  #23  
Old 08-10-2008, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Here is more work in progress:









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  #24  
Old 08-10-2008, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Hi,

I see before you etch you protect the areas with a black coat then dam it with clay?

What products are you using for the black coat and clay?

Great work...

Mike
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  #25  
Old 08-14-2008, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Mike, its etching ground and modeling clay.
Here is another pic.

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  #26  
Old 08-14-2008, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Hi,

Thanks for the etching information also.
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  #27  
Old 09-09-2008, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Further. . .
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  #28  
Old 09-10-2008, 06:39 PM
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  #29  
Old 09-10-2008, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Scrolling down this page and seeing the progression is great.

The scene is simply beautiful.

Is your new assistant doing all the polishing/buffing?
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  #30  
Old 09-11-2008, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVEngraver
Scrolling down this page and seeing the progression is great.

The scene is simply beautiful.

Is your new assistant doing all the polishing/buffing?
This is a great progression.

Thanks Barry.

Peter
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  #31  
Old 09-11-2008, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thanks guys.
My Assistant doesn't do engraving , or polishing, just office stuff mostly.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

It looks stunning Barry, very unique and artistic features.

thanks for sharing.

Cheers
"VAN"
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  #33  
Old 09-11-2008, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thanks Van, here are some pics from doing the stock inlays:






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Old 09-11-2008, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

I went back to the beginning to see the whole progression.

Simply stunning.
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  #35  
Old 09-11-2008, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Barry, this is truely amazing work! I really love the sculpted look of it all. Is it all cut with flats? Some areas of the scrolls and leaves do look "scalloped" or rounded looking cuts.

Did you make your own etching ground or did you find it premade somewhere?

Very amazing work!
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  #36  
Old 09-11-2008, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Those escutcheons are interesting Barry. Is this a Gemmer-Sharps?


Chris
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  #37  
Old 09-12-2008, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Tim, I start with a commercial ground, and add lighter fluid to give it a little zing.
yes Chris , you are very observant, its a Gemmer by the C Sharps arms Factory. The stock was done by Don Franklin, and I believe most of the rest was done by Joe Seeley.
Lee Helgeland did the disassembly for me, here is a pic with Jerry Fisher checking it out-"no hair on this" was his comment.
and a pic with lee and I , Lee disassembling the piece, and the parts laid out for engraving.
When its done, in a week or so, it all goes back to the Factory for finishing.









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  #38  
Old 09-12-2008, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Nice work Barry, I will happy to see your next work.
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  #39  
Old 09-12-2008, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

That's fantastic.

I also notice the barrel breech ... this is manufactured as a black powder gun. That makes it historically accurate to the few original conversions that are in existence ... I think.

What a fine rifle Barry. A promotion to "press secretary" is also in order for your assistant. This visual record of the inspection ... I can almost feel the tension build as you're about to hear answer!! You're fortunate to have such expertise so close.


Chris

btw ... it's great to look over your shoulder and see the stock and forend jigs you've made.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Very nice to see the gun and take down display of all the components it sure is a fine piece. i was going to question the two pieces attached to the stock but Chris had put the light on, Thanks Chris.

Barry keep going it is very inspiring.

Cheers

"VAN"
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  #41  
Old 09-12-2008, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

The Patchbox:
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  #42  
Old 09-12-2008, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

A perfect fit for the subject and the gun. Nice work Barry, very original idea.
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  #43  
Old 09-12-2008, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

your work is so "clean looking". beautiful to the eye. top shelf !
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  #44  
Old 09-14-2008, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Barry,

I have been busy with flutes, and a little late in posting my congratulations on your Arctic scene.

I am not a gun person, but I must confess that I felt just a little more comfortable with a 45 magnum back in 1958 when a very young 21 year old member of the Scottish East Greenland Expedition, and deep in Polar Bear country. Poverty was such that I could not afford a down jacket at 73 degrees north. Nine of us were there to explore the Staunings Alps and make some twenty one new ascents of very difficult mountains of the scale where you strapped on your crampons at sea level. Some ascents took 44 hours non-stop (thanks to the midnight sun!) One small can of pemican had to last for many days, at 2 ounces per meal. Those cans had gone to the Himalayas and back to Scotland, where we bought them second hand!

I was in charge of sea transportation, and that meant skipper of a 16 foot row boat and a 4 hp seagull outboard. In this tiny craft men and provisions were transported into the more remote fjiords where our high mountains lay. I calculated that I travled about 1400 miles in that very unseaworthy craft, often getting stuck in the ice as leads would close up with the turn of the tide.

With that preamble, I want to tell you that admiring your wonderful composition of Franklin's predictament, and the brave souls who sought to find him, actually brought sweat to my fingertips, as I relived the 1958 expedition, and another one to the same region with Sir John Hunt (Everest) in 1960. Your scene really drew me in, and back to those days when I was young and stupid and lost eight and a half of my nine lives.

Do you know that great song, " My Lord Franklin" ..... "...only the Eskimo in his skin canoe, was the only one who ever came through...."

In summary .... you composition really works for me....well done!

Rod
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  #45  
Old 09-15-2008, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Thanks Monk, and Rod.
I did a sketch for the starboard panel, and then did the work.

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Old 09-15-2008, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Makes me think of one of the better Frankenstein movies (at least as far as cinematography) - it has that eerie feel of intruding into forbidden places.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Hey Steve ... were you looking for Robert DeNiro floating away on one of those icebergs by any chance?
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  #48  
Old 09-15-2008, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Lee Hands
Thanks Peter.
Dan, In the Lockplate pic that is all the layout I have at that stage.
The procedure was as follows: I took the drawing, reduced it on the photocopier to the size of the lockplate, and transfered it on. That was mainly to locate the scene. I then erased the transfered scroll with acetone on a qtip and redrew the scroll lines. This keeps me from doing anything too stupid. I then freehand the leaves as I cut.
How much layout I use depends on the style of the scroll, and the shape of the leaves, this style I know well enough I dont have to fill in much, as I can see it in my mind as I cut.
I look at my drawing and count how many leaves are in a certain area of the scroll, and put in that many. There are really only three kinds of leaf elements I am using here, so I put them together in my mind to fill the space.
Some people might view this as risky, but I have found as long as I am familiar with the style of scroll I am using, it allows more creativity than slavishly following a transfered layout.
Barry, It is looking good. Are you using a point in a pin vise for a scribe to lightly draw some of the main layout lines of the scene? Do you cut those outlines lines before masking or can mask right from the scribed lines?

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  #49  
Old 09-16-2008, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

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Originally Posted by WVEngraver
Hey Steve ... were you looking for Robert DeNiro floating away on one of those icebergs by any chance?
So I'm not the only one then - or at least I'm not the only one anymore.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:13 AM
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WVEngraver WVEngraver is offline
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Default Re: Arctic Exploration

One thing to note Steve ... beginning in June, the Arctic has almost continuous light. You won't see the Aurora Borealis as that is in the winter months only but sun light reflecting off ice crystals in the air creates an interesting effect known as "sun dogs". You most certainly won't see anyone floating off into the darkness. Alaska and points further north have the highest rates of suicide because of either the lack of night or the lack of day. If you're not used to it ... there's a good chance you'll go insane.

As always, I find your bit of humor priceless. Until you mentioned it, what I was thinking of when I see this scene are the hunger pangs of shipmates as they burn parts of the ship for warmth.

Chris
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