Editor, The Times:
Well I must admit, I have imbibed from time to time on the “noxious weed”—not much, all things in moderation—an old proverb.
However, having seen the future—the legalization of marijuana—well I and millions of other Canadians were simply ahead of the curve.
One item that jumped out at me from Jim Lamberton’s letter was that about a ship being stuck in the ice, which proved that a great big deep cold was lurking around the corner just waiting to freeze us all solid.
If Lamberton was referring to that same Russian ship that I am thinking about in the Northwest Passage, this particular ship was not stuck in the ice. It was up on a rock—rocks as I found out with my own encounters with them in 40 years of shipping on the B.C. coast are hard and unforgiving. They don’t freeze or melt unless there’s a crack or very high heat.
The one singular reason beside the fact the ship was skippered by Russian (my waggish friend again—it’s a Russian ship so one has to assume the shipper is Russian?) is the ship was cruising in uncharted water—only about 10 per cent of arctic waters are charted, the other 90 per cent remain largely unknown despite today’s modern navigation devices.
The reason most of the arctic is basically unknown is that for eons it was covered by thick ice—and woe to anyone, as the Franklin expedition found to its sorrow—trying to penetrate this frozen wasteland.
No Longer! Great areas of the Northwest Passage are now ice free for part of the year. Thus, ships including Russian ones are more and more cruising water never travelled except for some long dead mariners that supposed tens of thousands of years long past?
And there are many, many shoals, reefs, shallow spots, now just lurking beneath the surface. When the keel hits the bottom in some uncharted waters then you know they are there.
There is a simple science here—when it is cool water freezes. When it is warm ice melts—and much ocean surface is for once in thousands, perhaps millions, of years ice free.
As for rocks—from my experience I’ve found them hard, often jagged, and unforgiving.
Not at all like melting ice!