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Arthur Conan Doyle, Arctic Whaler

February 21, 2011

Over on the Venetian Vase I have a short note about Arthur Conan Doyle’s visit to the Arctic in 1880, on board the whaler Hope of Peterhead:

In the Spring of 1880 Arthur Conan Doyle, then a 21 year-old medical student, sailed as ship’s surgeon on board the Hope, an Arctic whaler, out of Peterhead. The Hope was a modern vessel with an auxiliary steam engine to go with its three masts, and in his brief reminiscence about the voyage, “Whaling in the Arctic Ocean” Conan Doyle says: ”What surprised me most about the Arctic regions was the rapidity with which you reach them. I had never realised that they lie at our very door. I think that we were only four days out of Shetland when we were among the drift ice.”

Read more at the Venetian Vase.

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