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Damn the Rules, Rocna Inventor doing the NW Passage


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Not wishing to aggravate the sin or virtues of the voyage. And I hope within the bounds of the original post that I made about sailing the northern extremes of Canada. I thought there might be an interest in the little town of Okak (sometimes spelt Okkak). Kiwi Roa will likely sail past Okak, found in the northern extremes of Labrador, perhaps even stop there as this is well south of the ‘finish line’ of the passage.
Scientists tell us Okak, an Inuit village, has been constantly settled for over 5,000 years. At the turn of last century Okak held the largest Inuit community in Labrador and was the site of a Moravian mission that had been established in 1776. Twice each year the supply/trade ship Harmony visited both to supply goods and take away Okak’s produce.

So why is Okak special? Well 4 November 1918 the Harmony visited the little town, where she remained for 4 days before continuing her supply mission up the coast. Within two weeks, 70 residents had died, by the end of December 204 people of the total population of 263 had perished. Not a single male Inuit survived. Many bodies were dismembered and mutilated by the settlement’s starving dogs.

Here’s a quote from the book Northern Lights by Desmond Holdridge: “And thus, on the Mission bark Harmony,” wrote Holdridge, “had come the pestilence generated on battlefields, three thousand miles away, of a war that had less to do with the destinies of the Eskimo, on the face of it, than Polynesian morals have to do with double-entry bookkeeping.”

Holdridge quoted at length one Caucasian survivor who described to him the aftermath:

Dear God, we couldn’t bury them; there weren’t half a dozen able-bodied men in the village to lend a hand. Men I’d known well. Girls. Old ladies that made good boots. And the men and the women, they lay there dying and saying it was the end of the world. They called that thing Spanish influenza, but to me it was that the door to Hell was left ajar for a while and the smoke and stink of it got out to kill people. The dogs got into the houses and ate the bodies; they killed some of the people who were not dead, but too weak to drive them off.


You’ve seen the mounds around the village; it was where the bodies were so many that we couldn’t take care of them when help came from Nain; we just smashed the houses down on top of them and covered the wreckage with sod. That’s all the grave most of them got. The ice came in for a while and some of the dead we just pushed under it and let them go to sea. And a couple of years later some of them came ashore again. The noses and ears and fingers had been eaten by the fish but otherwise they were all right; I could recognize every one.


I’ve included a link to a doco from 1985. Just a warning that the film is difficult to watch. https://youtu.be/Ts3hFJOLFuo

Today Okak is abandoned, so the town’s brass band won’t be there to greet Pete Smith if he happens to call in and look at the site. 
 

Harmony at Anchor in Okak 1905.jpg

Harmony Trade Route.jpg

Okak 1908.jpg

Okak 2017.jpg

Okak mission 1908.jpg

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8 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

A five thousand year-old town . . 

wiped out by the wonders of Western Civ. 

Not the only one to be wiped out.
The Spanish Flu killed (officially) over 50 million people around the World. Unofficially, it is thought that the toll was closer to 70million. Some Historians even stretch that out to 100million. At minimum, over 500 million were infected. At a time when the World population was only around 1.8 Billion.
Just imagine that percentage being applied to today's World population of around 7 Billion. And the idiots argue that it is against their Human rights to have to endure a few weeks of lockdown, or wear a mask in Public.

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4 hours ago, wheels said:

Not the only one to be wiped out.
The Spanish Flu killed (officially) over 50 million people around the World.

What fascinates me, is that it is still out there, frozen in the permafrost, just waiting for climate change and an unexpected chance encounter with a friendly carrier.

The Deadliest Flu: The Complete Story of the Discovery and Reconstruction of the 1918 Pandemic Virus

Makes one wonder what else is waiting for us... 

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10 hours ago, CarpeDiem said:

What fascinates me, is that it is still out there, frozen in the permafrost, just waiting for climate change and an unexpected chance encounter with a friendly carrier.

The Deadliest Flu: The Complete Story of the Discovery and Reconstruction of the 1918 Pandemic Virus

Makes one wonder what else is waiting for us... 

No nothing to worry about. Today it is just one of our common flu's that rounds our planet each year. Th H1N1 virus. The death/infection toll is what it took for the World back then to gain "Herd Immunity". And even with Herd Immunity, that did not mean that in the years after 1920 (when the pandemic officially ended) People no longer died from it.  In fact it still kills the old and frail today.

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1 hour ago, wheels said:

No nothing to worry about. Today it is just one of our common flu's that rounds our planet each year. Th H1N1 virus. The death/infection toll is what it took for the World back then to gain "Herd Immunity". And even with Herd Immunity, that did not mean that in the years after 1920 (when the pandemic officially ended) People no longer died from it.  In fact it still kills the old and frail today.

The article (and some of the others it links) explain this.

The H1N1 of 1918 had an gene that was "exceptionally virulent". This 1918 variety of H1N1 is not in circulation today, has never had a vaccine created for it and we have no herd immunity to it.  If it was to get out, there would be a mad rush to quarantine and develop a specific vaccine.   The last most virulent h1n1 was 2009, it was not even as deadly or as contagious as the 1918 strain, but still caused worldwide carnage. 

To quote the article:

"Oseltamivir (Tamiflu® or generic), has been shown to be effective against similar influenza A(H1N1) viruses and is expected to be effective against the 1918 H1N1 virus. Other antivirals (zanamivir, peramivir and baloxavir) have not been tested against this specific virus but are expected to also be effective."

I definitely don't read that, as a 100% gaurantee, that we're ready, if the Spanish flu variant made a come back.   While there would be certainty that a vaccine would be forthcoming, I think there would be a lot more carnage. 

We have not had a H1N1 as virulent as the 1918 since 1918.  Not worried, just facinated that it's still there... 

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I didn’t intend to slide off topic again. I added the post about Okak because the village is on the NW passage and suffered enormously from a white man’s disease. Like all the little villages, hamlets and towns in the far north there isn’t much in the way of medical facilities or evacuation options. Even in 2020!

Irrespective, Wheels and Priscilla have rightly brought up the 1919 flu and the horrific effect for Samoa. But you don’t have to look back very far at all to when another disease rampaged Samoa. Only last year they experienced a measles outbreak that decimated the country.

 August last year, yes 2019, an infected passenger arrived from Auckland. That resulted in an outbreak that killed and killed for months.

The Lancet reported:
On Oct 16, 2019, the Samoan Ministry of Health declared a measles outbreak, the first Pacific island country to do so in the current global resurgence of measles. 
As of Jan 22, 2020, 5707 measles cases and 83 measles-related deaths (estimated attack rate of approximately 285 cases per 10 000 population) have been reported. 
87% of deaths have been reported as children younger than 5 years, a mortality rate of approximately 25 deaths per 10 000 people in this age group.
At least 20% of babies aged six to 11 months have contracted measles and one in 150 babies have died.
As of 20 December, 94% of the population had been vaccinated.

A state of emergency was declared on 17 November, ordering the closure of all schools, keeping children under 17 away from public events, and vaccination became mandatory. On 2 December 2019, the government imposed a curfew and cancelled all Christmas celebrations and public gatherings. All unvaccinated families were ordered to display a red flag or cloth in front of their homes to warn others and to aid mass vaccination efforts. Some families added messages like “Help!” or “I want to live!”.

5 and 6 December, the government shut down everything to bring civil servants over to the vaccination campaign. The curfew was lifted on 7 December when the government estimated that 90% of the population had been reached by the vaccination program. On 14 December, the state of emergency was extended to 29 December. Finally, as of 22 December, an estimated 94% of the eligible population had been vaccinated.

So poor old Samoa went from a horrifying and deadly experience, with the lock down finally ending at Christmas, only to find a new disease threat waiting to hop aboard an Air NZ flight and break out early this year. And of course they’ve had their borders firmly shut since 21 March.

The lesson is that there are still real risks for people. There’s a dangerous potion when you’ve mixed together some poverty, isolation, minimal medical resources and a lack of any immunity, and yes, to bring us back to the topic, the white man’s greed and arrogance.

When I read the RNZ article kindly linked by Priscilla II, I couldn’t but postulate that Colonel Robert Logan and Pete Smith must be related; they act with attitudes of such similarity.

 

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A quick comment from an alternate universe: 

ML King taught us that, if we determine that a law is unjust, 

we can and should break it; but we should also be prepared to 

accept the legal consequences (without whining). 

That way, we can show our respect for the law in general while breaking a particular law. 

Kind of like Socrates' approach. 

On the whole, I support Mr. Smith. 

Who knows, he might be able to strike a blow for the freedom of the seas by his action. 

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Just now, AJ Oliver said:

A quick comment from an alternate universe: 

(Or at the very least, an alternate hemisphere) 

ML King taught us that, if we determine that a law is unjust, 

we can and should break it; but we should also be prepared to 

accept the legal consequences (without whining). 

That way, we can show our respect for the law in general while breaking a particular law. 

Kind of like Socrates' approach. 

On the whole, I support Mr. Smith. 

Who knows, he might be able to strike a blow for the freedom of the seas by his action. 

 

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8 hours ago, ex Elly said:

So he made it, without being arrested or fined?

 

I don't think that was ever going to happen. Pete made the comment "Canadian CG and authorities have been very courteous and helpful, no problems" as he entered Baffin Bay a few weeks ago

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