Sisters of the Ice : The True Story of How St. Roch and North Star of Herschel Island Protected Canadian Arctic Sovereignty

Sisters of the Ice: The True Story of How St. Roch and North Star of Herschel Island Protected Canadian Arctic Sovereignty

R. Bruce Macdonald
$19.95

 


This book is a biography of two British Columbian ships that performed legendary service in the Canadian Arctic. The St. Roch, now on permanent display at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, is the better known of the two, although North Star of Herschel Island is still sailing and still adding to her legend. Historian Bruce Macdonald—who, along with his wife, owns North Star of Herschel Island—has meticulously researched the origins and service logs of each ship and created a book that will enthrall old Arctic hands, maritime history buffs and anyone who appreciates well-written Canadian history.

Under the command of Captain Henry Larsen, the sturdy RCMP vessel St. Roch spent years showing the Canadian flag in the Arctic, performing many duties including delivering medical supplies and taking census information in addition to enforcing the law in the North. St. Roch is world renowned for achieving many firsts, including being the first vessel through the Northwest Passage west to east, the first vessel to navigate the passage in both directions and the first vessel to circumnavigate North America. Inspired by St. Roch, renowned trapper and Inuit leader Fred Carpenter and his trapping partner, Fred Wolki, designed the elegant North Star, the ultimate ice vessel used to transport furs, winter supplies and people between remote Banks Island and the mainland. Together, these two iconic ships helped unify Northern communities, solidify Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic and create a living symbol of Canadian identity.

In Sisters of the Ice, Macdonald documents in vivid detail the adventurous histories of these two vessels, as well as the history of the Northern communities in which they gained renown. Detailing daring escapes from dangerous ice conditions to thrilling sea voyages to raucous whaling towns, Macdonald reveals the perilous and often lawless climate in which these vessels operated and the ties of Canadian identity that they helped forge.


 

“A gem of a find, full of diamonds and nuggets, rough seas, fascinating characters and barrels of history smuggled below decks.”
–Chris Haddock, screenwriter, producer and creator of Da Vinci’s Inquest


"Macdonald’s book is a well-researched labour of love, one that will enhance our knowledge of Canada’s maritime history as well as the history of the north."
–Dave Obee, Times Colonist

“Sisters of the Ice is a lesser known indigenous success story that shaped Canada’s Arctic history through ingenuity, generosity and the power of perseverance.”
–Bourton Scott, Emerald Sea Protection Society

“[Sisters of the Ice] wonderfully captures the path these two vessels forged in the Canadian Arctic. The strength of the character of the many individuals involved in these vessels is well captured and will endure because of [Macdonald’s] well-researched writing. Thankfully, these two sister vessels live on to this day as a wonderful legacy.”
–Captain William Noon, CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier (retired) and chair of the Victoria Classic Boat Festival, Victoria BC

“Bruce Macdonald has written a superb history of boats, sailing, commerce, RCMP service, and people engaged in the Canadian Arctic through the middle years of the twentieth century—with a focus on the challenges of protecting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic through the years when these territories were at political risk. This account is not only well-researched through primary and secondary sources, it also is enriched by the author's extensive personal involvement in the events he describes, and his sailing experience with one of the premium ships of Arctic service—the North Star of Herschel Island, Sister of the Ice to the St. Roch. […] In short, if readers want a deeply engaged, well-informed, and grippingly-interesting tale of Arctic maritime history, this book is a must-read.”
–George Egerton, Emeritus, History Department, University of British Columbia

“[…] Macdonald manages to entice this reader from beginning to end. Sisters of the Ice is the gripping story about the intertwined histories of two of Canada’s most iconic Arctic ships […] With its wealth of data related to history, climatology, political developments [and] Canadian Arctic sovereignty, this is a must read for historians, ships’ lovers and politicians alike.”
–Dr. Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek, PhD, FRCGS; past director at Vancouver Maritime Museum; Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University

“The raw history of two of Canada’s most important ships, Sisters of the Ice has given me a new understanding of their place in time and their critical role in establishing Canadian Arctic Sovereignty. All of Canada owes them a debt of gratitude.”
–Rob O’Dea, president, Oarlock & Sail Wooden Boat Society

 


Lost Moose Books
ISBN: 9781550179286
Paperback / softback
6.0 in x 9.0 in - 160 pp
Publication Date: 24/04/2021
BISAC Subject(s):: HIS057000-HISTORY / Maritime History & Piracy,TRA006010-TRANSPORTATION / Ships & Shipbuilding / History,HIS006000-HISTORY / Canada / General 
:

Description


This book is a biography of two British Columbian ships that performed legendary service in the Canadian Arctic. The St. Roch, now on permanent display at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, is the better known of the two, although North Star of Herschel Island is still sailing and still adding to her legend. Historian Bruce Macdonald—who, along with his wife, owns North Star of Herschel Island—has meticulously researched the origins and service logs of each ship and created a book that will enthrall old Arctic hands, maritime history buffs and anyone who appreciates well-written Canadian history.

Under the command of Captain Henry Larsen, the sturdy RCMP vessel St. Roch spent years showing the Canadian flag in the Arctic, performing many duties including delivering medical supplies and taking census information in addition to enforcing the law in the North. St. Roch is world renowned for achieving many firsts, including being the first vessel through the Northwest Passage west to east, the first vessel to navigate the passage in both directions and the first vessel to circumnavigate North America. Inspired by St. Roch, renowned trapper and Inuit leader Fred Carpenter and his trapping partner, Fred Wolki, designed the elegant North Star, the ultimate ice vessel used to transport furs, winter supplies and people between remote Banks Island and the mainland. Together, these two iconic ships helped unify Northern communities, solidify Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic and create a living symbol of Canadian identity.

In Sisters of the Ice, Macdonald documents in vivid detail the adventurous histories of these two vessels, as well as the history of the Northern communities in which they gained renown. Detailing daring escapes from dangerous ice conditions to thrilling sea voyages to raucous whaling towns, Macdonald reveals the perilous and often lawless climate in which these vessels operated and the ties of Canadian identity that they helped forge.


 

“A gem of a find, full of diamonds and nuggets, rough seas, fascinating characters and barrels of history smuggled below decks.”
–Chris Haddock, screenwriter, producer and creator of Da Vinci’s Inquest


"Macdonald’s book is a well-researched labour of love, one that will enhance our knowledge of Canada’s maritime history as well as the history of the north."
–Dave Obee, Times Colonist

“Sisters of the Ice is a lesser known indigenous success story that shaped Canada’s Arctic history through ingenuity, generosity and the power of perseverance.”
–Bourton Scott, Emerald Sea Protection Society

“[Sisters of the Ice] wonderfully captures the path these two vessels forged in the Canadian Arctic. The strength of the character of the many individuals involved in these vessels is well captured and will endure because of [Macdonald’s] well-researched writing. Thankfully, these two sister vessels live on to this day as a wonderful legacy.”
–Captain William Noon, CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier (retired) and chair of the Victoria Classic Boat Festival, Victoria BC

“Bruce Macdonald has written a superb history of boats, sailing, commerce, RCMP service, and people engaged in the Canadian Arctic through the middle years of the twentieth century—with a focus on the challenges of protecting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic through the years when these territories were at political risk. This account is not only well-researched through primary and secondary sources, it also is enriched by the author's extensive personal involvement in the events he describes, and his sailing experience with one of the premium ships of Arctic service—the North Star of Herschel Island, Sister of the Ice to the St. Roch. […] In short, if readers want a deeply engaged, well-informed, and grippingly-interesting tale of Arctic maritime history, this book is a must-read.”
–George Egerton, Emeritus, History Department, University of British Columbia

“[…] Macdonald manages to entice this reader from beginning to end. Sisters of the Ice is the gripping story about the intertwined histories of two of Canada’s most iconic Arctic ships […] With its wealth of data related to history, climatology, political developments [and] Canadian Arctic sovereignty, this is a must read for historians, ships’ lovers and politicians alike.”
–Dr. Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek, PhD, FRCGS; past director at Vancouver Maritime Museum; Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University

“The raw history of two of Canada’s most important ships, Sisters of the Ice has given me a new understanding of their place in time and their critical role in establishing Canadian Arctic Sovereignty. All of Canada owes them a debt of gratitude.”
–Rob O’Dea, president, Oarlock & Sail Wooden Boat Society

 

Details


Lost Moose Books
ISBN: 9781550179286
Paperback / softback
6.0 in x 9.0 in - 160 pp
Publication Date: 24/04/2021
BISAC Subject(s):: HIS057000-HISTORY / Maritime History & Piracy,TRA006010-TRANSPORTATION / Ships & Shipbuilding / History,HIS006000-HISTORY / Canada / General 
: