The Other Side of The Ice is a film about exploration, survival and family redemption. With the Arctic's infamous Northwest Passage as the back drop Theobald and his once estranged children try and accomplish what hundreds have died trying to do.
Starring: None - Documantary None - Documentary
Directed by: Sprague Theobald
Release year: 2013
Studio: Hole in the Wall Productions
|Sprague Theobald on his beloved Bagan, a 57’ Nordhavn.|
HOW HARD DO YOU THINK DAILY LIFE WAS DURING A NORTHWEST PASSAGE ABOARD A NORDHAVN YACHT NAMED MOTOR VESSEL 'BAGAN'?
Personal Website: http://spraguetheobald.com/splash/
T&T Article: http://www.trawlersandtrawlering.com/news/bagantransits.html
Previous NorthwestPassage2012 blog post: http://northwestpassage2012.blogspot.com/2012/09/2009-northwest-passage-sprague-theobald.html
What is the Northwest Passage really about? Can you say m-y-s-e-l-f? Or is it more about those Explorers and families of so many years gone bye?
Sprague Theobald has been there and completed a Northwest Passage... what are his memories?
Some Memories Are Better Than Others
Them and Us
We, I anyway, have always looked back at the men from the 1800s, the adventurers who took on the challenge of trying to find the Northwest Passage with absolutely no assurances that they would come back alive. They did so with nothing but flat-footed awe and reverence. In fact, if one were able to draw up the odds and likelihood that they would have a safe return, I’m sure this number wouldn’t move from the single digits. For this reason, in my writing, I referred to these amazing men as “Supermen”, the true heroes of their day, for which they unarguably were. We aboard Bagan and they, the “Supermen,” may have been sharing a similar challenge. However, any comparisons stop there for they, unlike us, had no comfort such as modern electronics, electronics that will show within a three foot radius where they/we were at any given moment.
Today the power of a GPS is taken for granted. But for those men in the doomed Franklin Expedition of 1845, knowing precisely where they were from moment-to-moment would have literally been a God send. For them to be able to make use of a satellite phone, albeit it with very limited success, as we did was something that assuredly never entered their conscious thinking. Even something as mundane as watching a DVD, (oh, let me count the times the crew watched “Caddy Shack”) for a needed distraction, was over a hundred years in coming. We, on Bagan, were able to take advantages of these modern day devices, whereas those heroes of the 19th century were iced in and blissfully ignorant of possibilities to come.
Yet there is one thing that doesn’t require much imagination. It’s to know that we shared the tedious hours and days of waiting and the depths to which one’s thinking could sink. It’s the complete and total lack of familiar visual distractions that could help pull, even the darkest of thoughts, into a comfortable level of familiarity. They, as we, shared these hallow, dark and tenuous hours and days and, what’s more, we most probably all shared the feeling of, “If he says one more word I will pick up that flare gun and either stick it in my ear or his!”
Even adventures separated by 164 years know how tenuous relationships can be in such situations. I love my family dearly, as they hopefully love me. But there were certainly those moments, when my thoughts consisted of anything but family love!!
Yet 19th century or 21st century, this sharing of despair, emotionally tight living quarters, very little room for a breath of quiet and uninterrupted self-reflection stops at a certain point. We of the 21st century were able to distract ourselves by means of any one of the above mentioned modern electronic devices. We were able to somewhat create our own zone of “self” and comfort by staring at Bill Murray, watching him chase a gopher for the umpteenth time. Like the men from Franklin’s Erebus and Terror, we didn’t all share one cramped living space watching as ice formed around and upon us. At the very least, we had dependable diesel heat. Unbelievably these men lived literally inches apart, for years on end, and for the most part were reported to keep their sanity. This again is why, when looking back at our trip to and through The Northwest Passage and thinking of those from the 19th century who went before, there is absolutely no comparison between us and these “Supermen,” these true heroes of their day. I am humbled.