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MacInnis, Joe.

Montreal, CBC Enterprises, c1985. 191pp, paper, $12.95, ISBN 0-88794-196-6. CIP

Grades 8 and up
Reviewed by Robin Lewis

Volume 13 Number 6
1985 November

The search for Sir John Franklin explored vast tracts of the Canadian Arctic. The supply ship Breadalbane was crushed by the ice off Devon Island in 1853. Dr. Joe MacInnis is the head of Undersea Research Ltd. As a well-known diver interested in medical aspects of his avocation, he felt challenged to find the world's most northerly and best-preserved shipwreck. After 1975 his search grew. So did his budget. Sponsors' flagging interest inspired The Breadalbane Adventure (Optimum, 1982). The search has been featured on CBC television and in magazines. The first seventeen chapters of The Land that Devours Ships are virtual reprints of the earlier book. Concluding chapters tell how a remotely piloted vehicle and a diver in a WASP (a space suit-like diving outfit) recovered the ship's wheel. Sketches and pictures in this section are new. One of the original pictures of dangerous ice blocks has been replaced by a more frightening one. The book retains the Franklin chronology, a map, and a brief reading list.

A novelist's vision accurately re-creates the sailing of the Breadalbane. A scientist's precision describes development of cameras, sonar, and other polar-diving equipment. The technology, adaptable to northern oil prospecting, is fascinating, although an unbiased comparison to vehicles such as SCARAB I would be welcome. The concern for Canadian arctic sovereignty is topical this year, as the American Polar Sea sails the Northwest Passage.

Although Breadalbane contains no pirate treasure or black box, the story of search,*- frustration, perseverance, and success is good adventure. The polar sea teems with surprising life forms. The brief description of these is in itself worth $12.95.

Robin Lewis, Riverdale H.S., Pierrefonds, Que.
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