View topic - The journal of Moffatt-party participant Ed Lanouette

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PostPosted: June 15th, 2018, 12:08 pm 
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Thanks to Ed ("Joe") Lanouette and his daughter Elizabeth Emge (who transcribed the handwritten original from the 1955 trip), his journal is now available. I note that the last entry is for 16 September.
Thanks also to Marilyn, who provided the space.
I expect to post more Moffatt material here.
Allan

Directory.
The limit of 60,000 characters required 8 posts.
Post 1 of 8. 16 June to 1 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46535
Post 2 of 8. 2 July to 16 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46555
Post 3 of 8. 17 July to 28 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46557
Post 4 of 8. 29 July to 7 August.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46561
Post 5 of 8. 8 August to 20 August.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46610
Post 6 of 8. 21 August to 2 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46696
Post 7 of 8. 3 September to 10 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46737
Post 8 of 8. 11 September to 16 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46738

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PostPosted: June 18th, 2018, 8:24 am 
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This looks like a great read, Allen, thanks for posting... out of books right now too.

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PostPosted: June 20th, 2018, 6:13 pm 
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Thanks.
I'd be pleased to try to answer questions.

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PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 6:37 am 
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Hi Allan, I've only read the first several days and will get into it on the weekend. This isn't the first time I've seen reference to the Moffat trip here... being totally ignorant about why the attention, the most I can recall is this was a disaster trip with starvation and deaths?

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PostPosted: June 22nd, 2018, 1:12 pm 
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Deaths. One (Moffatt), in the afternoon of 14 September 1955.

Starvation. The evidence of participant LeFavour for that day.
Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, page 8, 29 December (1955).]

Thanks for the interest. Allan

EDIT. URL for the Main text of my blog In Defence of Arthur Moffatt.
http://defence-arthurmoffatt.ca/2017/09/08/main-text/

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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2018, 11:07 pm 
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Thanks to David for the opportunity to clarify the matter.

If Moffatt had been flown in to the head of the rapids where he died, or not far above them, then I agree completely: There was no reason for him to trust J B Tyrrell's description of those rapids.

But such is not the case.

Moffatt had used JBT's rapids advice for all of July, all of August and two weeks in September.
Over those 11 weeks, surely he would have noticed significant differences between JBT's descriptions and his experiences, and so he would not have trusted them in the afternoon of 14 September.

EDIT.
Before then, the Moffatt party had experienced not one dump, not one pin and but one swamp; indeed, the only dumps of the entire trip occurred then.
Again, the external URL of my Moffatt blog. http://defence-arthurmoffatt.ca/2017/09/08/main-text/

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 12:55 pm 
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Hi David,
I refer you in particular to the following evidence of George Luste
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284],
more generally to the evidence provided in my blog, especially that in my Main text.
http://defence-arthurmoffatt.ca/2017/09/08/main-text/
Regards, Allan

For the convenience of the reader, I provide here both
David's first post (that of Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:00 am),

Alan, I must take issue with the using of a 50 year old journal as exculpatory evidence for Moffatt. Any reliance upon Tyrrell's description was a flaw. I have been on rivers enough over decades to appreciate rivers change. Water levels change them and events over time change them. Violence during "ice out" most definitely can change the nature of rapids and over the years it can be significant. If Moffatt used and relied upon Tryrrell's journal to run the Dubawnt as you used and relied upon it to explain why what happened happened, it was a flaw. I believe that to be a viable argument. I never used any journal other than as a general guide and one never runs rapids using general guides for particulars.

and his second post (that of Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:30 pm).
Alan: "Moffatt had used JBT's rapids advice for all of July, all of August and two weeks in September.
Over those 11 weeks, surely he would have noticed significant differences between JBT's descriptions and his experiences,"... (me) and would have noted the differences. I am not as intimate with Moffatt as you Alan so I rely upon you to provide evidence that Moffatt/ or anyone did indeed provide journal entries describing anomalies between Tryell's description and Moffatt's experience 50 years later. The game is afoot and defeat is not an option! :lol:

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 5:31 pm 
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My point is that J B Tyrrell's descriptions of rapids upstream from those where he died were so accurate that his party had previously experienced not one dump, not one pin, and but one swamp (on a highly dangerous river) previous to the afternoon of 14 September.
I conclude that he had full reason to trust JBT's advice later that same day.
Summary. The cause of his death was incorrect advice from a source that he had full reason to trust. And I see no reason for an LOL about his death.
Allan

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 9:01 pm 
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Perhaps you should read the evidence before expressing an opinion of a dead man.
An item that may be of interest: Moffatt was not left alone. I refer you to both Grinnell's book and Pessl's.

EDIT. The order of the canoes that day was Moffatt-Lanouette, Pessl-Franck and LeFavour-Grinnell [Pessl, private correspondence].
As evinced by all accounts, the first two dumped. The third got through OK, but Grinnell fell in while trying to hoist a pack into his canoe, leaving only LeFavour dry. Moffatt and Lanouette lost consciousness. Pessl, Franck and LeFavour did what they could to help them.
Grinnell claims to have passed out, then recovered enough to help Lanouette.

Luste said it well: ...one is struck by how close all six came to perishing in the cold water. [Grinnell book, pp 294&295]

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Last edited by Allan Jacobs on December 11th, 2018, 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: December 7th, 2018, 3:38 pm 
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I'm certainly not the scholar on this that Allan is but I've read both books a couple times. These were my impressions:

Whether or not anyone in the party was actually going hungry food certainly was an issue. I believe it was mentioned by everyone that they were eating a surprising amount of food and that there were grumblings and hard feelings about food and sugar rations. Everyone seemed to be in agreement that Art was taking more than his fair share of sugar and food portions with his larger bowl.

There was a lot of time taken with filming and photography that probably should have been spent paddling and this rankled some members of the group. It could be argued they were made aware this would be the case before the trip but it seemed to cause hard feelings regardless.

It was getting late in the season, they'd had some horrendous weather, and were all feeling pressure to cover some miles. I believe there were some excerpts from Art's diary saying they should be more careful; that they'd been running some rapids without giving them proper scouting.

Whether or not Tyrel made mention of that rapid in his notes they shouldn't have run it without scouting. And with Art being the leader of the expedition (in terms of age, experience, and the fact that he recruited everyone) the responsibility should have fallen on him.

But with all that being said I wouldn't go so far as to say it was Art's fault. As with most accidents there are any number of factors that could have been slightly altered which would have led to a different outcome. Most of the time we come out of these experiences unharmed and learn a lot. Some people don't get the opportunity to learn from a mistake and are judged by that action which, in hindsight, might seem obvious.

I try to keep in mind there are probably more instances than I realize where I've been a whisper away from serious injury or death. Luck probably plays just as much a part as skill. Maybe more.

RIP

Alan


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PostPosted: December 8th, 2018, 5:41 pm 
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The Main text of my Moffatt blog: http://defence-arthurmoffatt.ca/2017/09/08/main-text/
presents the results of my four-plus years of research into the Moffatt trip, especially the cause of his death.

Once you are there, I provide my sources at <a href=”http://defence-arthurmoffatt.ca/2018/03/02/ancillary-10-my-sources/">Ancillary 10. My sources.</a>

Regards, Allan

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PostPosted: December 8th, 2018, 6:42 pm 
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I agree completely with Alan
that the members of the party" were eating a surprising amount of food, and that "there were grumblings and hard feelings about food and sugar rations".
But the sugar dispute was settled on 29 July.[Pessl (1994), p 56]
And, on the day that Moffatt died, the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no more need to hunt. [Lefavour (1955)]

I agree also that "Everyone seemed to be in agreement that Art was taking more than his fair share of sugar and food portions with his larger bowl". But all three matters were settled well before Moffatt's death.

Sugar.
Had a grumpy outbreak over the sugar situation. We are now 1/2 through the supply and only about 1/3 of the distance to Baker Lake. After much discussion, we decided to give each man a 5-day ration from each 5-lb bag, thus allowing about 1/6 lb/day. Each will carry his own supply and use it according to his taste. Hope it works. [Pessl, 29 July, p 56]

The size of Moffatt's bowl.
On August 22, Moffatt came to breakfast and picked up one of the standard bowls. [Grinnell article, p 21, middle of the left column]

Share. I found no further mention of the item, and so I assume that it was resolved that day.

Moffatt's extra portions.
Art was also caught by Bruce taking 7 serving spoons of glop to our 5 ½ and, that from now on, we are going to watch him with eagle eyes. Art has a special aluminum pannikin which holds a lot more than our bowls.[Lanouette journal for 10 August]
I found no further mention of the matter, and so I assume that the dispute was settled by the end of August.

It is true also that "a lot of time" was "taken with filming and photography". But this was the very mission of the party, namely to document lands that had previously been seen by only one party containing anyone of European descent, the Tyrrell-Tyrrell party of 1893. And all members of the party knew such to be the case "before the trip" began.

Despite Moffatt's death, the survivors arrived at Baker Lake on 24 September, 2 days after the end of the grace period arranged with the RCMP detachment there, nine days later than scheduled. In fairness, the party might have arrived yet later had it not portaged over to Aberdeen Lake on the Thelon, rather than continue down the Dubawnt to its junction with the Thelon.

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PostPosted: December 9th, 2018, 2:59 pm 
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DeMello missed the point, namely that the portage from Marjorie Lake to Aberdeen Lake avoided the serious rapids (J B Tyrrell's London Rapids) that Moffatt knew to lie on the Dubawnt above its junction with the Thelon.
As well, it is clear from JBT's map (possessed by Moffatt)
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca ... one-6-1893 ,
and also now from mytopo and Toporama, that the reach from Marjorie Lake to Aberdeen Lake accounts for half the descent from Marjorie Lake to Hudson Bay, suggesting that those deserved respect, in particular that they should not be attempted by five paddlers in two canoes.

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2018, 10:08 am 
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Sources for topos.

http://www.mytopo.com/maps/ At the top, choose US or Canada.

Toporama (Canada only)
http://atlas.gc.ca/toporama/en/index.html
Wait a bit, then fill in the box "Find a location", for example Marjorie Lake, Nunavut. There's a way to measure distances, maybe other neat stuff.

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PostPosted: December 11th, 2018, 8:45 pm 
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Comparison of the plan recommended by DeMello with the path taken by the Moffatt party.
The lengths that follow were obtained by use of the corresponding feature at Toporama.
I note that the party of the five survivors completed the trip in two canoes, which were heavily loaded as a consequence; the third had been left behind over Moffatt’s body.

DeMello’s plan.
12.4 km. Length of the reach from the rapids where Moffatt died to the first narrows on the Dubawnt River.
124 km. Length of the reach from that narrows to a point (call it point A) due north of the end of the portage completed by the survivors.
Along that reach lie three rapids shown at Toporama, one of which is JBT’s London Rapids.
I believe that Pessl referred to these rapids when he wrote This portage saved us time and protected against our fear of heavy rapids and another potential accident. [p 136]
Let the reader decide how many days would have been required had the Moffatt party followed DeMello's plan.
Let the reader consider the possible consequences had it done so.

The path taken by the Moffatt party.
19 km. Length of the reach paddled from the rapids where Moffatt died to the bay at the north end of Marjorie Lake. The party completed that reach on 17 September. [Pessl, p 134]
11.2 km. Length of the portage (begun on 18 September [Pessl, p 135], completed on 19 September [Pessl, p 137) from that bay to the bay on the south shore of Aberdeen Lake.
13.4 km. Length of the reach paddled from that bay due north to point A.
Summary. This path required 3.5 days.

A request. Let the reader decide whether the Moffatt party should have followed DeMello’s plan.

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