Ships' Log-Books, Sea Ice and the Cold Summer of 1816 in Hudson Bay and Its Approaches


  • A.J.W. Catchpole
  • Marcia-Anne Faurer



History, Marine transportation, Sea ice, Spatial distribution, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Nunavut/Québec, James Bay


Descriptions of sea ice in Hudson's Bay Company ships' log-books and trading post journals are used to reconstruct sea ice conditions in Hudson Bay, James Bay, and Hudson Strait in the summer of 1816. The results demonstrate that exceptionally late sea ice dispersal occurred in James Bay, southeastern Hudson Bay, and at the western extremity of Hudson Strait. A relatively intense flow of ice in the Labrador current occurred at the eastern extremity of Hudson Strait. These patterns of ice behaviour are indicative of the prevalence of northwesterly atmospheric circulation over this region in the summer of 1816.

Key words: sea ice, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, 1816, ships' log-books