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Journal of a Seaplane Cruise Around The World
Part One: The Atlantic Ocean

Thursday, August 23

Cartwright, Labrador Writing in a rainstorm in front of the Grenfell Mission at Cartwright. We are at work on the motor, doing a "20 hour check" (Engine has been run 15 hours since leaving New Haven) but the worst possible catastrophe has occurred, a rainstorm, just as pushrods, covers, sparkplugs and cowlings are all on the dock. We thought that conditions here were too good to pass up; a float at pontoon level, plenty of planks, and an Indian boy to help. We had planned on going to Greenland tomorrow, till I figured up the motor time. By doing the work here, we are all set until England, I hope! Yesterday we docked at Hudson's Bay pier where we found several Englishmen going abroad the "Daisy", a N.F. cutter. One was Sir John Hope Simpson, the Commissioner of natural resources, and the most important of Newfoundland's six commissioners (3 English and 3 Nf'ers), who was out here on an inspection tour. The Customs, the Hudson's Bay man, and a few Indians stood about, but not for long. This is certainly one place where Lindbergh was not bothered by people; His and Anne's signature are in the Hotel register, but in the year since they were here only 21 people have registered!! Many Balbo names just preceding theirs.

Cartwright, 1930. Graeme Beare photo, THEM DAYS Photo Archive.

Our luggage was rowed over to "the point" where the hotel lies, a 2-story frame house with 2 living rooms, dining room, kitchen and several bedrooms. It is known to outsiders as the "Snake Hotel", so named because it has everything else but. Run by the school teacher Pettin, a sleepy looking person from St. John, whose wife is an Indian. Food very simple without fresh meat; only bully beef so far. Good butter however.

Labrador has experienced a checkered history since its discovery by Eric the Red, and its rediscovery by Cartier. The region was under the jurisdiction of the governor of Boston during the early part of the 18th century but he found it impossible to prevent the New England fisherman from destroying the Eskimos, for they declared that they "preferred shooting an Eskimo to any other kind of game." Control of the country was handed over to Newfoundland and then to Canada, and in recent years it has gone completely back to Newfoundland. Eskimos have been so reduced in numbers, that they are found chiefly in the northern third of the coastline.

Finally give up the engine work, and go ashore to get warm. Will continue work tomorrow.

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