The Voyage of the Kite
Samuel Entrikin wrote on the back of this photograph: “This is the first ship I went to Greenland in.”
The Kite was a 280 ton Whaler-Sealer ship, a barkentine with square sails on the front mast and rigged like the schooner on the back two. Designed to navigate through ice floes, the oaken prow could force its way through powered by coal-fed steam.
Imagine the anticipation Entrikin felt to explore and discover uncharted territory. When I look at this photo, I think of the sounds at the dock, the splashing of water against the pilings, creaking of the ropes and the rhythmic slapping of the ship against the pier, the constant tugging on the ropes pulling eagerly toward the sea, toward the excitement of the voyage.
The ship left Brooklyn NY on June 6, 1891 to begin its 6000 mile voyage. Poker-faced Captain Pike appeared calm. He knew what dangers they faced. The voyage had to be completed before winter closed down the passageway. The danger of being caught or crushed in the floating ice was constant no matter the season.
Pamela Powell, Photo Archivist