Adrift on an Ice Pan by Wilfred T. Grenfell

adrift on an ice panIn 1908, Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, a medical missionary in Newfoundland, received a call that a patient was ill.  He set out across the frozen bay on a dogsled, only to feel the ice cracking beneath him.  Cold, wet, and clinging to a small ice pan, Grenfell must resort to the both ingenious and brutal methods to survive the freezing temperatures.

“It was a perfect morning — a cobalt sky, an ultramarine sea, a golden sun, an almost wasteful extravagance of Crimson over hills of purest snow, which caught a reflected glow from rock and crag. Between me and the hills lay miles of rough ice and long veins of thin black slob that had formed during the night.  For the foreground there was my poor, gruesome pan, bobbing up and down on the edge of the open sea, stained with blood, and littered with carcasses and debris.”

Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell (1865-1940) was an English medical missionary.  He arrived in Newfoundland in 1892, where he treated the local communities along the coast.  After his death, he was knighted.

Published:  1909
Length:  40 pages

Set in:  Newfoundland, Canada



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