Cool Expedition: Search for the Star of Bengal

Friday, 15 May 2009
Island of Lost SoulsIn September of 1908 an iron-hulled, three-masted sailing ship called the Star of Bengal departed the Southeast Alaska fishing town of Wrangell laden with 5,260 cases of salmon.

It wasn't before the weather turned for the worse and the tug boats who were guiding the Star through the difficult navigation channels had to cut the lines in the extremely rough seas. The Star of Bengal was quickly lost on the rocks of Coronation Island.

27 crew members were killed in the aftermath of trying to abandon ship in what the government fisheries analysts called "a disaster without parallel in the history of the Alaska salmon industry".

Today (May 15), Jason Goldstein, Brad Miller and Steve Weileman are going to attempt to retrace the ill-fated route via sea kayak. They will spend some time in Wrangell, Alaska documenting some of the history and flavour of the small fishing community then paddle out to the wreck site. The whole trip is around 200 miles so they will need to move quickly to complete it in their 2 week allotted time.

They are bringing a pile of cameras and gear to document the trip and the story for a possible future short film.

With such a cool/sad story, it is a very unique idea compared to other expeditions that are focused on a first descent or first navigation around an island or country.

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You can follow along via their blog at

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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