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William Scoresby: "An Account of the Arctic Regions"

At the beginning of the 19th century, when the British decided to "conquer" the Arctic, they had available to them one of the most knowledgeable Europeans on the subject at that time.

William Scoresby (1789-1857) had published a book in 1820 - "An Account of the Arctic Regions" - the result of over 60,000 miles / 97,000 kilometers of experience travelling on and through ice. He had been farther north than any other white explorer, although he didn't much care - he had been after whales, not fame.

Click for more information. But, although the Royal Navy often used whalers as "ice masters" on their ships, a mere whaling captain could never be placed "in charge".

So they ignored him when he said that the polar ice cap drifted. It wasn't until they found that men could struggle northward all day across the ice only to end up south of their starting point, that they accepted what Scoresby already knew.

They ignored him when he suggested using dogs and light sledges, only to have their missions fail because men were burdened and dragged down by cumbersome "boat sleds".

They ignored him when he recommended an early start across the ice cap - while it was still frozen hard and relatively flat. Another big mistake.

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Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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