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Roald Amundsen: Navigates Northwest Passage

Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) of Norway was the first person to successfully navigate the fabled Northwest Passage.

His journey took three years to complete - he and his crew had to wait while the frozen sea around them thawed enough to allow for navigation.

His little 47 ton fishing boat, Gjøa (pronounced "y-eu-a") was finally able to leave his Arctic base at Gjøahaven (today - Gjoa Haven, Nunavut), and on August 26, 1905 he and his 6-man crew encountered a ship bearing down on them from the west. They were through the Northwest Passage!

Amundsen was fascinated with polar exploration (as a youth, he slept with the windows open during frigid Norwegian winters to condition himself) and he took pride in being referred to as "the last of the Vikings". He was also the first person to reach the South Pole (1911), and one of the first (with Umberto Nobile and Lincoln Ellsworth) to fly over the North Pole in a dirigible (1926).

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Library: Arctic, Exploration
Links: Arctic, Northwest Passage
Roald Amundsen
Maps: Explorers' Routes, Nunavut
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports

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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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