Sea History 156 - Autumn 2016

Page 56

Maud, 1918

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Amundsen named his new vessel for Norway's Queen Maud and christened the ship at its Launch with a block of ice, saying, "ft is not my intention to dishonor the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste ofyour real environment. For the ice you have been built, and in the ice you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice you shall solve your tasks. With the permission ofour Queen, I christen you Maud. "

her ro rransir rhe Norrheasr Passage (he had already successfully transired rhe famed Norrhwesr Passage in GjM in 1903-1906). The Maud spent her entire worki ng life in the Arctic. The Northeast Passage expedition was planned as a drift in the ice, during which rime the crew and onboard scientists would collect meteorological and oceanographic dara. The rransir of the Nonheasr Passage was successfu l, but it took a full rwo years, ending in Nome, Alaska, on 25 July 1920. With that achievement, Amundsen and his shipmate Helmer Hanssen became rhe firsr to transit both the Northeast and Northwest Passages. In 1925, wirh rhe expedirion complered and Amundsen faci ng a mountain of bills to pay, Maud was sold to the Hudson's Bay Company for use as a supply vessel for outposts in the Arctic. In the winter of 1930-31, she sank ar her mooring ar Cambridge Bay, just north of the Arctic Circle, and has been rhere ever since. The recovery of the Maud has been the focus of a private group in Norway, Maud Rerurns Home, which has been working to raise the vessel for the lasr six years. Led by Jan Wanggaard, rhe Norwegian ream wants to bring Maud back to Norway, where Roald Amundsen is srill a celebirated national hero and where his orher vessels are preserved as museum ships. Maud Rerurns Home was granted an export permir for rhe wreckage by rhe Canadian government in 2012. The group lifted the vessel in July with the use of giant