By Gerard Kenney
Within the barren lands of Canada a long way north of the Arctic circle, summers are quickly and funky, mere brief interruptions within the precise enterprise of the polar areas, iciness. Winters there should be harmful with temperatures that plunge to extraordinary depths through the lengthy, lonely hours of Arctic darkness. robust blizzards shriek around the land for days at a time, inflicting all animal existence to hunt safeguard from the slicing blast, primarily placing a short lived finish to common actions of lifestyles, reminiscent of vacationing and consuming. it truly is an unforgiving land that doesn't simply undergo fools. Over a hundred years in the past, in June 1898, Captain Otto Sverdrup and 15 crewmen positioned out to sea aboard the schooner Fram from the Norwegian urban this present day referred to as Oslo. once they lower back to Norway 4 years later, they got here again with a list of geographic and medical discovery, the richness of that is exceptional within the annals of Arctic exploration. the 1st part of this ebook is the tale of these 4 heroic years spent within the excessive Arctic and their effect on Canada’s next efforts to make sure Canadian sovereignty within the zone of the Norwegian discoveries. the second one element of the booklet bargains with the Canadian Arctic expeditions among 1903 and 1948, led by way of intrepid males akin to A.P. Low, Joseph E. Bernier, Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Henry Larsen. "For someone drawn to the hot background of the Canadian North — and why we even name it the Canadian North — Ships of wooden and males of Iron is a needs to learn. Kenney persuasively nominates a shortlist of recent nationwide heroes for a rustic badly wanting them."- Randy Boswell, CanWest information carrier "In my view, this publication may be a tremendous record approximately Canada-Norway kinfolk within the North, particularly contemplating the elevated foreign emphasis now on circumpolar kin within the North."- Shirley Wolff Serafini, Canadian Ambassador to Norway "This ebook is a good deserved acceptance of 1 of Norway’s most famed polar explorers and his valuable contributions to the exploration and improvement of technological know-how within the Canadian Arctic. Gerard Kenney's publication additionally sheds an attractive new mild at the background of the ultimate payment of Norway’s territorial declare of the Sverdrup Islands."- Ingvard Havnen, former Norwegian Ambassador to Canada
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Additional resources for Ships of Wood And Men of Iron: A Norwegian-Canadian Saga of Exploration in the High Artic
The meat supply for men and dogs had to be secured—walrus for the dogs, muskox, polar bear and small game for the men.
The crossing was not easy. The first days created a sense of false security as favourable winds and weather sped the tiny ship toward the world's largest island. Then, freshening weather accompanied by a quartering wind set the From to rolling. Many on board, especially the scientists, were "landlubbers" and had yet to taste the punishment the north Atlantic can mete out to those who dare sail her furrowed, wind-whipped surface in small ships. A regular procession of pale (and sometimes green-looking) men made its unsteady way to the doctor's quarters seeking relief from headache, shivering fits, pains in the stomach—calling their complaint anything but what the malady really was—seasickness.
What sad news for her husband. In Sverdrup's words, the Inuit dog "has the persistence and tenacity of the wild animal, and at the same time the domestic dog's admirable devotion to its master. " On July 29, Fram departed Egedesminde bound for Godhavn on Disco Island, reaching it at 3 o'clock in the morning the next day. Thirty-five more dogs were taken on board as well as 36 tonnes of coal and fresh water. From August 2 to August 4, the expedition sailed north to Upernavik to pick up another 30 dogs.