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logicmanPatrick

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Historic Arctic Expeditions
« on: January 20, 2017, 03:24:25 AM »
I will add to this list, compiled from various sources, from time to time.

Historic Arctic Expeditions with links to useful articles.


1364 - Alexander Abakumovich, Governor of Novgorod, crosses Polar Urals and reaches the Gulf of Ob.

1553 - Willoughby Expedition.

1556 - Stephen Burrough is the first European to reach Novaya Zemlya.

1576 - Sir Martin Frobisher (1st Expedition)

1577 - Sir Martin Frobisher (2nd Expedition)

1578 - Sir Martin Frobisher (3rd Expedition)
         -  George Best  made scientific observations during Frobisher expeditions.

1583 - John Davis East Greenland expedition.
1585 - John Davis penetrates Davis Strait to 67oN.
1587 - John Davis 3rd expedition charts Davis Inlet, Labrador.

1594 - William BarentszWilliam Barentsz 1st voyage reaches Novaya ZemlyaNovaya Zemlya
1595 - William Barentsz 2nd voyage
1596 - William Barentsz 3rd voyage, discovers Spitzbergen


1609 - Henry Hudson North East Passage expedition
1610 - Henry Hudson North West Passage expedition


1872 - 1874 - George Nares Challenger expedition
1875 - 1876 - George Nares British Arctic expedition

1879 - George W. Delong USS Jeanette
         - USS Jeanette article

1881 - Adolphus Greely International Polar expedition

1888 - Fridtjof Nansen = Greenland Expedition
         - Nansen, Nobel Prize, book: Furthest North
         - more of Nansen's books, Fram Museum

1890 - John Muir Third Alaska Expedition

1892 - Robert Peary Greenland Expedition

1893 - 1895  - Fridtjof Nansen = Fram Expedition
        -  See also 1888.


1902–1904 - Rasmussen Danish Literary Expedition
                   - Knud Rasmussen and Peter Freuchen founded the original settlement at Thule

1906 - 1918 - Vilhjalmur Stefansson canadian arctic expedition and other expeditions

1924 - 1934 - Isobel Wylie Hutchison travels in Northern countries as botanist and movie maker

1926 - Airship Norge flies over the pole

1928 - Airship Italia crashes on polar ice

1937 - North Pole 1
         - USSR, world's first North Pole ice station.

1940 - Wegener Eismitte station set up on Greenland ice cap.
         -  More info here and here.

1940–1944 - St. Roch North West Passage voyage.
                   - St. Roch 2nd expedition.
                   - Between St. Roch and a cold place
                   - St. Roch model kit

1952 - 1983 - Drift Station Alpha, aka T3 or Fletcher's Island used as a scientific base by U.S. miltary
                    - Documentary footage

1958 - Operation Sunshine U.S.S. Nautilus


« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 03:23:22 AM by logicmanPatrick »
si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 04:32:06 AM »
Last year I read Hampton Sides' In the Kingdom of Ice: the grand and terrible polar voyage of the USS Jeannette (2014) - The voyage started in July 1879 and [edit: the expedition] ended in tragedy in October 1881.  [edit: The ship sank long before then.] A few of the crew survived the ordeal.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 08:36:27 PM by Tor Bejnar »
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things because "we cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice"

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 04:40:53 AM »
Wikipedia has a List of Arctic expeditions that starts with "Inuit, Greek, and Viking voyages in the far north".
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things because "we cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice"

logicmanPatrick

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 05:36:58 AM »
Last year I read Hampton Sides' In the Kingdom of Ice: the grand and terrible polar voyage of the USS Jeannette (2014) - The voyage started in July 1879 and ended in tragedy in October 1881.  A few of the crew survived the ordeal.

You may enjoy this -
http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/history_mysteries_1_who_shot_tomatoes-80506

My email was 'returned' by mailer and I can't find any alternative contact.

I think I'll compile a list by merging wiki, the one from arcticwebsite.com, my own articles and some old books.

I aim to put links to articles in the list and edit my first post from time to time.

For the record, here's what I posted before editing:


Quote
There is a long list of historic Arctic expeditions posted here:

http://arcticwebsite.com/Index.html

I've emailed for express permission to copy the list to the ASIF.

The first item is 1576  Sir Martin Frobisher (N. W. Passage Expedition)  The other George Best made some interesting scientific observations both before and during that expedition.
http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/george_best_elizabethan_climate_scientist-76675

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« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 05:51:31 AM by logicmanPatrick »
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folke_kelm

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 08:30:19 AM »
It is not widely known in the western world that communist Russia had a good number of polar expeditions and from the 1920´s continous operationg research stations on the arctic ice. They were mostly located on so called ice islands, tabular icebergs of 20 to 70 thickness. Most stations were operational for 2 to 3 years and were abandoned when the ice island was exportet out of the arctic. Russia had never less than 2 stations operational in the arctic ice.
Initiator of these stations was the russian meteorologist Ernst Krenkel.
You will not find much information about this. I had the luck to buy a book, a german translation of a russian original with the title "mit dem Mikrophon am Nordpol" where you can read about the complete history of these stations. The program was abandoned as late as in the early 80´s, due to lack of thick multiyear ice to support semipermanent stations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Krenkel
Really not much to read about him   :-\
If some of you is able to find this book, it is really worth a reading, absolutely with regard to the lack of information in the net.

Due to this continuous research program russia has a vast archive of ice maps. The academy of science in Moskva should be able to provide this to interested people who are capable to read and speak russian. I know they have the maps becaus when i was student in the 80´s i had a conversation with a german geologist who worked at the academy of science in russia and we discussed this issue. He was very generous with information at this time, something i really did not expect as a west germany born.

charles_oil

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 12:02:37 PM »
may be worth including Nansen as well..... My grandfather (who passed away long before I was born) had an interest in and supported Nansen - though I don't know what the connection was.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1922/nansen-bio.html

logicmanPatrick

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 06:28:22 AM »
folke_kelm - you may enjoy this article about Russian explorers and explorers of Russia -
http://www.arctic-info.com/encyclopedia/explorers-and-scientists/


charles_oil  Nansen is one of my all-time heroes.  Project Gutenberg has 'Furthest North' and 'In Northern Mists', both excellent reads. 
 
Watch for more explorer links soon.  (I am writing this at 05:20 UK time.  Sometimes, sleep beckons.)  ;D
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mati

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2017, 07:12:08 PM »
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 07:37:36 PM by mati »
and so it goes

longwalks1

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2017, 08:18:07 PM »
And http://fadedpage.com/  has several open source Arctic Books as well.  Death plus fifty is still alive and well in Canada.  Distributed Proofreaders Canada is their source.  Newest is

http://fadedpage.com/showbook.php?pid=20170119]  I did proof and foof on it.  Also on the Richardson book on Franklin. 

If the Author (and translator) has been dead since 1966, it's  probably fair game for contributing scans and ocr to Distributed Proofreaders Canada. 

logicmanPatrick

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2017, 09:32:40 PM »
mati and longwalks 1 - thanks, will add in over the weekend.
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logicmanPatrick

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2017, 01:36:35 AM »
mati and longwalks 1 - thanks, will add in over the weekend.

Not all added yet, but not forgotten.  Never enough time.  :'(
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 11:09:16 AM »
There's a fair few things missing from the Wikipedia list, especially if you're including "scientific" expeditions. How about:

Henry Larsen: http://www.ucalgary.ca/arcticexpedition/map-home/across-northwest-passage-larsen-expeditions

Drifting Station Alpha: http://climatescience.tv/2012/06/floating-on-top-of-the-world-the-international-geophysical-year-and-drifting-station-alpha/

Ice Station SHEBA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_Heat_Budget_of_the_Arctic_Ocean

Tara Arctic Drift: http://www.damocles-eu.org/research/TARA_ARCTIC_2007-2008_The_Great_Arctic_drift_54.shtml

Catlin Arctic Survey(s): http://catlinarcticsurvey.investis.com/

FRAM 2014-15 Ice Drift Station: https://sabvabaa.nersc.no/

Surely Wally Herbert deserves a mention?
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logicmanPatrick

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2017, 12:38:11 AM »
Updated.

Jim - will add those in soon, thanks.
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logicmanPatrick

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2017, 12:53:32 AM »
may be worth including Nansen as well
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1922/nansen-bio.html
Today's Google doodle, the Wikipedia page is quite interesting reading.
https://www.google.com/search?q=Fridtjof+Nansen&oi=ddle&ct=fridtjof-nansens-156th-birthday-5694774550986752-law&hl=en&source=doodle-ntp

Already done :-

1888 - Fridtjof Nansen = Greenland Expedition
         - Nansen, Nobel Prize, book: Furthest North
         - more of Nansen's books, Fram Museum

1890 - John Muir Third Alaska Expedition

1892 - Robert Peary Greenland Expedition

1893 - 1895  - Fridtjof Nansen = Fram Expedition
        -  See also 1888.

Once my current court case is done I hope to have more time to spend on the ASIF.
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TerryM

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2017, 12:15:01 AM »
may be worth including Nansen as well
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1922/nansen-bio.html
Today's Google doodle, the Wikipedia page is quite interesting reading.
https://www.google.com/search?q=Fridtjof+Nansen&oi=ddle&ct=fridtjof-nansens-156th-birthday-5694774550986752-law&hl=en&source=doodle-ntp

Already done :-

1888 - Fridtjof Nansen = Greenland Expedition
         - Nansen, Nobel Prize, book: Furthest North
         - more of Nansen's books, Fram Museum

1890 - John Muir Third Alaska Expedition

1892 - Robert Peary Greenland Expedition

1893 - 1895  - Fridtjof Nansen = Fram Expedition
        -  See also 1888.

Once my current court case is done I hope to have more time to spend on the ASIF.


As do I. Some of my earliest insights into the Arctic were learned perusing the wonderful articles you wrote re. Petermann's calving back in 2010.


 Court Cases and Medical Procedures are seldom enjoyable.
Best of luck
Terry

litesong

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2018, 06:02:47 PM »
It is not widely known in the western world that communist Russia had a good number of polar expeditions and from the 1920´s continous operationg research stations on the arctic ice.
You will not find much information about this. I had the luck to buy a book, a german translation of a russian original with the title "mit dem Mikrophon am Nordpol" where you can read about the complete history of these stations. The program was abandoned as late as in the early 80´s, due to lack of thick multiyear ice to support semipermanent stations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Krenkel
Really not much to read about him   :-\
If some of you is able to find this book, it is really worth a reading, absolutely with regard to the lack of information in the net.

Due to this continuous research program russia has a vast archive of ice maps. The academy of science in Moskva should be able to provide this to interested people who are capable to read and speak russian. I know they have the maps becaus when i was student in the 80´s i had a conversation with a german geologist who worked at the academy of science in russia and we discussed this issue. He was very generous with information at this time, something i really did not expect as a west germany born.
In large University libraries, there are sectors of Russian language books. Walking through Suzzallo Library of Seattle's University of Washington, I very roughly estimated 20,000 books(more?) in Russsian were shelved together. Smaller libraries are contained in all(?) the campus Halls. History, geological, & other science libraries would be good places to find Russian Arctic research. Vast library research programs of said Universities, cities & Washington D.C. would help tremendously in scouring for Russian Arctic information..... & many for other countries, also.   
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 02:28:59 AM by litesong »

bligh8

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2019, 07:19:12 PM »
                           Arctic shipwreck frozen in time astounds archaeologists

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/science/arctic-shipwreck-frozen-in-time-astounds-archaeologists/ar-AAGs8oD?ocid=spartandhp

"The wreck of H.M.S. Terror, one of the long lost ships from Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage, is astonishingly well preserved, say Parks Canada archaeologists, who recently used underwater drones to peer deep inside the historic vessel’s interior.

“The ship is amazingly intact,” says Ryan Harris, the lead archaeologist on the project. “You look at it and find it hard to believe this is a 170-year-old shipwreck. You just don’t see this kind of thing very often.”
 
"Discovered in 2016 in icy waters off King William Island in Canada’s far north, the shipwreck hadn’t been thoroughly studied until now. Taking advantage of unusually calm seas and good underwater visibility, a team from Parks Canada, in partnership with Inuit, earlier this month made a series of seven dives on the fabled wreck. Working swiftly in the frigid water, divers inserted miniature, remotely-operated drones through openings in the main hatchway and skylights in the crew’s cabins, officers’ mess, and captain’s stateroom."

“Those blankets of sediment, together with the cold water and darkness, create a near perfect anaerobic environment that’s ideal for preserving delicate organics such as textiles or paper,” says Harris. “There is a very high probability of finding clothing or documents, some of them possibly even still legible. Rolled or folded charts in the captain’s map cupboard, for example, could well have survived.”

"The only area below decks the team was unable to access was the captain’s sleeping quarters. Apparently the last person to leave closed the door. “Intriguingly, it was the only closed door on the ship,” says Harris. “I’d love to know what’s in there.”

"Just as tantalizing is the possibility that there could be pictures of the expedition awaiting discovery. It’s known that the expedition had a daguerreotype apparatus, and assuming it was used, the glass plates could still be aboard. “And if there are, it’s also possible to develop them,” says Harris. “It’s been done with finds at other shipwrecks. The techniques are there.”

The second image are of H.M.S. Terror & H.M.S. Erebus

vox_mundi

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2020, 03:21:16 AM »
Solar Storms May Have Hindered SOS During Historic 1928 “Red Tent” Polar Expedition
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/tech-history/dawn-of-electronics/solar-storms-sos-red-tent-expedition

In May 1928, a team of explorers returning from the North Pole via airship crashed on the frigid ice. Their attempts to use their portable radio transmitter to call for help failed; although they could hear broadcasts from Rome detailing attempts to rescue them, their calls could not reach a relatively nearby ship. Now, new research suggests that the communication problems may have been caused by radio “dead zones,” made worse by high solar activity that triggered massive solar storms.

... On 24 May 1928, after just over 20 hours of flight, the ‘Dirigible Italia,’ captained by Italian designer Umberto Nobile, circled the North Pole. Nobile had flown on a 1926 Norwegian expedition aboard an airship he had designed; that was the first vehicle to reach the North Pole. Two years later, he had returned to stake a claim for his native country.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italia_(airship)

After a brief ceremony at the pole, with winds too strong to attempt a landing on the ice, the vehicle turned south to make the 360-kilometer return trip to the crew’s base on the Svalbard archipelago. But an unknown problem caused the airship to plunge to the Earth, slamming into the ice and shattering the cabin. The crash killed one of the explorers. The balloon, freed from the weight of the carriage, took to the air, carrying six more crew members away, never to be seen again. The nine survivors sheltered beneath a red tent that gave its name to the historical disaster.

Among the supplies left on the ice was the simple high-frequency radio transmitter intended to allow communications between the airship and explorers on the ground. The low-powered radio ran on batteries and had a transmission range of 30 to 50 meters.

As the shipwrecked crew settled into their uncomfortable new quarters, radio operator Giuseppe Biagi began sending SOS messages. At the 55th minute of each odd hour, the prearranged time for the Italia to contact the Italian Navy’s ship, Citta dei Milano, anchored in King’s Bay, he pled for help, then listened in vain for a response.

Amazingly, while the tiny antenna could not contact the ship, it could pick up radio broadcasts from Rome—with signals originating more than ten times farther away than the point where the navy ship was docked. The explorers listened as news of their disappearance and updates on the rescue operations were broadcast.

It took nine days for someone to finally hear their calls for help. On 3 June 1928, a Russian amateur radio enthusiast, Nicolaj Schmidt, picked up the SOS with his homemade radio receiver in a small village approximately 1900 km from the Red Tent. After nearly 50 days on the ice, the explorers were ultimately rescued, though 15 of the rescuers died in the attempt.


At 10:35 UT of 25 May 1928, the “Dirigible Italia” wrecked on the sea ice 400 km northeast of NyAlesund, Norway, its point of origin. Nine survivors took cover under a red tent, lending the incident its historical name.

... Zolesi and his colleagues relied on a standard international model of the ionosphere to provide a monthly average picture of the northern pole. But their lack of knowledge about the Earth’s atmosphere nearly proved fatal to the team. The 8.9 MHZ frequency relied on by the explorers would have fallen in the radio dead zone for locations to the north of the 66° N line of latitude. Both the Red Tent and the Citta di Milano sat at nearly 80° N, while Arkhangelsk, the closest city to Schmidt, sits at 64.5°.

The researchers also studied sunspot drawings captured by the Mount Wilson Observatory in California between 25 and 31 May 1928. They revealed a significant increase in the number of sunspot groups. ... They found that the planet underwent periods of magnetic fluctuations in mid- to late May 1928, peaking on 28 May.

“The space weather conditions were affected by a significant geomagnetic storm during the early days after the shipwreck,” Zolesi says. “These conditions might have severely affected the radio communications of the survivors during the tragedy.”

The Shipwreck of the Airship “Dirigibile Italia” in the 1928 Polar Venture: A Retrospective Analysis of the Ionospheric and Geomagnetic Conditions
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2020S2020SW002459
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2020, 12:02:59 PM »
Black Smudge on Diary Page Reveals 1907 Arctic Expedition’s Tragic End
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/black-splotch-diary-reveals-arctic-expeditions-tragic-end-180976600/
Quote
New analysis suggests explorer Jørgen Brønlund spent his final hours trying—and failing—to light a petroleum burner

morganism

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2021, 11:55:15 AM »
Icebound - shipwrecked at the end of the world

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⁠⁠ICEBOUND now has a cover! AND you can pre-order it!
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solartim27

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2021, 08:17:46 PM »
This page has several posts with retouched photos from Shacleton's Antarctic Expedition. They are quite well done.
https://twitter.com/StuartHumphryes/status/1439279373073457153?s=19
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2021, 10:32:27 PM »

Memoirs of Hans Hendrik, the Arctic traveller, serving under Kane, Hayes, Hall and Nares, 1853-1876. (published 1878) starts
Quote
To relate how the northern part of the big country came to be explored, I write this – I, Hans Hendrik, who first lived at Kekertarsuatsiak [Fiskernæs] …
I expect to enjoy reading this 114 paged memoir.  The introduction by the translator (almost) starts
Quote
... My reason [for translating] was, that I had never read any adventures in the far North so curious relatively to their shortness ... but also [for] a special regard to our author's fellow- travellers in England and America. ...
[/quote]
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things because "we cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice"

Jim Hunt

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2021, 02:10:57 AM »
Memoirs of Hans Hendrik

Which highlights the current gap in the list in the OP between 1610 and 1872.

Missing are the names of Sir John Franklin as well as Kane, Hayes and Hall:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Franklin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisha_Kent_Kane
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Israel_Hayes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Francis_Hall

Sir Edward Belcher's search for Franklin is also worth a mention:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Belcher
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SteveMDFP

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2022, 08:15:02 AM »
A short documentary on Naomi Uemura's solo trek to the north pole:

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2022, 09:10:52 PM »
Quite the documentary!
for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Uemura
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kassy

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2022, 02:39:41 PM »
Quite the resume...like that polar trip was not bad enough.  :)
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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2022, 03:36:21 PM »
Hi grixm, thanks for your post, I merged it with the general thread of historic Arctic expeditions.

grixm

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2022, 05:38:10 PM »
Hi grixm, thanks for your post, I merged it with the general thread of historic Arctic expeditions.

Kinda had hoped it wouldn't be buried here after all the work I put in... Not many people will see it now.

When this whole forum subsection is about history and exploration of the arctic, it seems strange that you are only allowed to post about it in one specific thread. I hope you will reconsider.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 05:48:58 PM by grixm »

oren

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2022, 05:59:35 PM »
Indeed I have reconsidered at your request, and split it back to a separate thread.

grixm

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2022, 06:41:40 PM »
Thanks a lot :)

morganism

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2024, 03:15:35 AM »
Masters of the Ice: Charles Rabot’s Arctic Photographs (ca. 1881)

“They are so beautiful, so magnificent, those deathly solitudes, so strange in their fleeting finery of brilliant colors, that they always leave one with a burning desire to see them again”, Charles Rabot wrote in 1894 of the particular allure of boreal landscapes. Hardly had he returned from a trip to Greenland, as he put it in the preface to his travelogue of the Russian taiga, when “nostalgia for the countries of the north took me” and sent him off on another of the peregrinations that would mark his life. The opening of that book includes a portrait of the author that, while showing nothing of his physical appearance, captures the image of the intrepid explorer that he wished to convey to the world: knee-high leather boots, matching gloves, and face entirely obscured by a thick swaddling of mosquito netting to prevent him from being eaten alive by gnats.

A self-styled glaciologist, Rabot undertook four expeditions to the Arctic in his lifetime; when he wasn’t voyaging to polar climes, he was writing about them in his capacity as editor of the journal La géographie or advising the likes of the prince of Monaco on their own itineraries.
(more)

https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/rabot-photographs-of-the-arctic/

morganism

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2024, 10:12:35 PM »
Race against time to unlock secrets of Erebus shipwreck and doomed Arctic expedition

Archaeologists have made hundreds of new finds on the wreck of HMS Erebus, the ship commanded by Sir John Franklin on his doomed Arctic trip 180 years ago.

The team’s discoveries include pistols, sealed bottles of ­medicines, seamen’s chests and navigation equipment. These are now being studied for clues to explain the loss of the Erebus and its sister ship Terror, and the deaths of the 129 men who sailed on them.

The work is considered to be particularly urgent because the wreck of the Erebus – discovered 10 years ago in shallow water in Wilmot and Crampton Bay in Arctic Canada – is now being battered by increasingly severe storms as climate change takes its grip on the region.

“Parts of the ship’s upper deck collapsed recently and other parts are sloping over dangerously,” said Jonathan Moore, manager of the Parks Canada underwater team that ­completed the most recent exploration of the wreck. “It’s getting tricky down there.”

Investigators’ efforts were made even more pressing by Covid-19, which halted all exploration in 2020 and 2021, and by severe weather that badly disrupted investigations in 2018. As a result, marine archaeologists have been left in a race against time to unlock the vessel’s secrets.

Sir John Franklin set off from Greenhithe in Kent in 1845 to find the Northwest Passage, a polar route that linked the Atlantic and Pacific. His ships, Erebus and Terror, were fitted with steam-driven propellers to help them manoeuvre in pack ice while their holds were filled with three years’ worth of tinned ­provisions. The ships failed to return, however, and it was not until the 1850s that the Scottish explorer John Rae discovered, after interviewing Inuits, that Franklin had died in 1847 after his ships had been trapped in sea ice for two years. Later his men, by now starving, started to eat each other.
(snip)
In the past, this work was exceptionally difficult to carry out, Moore pointed out. The sea above the wrecks is only free of ice for short periods, while diving in traditional scuba equipment has been difficult, cold and unpleasant. Most of the time, the sea temperature there is only one or two degrees above freezing.

But recent innovations had made investigations of Erebus far less intimidating, Moore added. “We have air supplied from the surface and we have heated suits, and that has made it much easier to work down there. In fact, we were able to make 68 dives for the 12 days we worked at the wreck in September. In that way we were able to do a lot more exploring and retrieval of artefacts.”
Inuit argue for say as Canada and Britain decide fate of HMS Terror wreck
Read more

Virtually all this work has focused on the threatened Erebus. By contrast, Terror – which sank in deeper water about 45 miles away from the wreck of Erebus – is less at the mercy of the elements and was only visited briefly last year.

“Terror is 24 metres below sea level, but Erebus is only 11m down, and that makes the latter our prime concern,” said Moore.

“We are going to concentrate on it and peel back its story layer by layer.”

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2024/jan/27/race-against-time-to-unlock-secrets-of-erebus-shipwreck-and-doomed-arctic-expedition

morganism

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2024, 08:32:14 AM »
(gonna leave this here, not above the Circle, but best writing i have seen on it. Didn't kno Halifax was 2nd largest natural harbor in the world after Sydney either...)

 Havoc in Halifax

A fiery collision in the Canadian harbor turned out to be one of the most catastrophic man-made explosions in history.

It was just after 0845 on Thursday, 6 December 1917, when a ship was seen burning in the Narrows, a narrowing portion of the entrance to Nova Scotia’s Halifax Harbor. Crowds began to assemble on the banks of the harbor, including hundreds who mounted a new bridge across the rail yards with a perfect view of the burning ship. It was an entertaining sight—sudden bursts of flame would penetrate the huge black smoke column, almost like a fireworks display.

More and more gawkers arranged themselves on the bridge and on the harbor banks of Halifax and the neighboring city of Dartmouth across the harbor.

And none of them—schoolchildren, housewives, factory workers, soldiers, or seamen—knew they were only a few short minutes from the event that would alter or end their lives. As they watched the drifting ship, few were aware they soon would witness a catastrophe that would be the greatest man-made explosion in world history—a record that would be broken only by the atomic blast in Hiroshima 28 years later.
(...)
The ship was owned by Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT), but it was her cargo that frightened the master and his crew: six million pounds of explosives of various makes, including 62 tons of gun cotton, 250 tons of TNT, and 2,366 tons of picric acid. These were destined for the Allies’ Western Front. Because this cargo was volatile, all precautions were taken on board to prevent sparks or sudden jars, but there was a last-minute addition of barrels of benzol—a highly flammable liquid capable of setting off the explosives stored below should it ignite. The barrels of benzol stored on deck would make a perfect fuse should they ever catch fire. On the night of 5 December, the Mont-Blanc impatiently waited to enter Halifax Harbor in the early morning hours after a nervous coastal trip from New York with her touchy cargo.

The second ship, the Imo, was larger but empty, having come from Belgium to pick up humanitarian goods for that war-torn nation. She was chartered by the Belgium Relief Commission and was bound for New York to pick up the supplies.
(snip)
at 0846 the two ships collided.

By this time both ships had reversed engines, and their speeds were minimal. Still, the Imo cut deeply into several holds of the Mont-Blanc. Both ships stopped, and the Imo began to pull out of the Mont-Blanc’s gash. In so doing, sparks flew as metal ground on metal, and the flammable benzol ignited. The fuse was now lit.

As the fire on board the Mont-Blanc grew, the crew of the ship knew the danger should the flames reach the TNT and gunpowder below and decided to abandon ship. So the entire crew, including Captain Le Medec and pilot Francis Mackey, jumped into their two lifeboats and, pulling as if their lives depended on it, rowed toward the Dartmouth shore. During their flight they shouted at nearby tugs and vessels that the ship would explode, but their shouting was in French and ignored.
The ammunition ship was now adrift with no crew and heading toward the Halifax dock area. The fire grew and reached barrels of benzol, blowing them high into the morning sky. Other ships in the area, knowing nothing of the danger, headed for the burning ship, hoping to stop the fire from spreading. The crowd kept growing, drawn to the huge plume of black smoke rising ever upward.

Railroad yard dispatcher Vincent Coleman and yard manager William Lovett were debating leaving their railroad office when a sailor broke in shouting that there was going to be an explosion. The two ran out the door, but Coleman turned back to send out a message to incoming train No. 10, warning it to stay away. Coleman’s telegraph message may have indicated his fear: “Munitions ship on fire in the Harbour. Making for Pier 6. Goodbye.”
(snip)
Following the incident, the only recognizable parts of the ship were the anchor shank, which weighed 1,000 pounds, found four miles away, and one of the deck guns, which was found three miles away. The force of the blast was so great it literally vaporized small boats and those trying to put out the Mont-Blanc fire. Barbara Orr was thrown through the air almost a third of a mile, fortunately landing on the uphill slope of Fort Needham.

The full accounting of loss from the explosion was never complete, but the official tally listed 1,953 people killed and an estimated 9,000 injured. The blast destroyed 6,000 buildings and left 25,000 homeless. However, the death toll undoubtedly was considerably higher, possibly as high as 3,000. There never was a complete list of the missing and supposed dead. The number of eye injuries was significant, with as many as 362 suffering some optic injury, with 41 totally blinded.
(final paras and a few book titles)

https://www.usni.org/magazines/naval-history-magazine/2024/february/havoc-halifax

https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion



Renerpho

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Re: Historic Arctic Expeditions
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2024, 12:56:16 AM »
I just learned today of the death of Jean Malaurie on February 5th, at the age of 101.

Malaurie's expedition was the first to reach the North Geomagnetic Pole in 1951. He spent the last decades fighting for the rights of Arctic minorities.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Malaurie
Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused. But on a higher level.