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"Maud" Returns Home

CMR had two men working on the research ship "Maud", Harald Ulrik Sverdrup and Odd Dahl. Both helped Roald Amundsen to get his project through and this highly scientific expedition could be realized. Sverdrup was scientific leader from 1918 till 1925, while Odd Dahl was hired as pilot and filmmaker on the last three years of the expedition.

Maud Expedition 1918-1925
The Maud Expedition 1918-1925. Group photo: the crew on Maud in Seattle, June 1922.  Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

 

“Maud” was a newly built ship 1918 and left Norway in July the same year, under the command of Roald Amundsen.

 

SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE

The aim was to get the ship deliberately stuck in the ice. Maud was well equipped with scientific apparatus for making meteorological, geophysical and oceanographic observations.  Harald U. Sverdrup was in charge of the expedition’s scientific work. It was written by Sverdrup during his years as member of Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway (1930-1936). All in all 5000 pages of highly valued scientific material was the outcome. 

During the next three winters, with the vessel icebound off the Siberian coast, important scientific measurements were carried out. However, the goal of having “Maud”drifting to the North Pole was not realized. In August 1921, “Maud” reached Seattle for overhauling and preparations were made for another attempt. It was now that Odd Dahl entered the ship. For Odd the “Maud” expedition was a lifetime experience. He even made six good models of the ship. One of them is now on display in the offices of Christian Michelsen Research in Bergen.

 

SECOND PHASE

During the second phase oF the expedition (1922-1925), “Maud” was locked in the ice for more than 2 years. She drifted northwest as far as the New Siberian Islands. Once released, the vessel headed eastwards by its own power, but the expedition was forced to spend one more winter icebound, during the years 1924-1925. The “Maud” finally returned to Nome, Alaska, in August 1925.  Later the same year the ship was arrested in Seattle and sold to Hudson Bay company.

Five years later the ship sunk in its moorings in shallow water in Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, North Canada.  80 years later, what is left of the old wrek has been in the same place, covered by ice and snow most parts of the year. Now the homecoming of Maud has started.

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