Arctic Explorers: In Search of the Northwest Passage
There is no saga in Canadian history as full of hardship, catastrophe and mystery as the search for the Northwest Passage. Since the 15th century, the ice-choked Arctic waterway has been sought and travelled by daring men seeking profit, glory or a chance to test themselves against the merciless North. Frances Hern takes us aboard ships with the explorers whose names are memorialized on modern maps of northern Canada: Martin Frobisher, daring privateer in the service of Elizabeth I; Henry Hudson, a navigator who may have driven his crew to mutiny; John Franklin, whose last voyage became an enduring northern mystery; the talented Orkneyman John Rae, a surgeon and surveyor on the trail of Franklin. Also vividly recounted are the gruelling overland treks of Samuel Hearne; the heroic exploits of Roald Amundsen, leader of the first expedition to traverse the passage; and the incredible voyages of Henry Larsen, captain of the RCMP vessel St. Roch.