Our Exhibitions

The northwest passage

The spray was dashing over the ship, and the wind came in gusts, howling through the rigging, but we struggled and toiled and got the sails set. Then we commenced a method of sailing not one of us is ever likely to forget even should he attain the age of Methusaleh.

- Roald Amundsen

From Dalrymple Rock the Gjøa headed into Lancaster Sound and on August 22 reached Beechey Island, the last safe winter harbour of the Franklin expedition.

Amundsen spent two days on this island taking magnetic observations which indicated that the Magnetic Pole lay to the southward somewhere near the position determined by Ross in 1831.

This result pleased him, for he had long believed that the best route for the Northwest Passage must lie to the south and close to the coast of North America. If the Magnetic Pole was close to this route, much time and effort would be saved in performing the dual roles of scientist and explorer.