Arctic and Northern Nautical Heritage

ARCTIC BACKGROUND

  • North Polar Geography
  • Some detailed notes on aspects of north polar geography such as the Arctic circle, the North Magnetic Pole, and the North Pole.

  • Navigating With Compasses in the North
  • Navigating with magnetic compasses can be problematic due to the proximity to the North Magnetic Pole.

  • Arctic Seamanship Skills
  • Arctic navigation skills build upon and sometimes contradict best practices from those of the Pacific Ocean. Contributor Captain Sven Johansson shares the traditional navigational and seamanship skills he learned as an early independent mariner in the Western Arctic.

THE NORTH WEST PASSAGE

  • The Northwest Passage
  • What and where is the fabled Northwest Passage? What is the history of its exploration, mapping and transiting? Why is it so important to all Canadians today and why is it often in the news?

  • List of Complete Transits of the Northwest Passage
  • A detailed list of the successful transits of the Northwest Passage including ship names, dates, name of Master and other details. This covers the period to about 2010 at which time the regularity of transits, and the easing of transits as a result of climate change and icebreaker escorts make a further catalogue a list in a different order of magnitude from the pioneering transits. Originally published in 1990 - and revised and put on line in 2003, and revised again in 2011 & 2012.

  • List of Partial Transits of the Northwest Passage
  • In the early days of the exploitation of the Northwest Passage there were a series of significant partial-transits. These were carried out before climate change and the brute strength of polar icebreaking made passages a simpler affair. A list of the most important partial transits of the Northwest Passage including ship names, dates, name of Master and other details. Originally published in 1990 - and revised and put on line in 2003, and revised again in 2011 & 2012.

  • List of Submarine Transits of the Northwest Passage
  • A very complete list of the underwater transits of the Northwest Passage including ship names, dates, name of Master and other details. These voyages were once considered extremely secret - but here is a list based on many souces. Originally published in 1990 - and revised and put on line in 2003, and revised again in 2011 & 2012.

ARCTIC NAUTICAL HERITAGE

  • List of Transits of the Northeast Passage
  • A very complete list of the transits of the Northeasst Passage (through the Russian Arctic) including ship names, dates, name of Master and other details. Originally published in 1990 - and revised and put on line in 2003, and revised again in 2011 & 2012.

  • Traditional Western Arctic Ocean Seamanship Skills
  • Captain Sven Johansson was the first person in history to conquer the North West Passage from West to East. It took him five years (it was back when the Arctic Ocean still had lots of ice). He spent years before that working in vessels in a very hostile Arctic marine environment. Along the way he absorbed a great deal of traditional knowledge and understanding of special seamanship skills from his Banks Island friends. He shares some of this with us in this article.

  • Angus Brabant – Fur Trade Commissioner and Canadian Arctic Commerce Pioneer
  • Brabant joined the Hudson’s Bay Company as an Apprentice Clerk in 1886 and after serving at Manitoba House, Cumberland House and Fort Smith he became Inspector of the Athabaska District. In 1905. He was serving as the Manager of Mackenzie River District. From 1908-1920 he established HBC fur trade posts on the Arctic Coast. In 1920 he became Fur Trade Commissioner.

  • Captain Christian (C.T.) Pedersen
  • Captain Christian Theodore Pedersen was a pivotal entrepreneur and mariner who opened up the western Arctic to commerce. He is as important to Canadian Arctic history as to Alaskan Arctic history. Larger than life he dominated a whole period of Arctic development.

  • Expeditions to the North Pole
  • A list of some of the the successful challenges by humans on foot and in ships to reach the North Pole.

  • Pioneer Arctic Mariner Ernest J. "Scotty" Gall Remembered
  • Contributor George Duddy has assembled a complete account of the life and work of Scotty Gall, a pioneer Canadian Arctic mariner, fur trader, explorer, adventurer and politician.

  • Ernest J. "Scotty" Gall
  • Captain Scotty Gall was a Hudson’s Bay employee who traded furs, explored the western Arctic and challenged the ice in small vessels long before it was fashionable to do so. His life and accomplishments were colourful.

  • North Star of Herschel Island
  • Captain Sven Johansson restored the Banks Island Eskimo schooner North Star and lived in it in the Western Arctic. Later he brought her down to Victoria BC as a liveaboard turning it into a three masted full-rigged ship.

  • Arctic Vessels: Anti–fouling and Other Traditional Ship Bottom Covering Concepts
  • Captain Sven Johansson, Northwest Passage mariner, shares his thoughts on bottom coverings on traditional wooden Arctic ocean vessels based on his personal experience.


ARCTIC EXPLORATION

  • Modern Arctic Exploration
  • A chronological list of modern Arctic exploration.

  • Arctic Exploration 1848-1860
  • A chronological list of Arctic exploration 1848 to 1860.

  • Arctic Exploration 1818-1845
  • A chronological list of Arctic exploration 1818 to 1848.

  • Arctic Exploration pre-1818
  • A chronological list of Arctic exploration pre 1818.

  • The Anglo-American Polar Expedition 1906
  • In 1906 Ernest de Koven Leffingwell and Ejnar Mikkelsen search for new lands in the Arctic ocean from their ship base in the Duchess of Bedford. In Mikkelsen's words the scientific results of the expedition "had ascertained the extent of the Continental Shelf, and even if we had not found the land we had so implicitly believed in, it was a consolation for us to know that to prove the absence of land was of as much scientific value as to find it!"

New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!

Volume Four in series

The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four

Book — British Columbia's Floating Heritage
For more information …

Site News: July 8th, 2017

Databases have been updated and are now holding 50,143 vessel histories (with 4319 images) and 57,540 mariner biographies (with 3421 images).


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