Tue, Nov 09 | zoom

Bok Klubb

Time & Location

Nov 09, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
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About the Event

South with the Sun: Roald Amundsen, His Polar Explorations, and the Quest for Discovery is this month's selection for discussion.   A powerfully built man more than six feet tall, Amundsen's career of  adventure began at the age of fifteen (he was born in Norway in 1872 to a  family of merchant sea captains and rich ship owners). Twenty-five  years later he was the first man to reach both the North and South  Poles. The author, an adventurer and swimmer, author of Swimming to  Antarctica, gives us in this new work a full-scale account of Amundsen's  life and expeditions.  We see Amundsen, in 1903-06, the first to travel  the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in his  small ship Gjoa, a seventy-foot refitted former herring boat powered by  sails and a thirteen-horsepower engine, making his way through the  entire length of the treacherous ice bound route, between the northern  Canadian mainland and Canada's Arctic islands, from Greenland across  Baffin Bay, between the Canadian islands, across the top of Alaska into  the Bering Strait. The dangerous journey took three years to complete,  as Amundsen, his crew, and six sled dogs waited while the frozen sea  around them thawed sufficiently to allow for navigation. We see him  journey toward the North Pole in Fridtjof Nansen's famous Fram, until  word reached his expedition party of Robert Peary's successful arrival  at the North Pole. Amundsen then set out on a secret expedition to the  Antarctic, and we follow him through his heroic capture of the South  Pole.  The author makes clear why Amundsen succeeded in his quests where  other adventurer-explorers failed, and how his methodical preparation  and willingness to take calculated risks revealed both the spirit of the  man and the way to complete one triumphant journey after another. She  also describes reading about Amundsen as a young girl and how his  exploits inspired her to follow her dreams. We see how she unwittingly  set out in Amundsen's path, swimming in open waters off Antarctica, then  Greenland (always without a wetsuit), first as a challenge to her own  abilities and then later as a way to understand Amundsen's life and the  lessons learned from his vision, imagination, and daring. (Sno-Isle Libraries)