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Ice Ship

Nominated for Mountbatten Maritime Award 2015 In the golden age of polar exploration (from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s), many an expedition set out to answer the big question-was the Arctic a continent, an open ocean beyond a barrier of ice, or an ocean covered with ice? No one knew, for the ice had kept its secret well; ships trying to penetrate it all failed, often catastrophically. Norway's charismatic scientist-explorer Fridtjof Nansen, convinced that it was a frozen ocean, intended to prove it in a novel if risky way: by building a ship capable of withstanding the ice, joining others on an expedition, then drifting wherever it took them, on a relentless one-way journey into discovery and fame . . . or oblivion.Ice Ship is the story of that extraordinary ship, the Fram, from conception to construction, through twenty years of three epic expeditions, to its final resting place as a museum. It is also the story of the extraordinary men who steered the Fram over the course of 84,000 miles: on a three-year, ice-bound drift, finding out what the Arctic really was; in a remarkable four-year exploration of unmapped lands in the vast Canadian Arctic; and on a two-year voyage to Antarctica, where another famous Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, claimed the South Pole.Ice Ship will appeal to all those fascinated with polar exploration, maritime adventure, and wooden ships, and will captivate readers of such books asThe Endurance, In the Heart of the Sea, andThe Last Place on Earth. With more than 100 original photographs, the book brings the Fram to life and light.
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About the Author

Charles W. Johnson is the former Vermont state naturalist, a twenty-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, and the author of several popular books on natural history. He has a lifelong interest in polar regions and exploration. He lives in East Montpelier, Vermont.


"Wonderful photographs, beautifully produced. . . . [The] book is well written and, in particular, the pen pictures of Fram's crew on each expedition are excellent. The stories of life in the ice and of unexpected meetings with other explorers make clear what a different era this was - in terms of formality, hardship expected and endured and dangers that few would accept today." * Naval Review * This book is a fitting tribute to Fram and its singular contributions to early scientific and geographic discoveries of the polar regions. In its brief active life it served an illustrious string of commanders and captains, traversed the planet nearly pole-to-pole, and logged 85,000 miles without a serious mishap. No other vessel comes close it its record of achievement. The author and publisher had done its record proud. * Arctic Studies Program Newsletter *

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