"Maud" returns home
CMR had two men hired at «Maud”, Harald Ulrik Sverdrup and Odd Dahl. Both helped Roald Amundsen to get his project through and this highly scientific expedition could be realized. Sverdrup was scientific leader from 1918 till 1925, while Odd Dahl was hired as pilot and filmmaker on the last three years of the expedition.
The Maud Expedition 1918-1925. Group photo: the crew on Maud in Seattle, June 1922. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute
“Maud” was a newly built ship and left Norway in July 1918 under the command of Roald Amundsen, with the aim to get deliberately stuck in the ice. Maud was well equipped with scientific apparatus for making meteorological, geophysical and oceanographic observations. Harald U. Sverdrup was in charge of the expedition’s scientific work, which was written by Sverdrup during his years as member of Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway (1930-1936). All in all 5000 pages of highly valued scientific material was the result.
During the next three winters, with the vessel icebound off the Siberian coast, important scientific measurements were carried out, but the goal of having “Maud”drifting to the North Pole was not realized. In August 1921 “Maud” reached Seattle for overhauling and preparations were made for another attempt, and it was now that Odd Dahl entered the ship. For Odd the “Maud” expedition was a lifetime experience. He even made six good models of the ship, and one of them is on display in the offices of Christian Michelsen Research in Bergen.
During the second phase on the expedition (1922-1925) “Maud” was locked in the ice for more than 2 years and she drifted northwest as far as the New Siberian Islands. Once released, the vessel headed eastwards by its own power, but the expedition was forced to spend one more winter icebound during the years 1924-1925. The “Maud” finally returned to Nome, Alaska, in August 1925. Later the same year the ship was arrested in Seattle and sold to Hudson Bay company.
Five years later the ship sunk in its moorings in shallow water in Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, North Canada. Today, 80 years later, what is left of the old wrek still lies in the same place, covered by ice and snow most parts of the year. Now the homecoming has started: