Saturday, February 21, 2009

Polar Exploration Ships - Norway

On September 20, 1972, Norway issued a set of three stamps to commemorate Ships of Polar Exploration.

Denom. color - name of ship
60 ore - olive and green - Maud
80 ore - red and black - Fram
1.20 Krone - blue and red brown - Gjoa

Maud - The Maud was a ship built for Roald Amundsen for his second expedition to the Arctic. Designed for his intended voyage through the Northeast Passage, the vessel was specially built at a shipyard in Asker, Norway on the Oslofjord.

The ship now lies just off the shore in the Hudson bay in north Canada, 15 minutes across the frozen ice from Cambridge Bay's Hudson's Bay Store.

Fram - Fram ("Forward") is a ship that was used in expeditions of the Arctic and Antarctic regions by the Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup, Oscar Wisting, and Roald Amundsen between 1893 and 1912. Fram was probably the strongest wooden ship ever built. It was designed by the Norwegian shipwright Colin Archer for Fridtjof Nansen's 1893 Arctic expedition in which Fram was supposed to freeze into the Arctic ice sheet and float with it over the North Pole.

Fram is said to be the wooden ship to have sailed farthest north and farthest south. Fram is currently preserved at the Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway.

Gjoa - Gjøa was the first vessel to transit the Northwest Passage. With a crew of six, Roald Amundsen traversed the passage in a three year journey, finishing in 1906. She is now displayed in the Norwegian Maritime Museum in Bygdøy, Oslo. A bauta (memorial pillar) now stands at Gjøa's former home in San Francisco.

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