Maud (ship)

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Maud, 1918
Name: Maud
Namesake: Queen Maud of Norway
Owner: Roald Amundsen
Builder: Built in Asker, Norway
Launched: June 1916
Owner: Hudson's Bay Company
Acquired: 1925
Renamed: Baymaud
Owner: Asker, Norway
Acquired: 1990
Renamed: Maud
General characteristics
Class & type: Oak hulled sailing ship, built for Arctic exploration
Tonnage: 292 register
Length: 36.5 m (119.75 ft)
Beam: 12.3 m (40.35 ft)
Depth of hold: 4.85 m (16 ft)
Propulsion: 240 hp (177 kW) semidiesel Bolinder engine

Maud, named for Queen Maud of Norway, 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.

Maud was launched in June 1916 and christened by Roald Amundsen by crushing a chunk of ice against her bow:

It is not my intention to dishonour the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, and in the ice you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice you shall solve your tasks. With the permission of our queen, I christen you: Maud.

Career and fate

She lived up to her christening, for she lies still in the ice. Whereas other vessels used in Amundsen's polar explorations,Gjøa and Fram, have been preserved at the maritime museum at Bygdøy, Maud had a more rugged fate.

The wreck of Maud near Cambridge Bay, (Victoria Island) in Canada's north.

After sailing through the Northeast Passage, which did not go as planned and took six years between 1918 and 1924, she ended up in Nome, Alaska and in August 1925 was sold on behalf of Amundsen's creditors in Seattle, Washington.

The buyer was the Hudson's Bay Company which renamed her Baymaud. She was to be used as a supply vessel for Company outposts in Canada's western Arctic. However, in the winter of 1926 she was frozen in the ice at Cambridge Bay, where she sank in 1930.

The ship now lies just off the shore in the bay, across the inlet from Cambridge Bay's former Hudson's Bay Company store. Nearby is the Cambridge Bay LORAN Tower built in 1947.

Prior to her final voyage Baymaud was given a refit in Vancouver, British Columbia. The work was supervised by Tom Hallidie, who later went on to design the RCMP vessel St. Roch, based on Maud.

In 1990 the ship was sold by the Hudson's Bay Company to Asker with the expectation that she would be returned to the town. Although a Cultural Properties Export permit was issued, the price tag to repair and move the ship was 230 million kroner ($43,200,000) and the permit expired.[1][2][3]

In 2011 Norwegian company Tandberg Eiendom AS in the project Maud Returns Home[4] announced a plan to return Maud to Norway. They intend to build a new museum in Vollen, Asker to house the ship and say that they have already purchased a barge to move it. Concern about the plan has come from the community of Cambridge Bay, Parks Canada, the Government of Nunavut, the International Polar Heritage Committee as well as some people in Asker. Moving the ship would require another export permit from the federal government.[5] On 15 December 2011, it was announced that the Government of Canada had declined to issue an export permit. The refusal was given due to the lack of "a full archeological study".[6] The decision was reversed on appeal in March 2012, and salvaging is expected to start in 2014, after a survey.[4][7] The salvage operation is under way in the summer of 2015, and a plan to return the hull to Norway in the summer of 2016.[8]


External links

  • Maud (Norwegian) - Photos

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