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Adventurers - One Step Ahead of the Creditors

Roald Amundsen's little sloop, the Gja ("y-eu-a"), was anchored in Oslo Fjord in Norway on the stormy night of June 16, 1903. He had begged, borrowed, scrounged, and worked as a waiter in an Oslo restaurant to get supplies and a crew of six to go on his Arctic expedition.

While he stood in the rain, wondering if he would be able to sail before his creditors caught up with him, his first mate scrambled aboard with news that a creditor was, at that very moment, on the wharf with a bailiff, intent upon seizing the vessel and arresting its skipper for fraud.

Amundsen just laughed. He grabbed an axe and cut the mooring lines. They were off - in search of the Northwest Passage!

And he found it, too! It took him three years, but that wasn't so bad - people had been looking for the Passage for four hundred years!

Early attempts to find a passage were made by John Cabot, John Davis and Martin Frobisher.

PICTURE: The "Gja" 70ft 20.6ft 7.7ft / 21.3m 6.3m 2.3m.

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Roald Amundsen
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