M’Clure was the first man to sail the NWP… Not M’Clintock.

  North West Passage Summery

  The riches of the east have pushed men and their little ships to their limmets and beyond for centuries. To avoid conflict with the Spanish, Frence and Portugal, the English where looking for an alternative to the southern route passed the Cape’s. The first recorded voyage insearch of such a passage was madde by John an Sabastian Cabot at the end of the 15th century. After that many of such expeditions where fitted out. The first attempts where made by way of Hudson Straid and Hudsonbay befor it was establist an inner sea. It was not until the beginning of the previous century that a sea route trough the Canadian archipelago was found

  Here follows a summery acording to the Admiralty Sailing Directions.

1576-78 Martin Frobisher completed 3 voyages to the SE end of Baffin Island in search of valvaluable ores, and discovered Frobisher Bay

1585-88 John Davis undertook 3 voyages to the Davis Strait and discovert Cumberland Sound

1610-11 Henry Hudson having navigated Hudson strait and discoverd Hudson Bay was forced to winter at its south end. After a mutiny in 1611 he was cast adrift in an open boat and never seen again.

1612 Sir Thomas Button, searching for Hudson, navigated to the west side of Hudson bay and was forced to winter in Port Nelson

1613 Sir Thomas Button explored the NW corner of Hudson Bay and Roes Welcome Sound.

1615 Robert Bylot and William Baffin reached Fox channel trough Hudson Strait

1616 Bylot and Baffin reached the coast of Smith sound and discovered Jones Sound and Lancaster Sound

1631-32 Captain Thomas James reached James Bay, where he winterd; Captain Luke Foxe navigated the west side of Hudson bay and subsequently Foxe channel, discovering Foxe basin, befor returning to England, for the first time without loss of live

1719 Captain James Knight, exploring the NW corner of Hudson Bay, was wrecked of Marble Island; not until 1767 it was learned the the complete party perished

1741-42 Capt. Chistoph Middleton discovered Wager Bay and Repulse Bay, wintering at  Churchill.

1746 Capt. Moor and capt. Francis Smith discovered Chesterfield Inlet.

1769-71 Samuel Hearne of the Hudson Bay company, traveling overland in search for copper, reached the mouth of the Coppermine river befor returning to Churchill.

1789 Alexander Mackenzie of the North West Company, traveling overland, reached the Mackenzie river and descended it to the Arctic Ocean.

1818 Exploratory voyage of Commander John Ross in HMS Issabella and Lieutenant W E Parry in HMS Alexander to Davis Strait and Avannaata Imaa (Baffin Bay; penetrated entrance to Lancaster Sound.

1819-20 Lieutenant Parry in HMS Hecla and Lieutanent Liddon in HMS Griper navigated Parry Channel as far as the entrance to M’Clure Strait, discovering Prince Regent Inlet and other water ways on both sides of the Channel. Expedition wintered at south side of Melville Isl. in Winter Harbour. Parry was subsequently awarded the longitude prize of 5000 pounds as the first to cross the 110 W in high northerly latitudes.

1820 Parry and Liddon sailed as far as 113’west then explored overland and sighted and named Banks Isl. On the return voyage to England, Admiralty Inlet Navy Bord Inlet and Pond Inlet where discoverd.

1821-23 Parry with ships Hecla and Fury explored the west side of Foxe Basin and Fury and Hecla Strait to with in sight of Golf of Boothia.

1824-25 Parry again with Hecla and Fury explored the north part of Prince Regent Inlet and wintered at Port Bowen.

1825 Parry explored south part of Prince Regent Inlet. HMS Fury abandoned at Fury Beach after severe ice damage. Returned to England in Hecla. Concurrently with the expeditions to the east Arctic 1819-25 , Captain John Franklin and others reached the mouth of the Coppermine River traveling overland from Hudson Bay; subsequently a party with canoes traced the south shore of Coronation Gulf as far as Turnagain Point. FRanklin explored the mainland coast as far as 160 miles of Point Barrow, which was reached from the west by a party HMS Blossom under Capt. Beechey.

1829-32 Capt. John Ross in the paddle steamer Victory navigated Prince regent and reached the Gulf of Boothia where the vessel was frozen in and abandoned in 1832. During this time the possition of the North Magnetic Pole was determent by Rosses nephew James Clark Ross. The expedition failed to locate Bellot Strait, linking East and West Canadian Arctic waters.

1832-33 Capt John Ross and boat party wintered at Fury Beach, using Fury’s abandoned stores and eventually returned to England having been rescued by the whaler Isabella off the north coast of Bylot Island. This whaler was the same vessel that Ross had commanded as HMS Isabella on his voyage in 1818.

1836-39 PW Dease and Thomas Simpson of the Hudson Bay Company working by boats closed most of the gaps in the servey of the N Canadian coast between Fury and Hecla Strait and Alaska.. Their voyage was the longest under taken in Arctic waters by boat and was accomplished with out loss of live.

1845-48 Although it was now recognized that the North West Passage possessed little commercial interest, Capt. John Franklin in HMS Erebus and Capt. Crozier in HMS Terror where dispatched by the admiralty to continue the search sw and s of Lancaster Sound. Nothing was heard of the ewpedition for several years although it was established that Wellington Channel , Crozier Strait, McDougall Sound where navigated befor wintering at Beechey Island 1845-46. The following year Peel Sound was navigatedto the entrance of Victoria Strait where the vessels where frozen in and subsequently lost, having been abandoned in 1848. Franklin had died in 1847, the survivors under Capt. Crozier’s comand all perished while attempting to make their way south from King William Island. In the course of this final journey they closed the last gap in the North West Passage

1846-47 Dr John Rae of the Hudson Bay Company explored Committee Bay and the S part of Boothia, almost completing the survey of the Arctic coast of North America.

1848-59 Many relief expeditions set out during this period to search both east and west Arctic waters for Sir John Franklin and his vessels. These included, 1848-49 HMS Enterprize and Investigator under the command of Sir James Clark Ross; in 1850, a squadron under the command of Captain Horatio Austin in HMS Resolute; Captain Charles Forsyth in command of Lady Franklin’s vessel Prince Albert, and Capt. William Penny, an experienced whaling captain in the Sophia. These and subsequent voyages established four possible routes for a North West Passage and resulted in discovery and survey of the greater part of the Arctic Coast S of a line from Jones Sound and Patrick Isl. Amongst the more important was that of William Kennedy in Prince Albert, in 1852 with Joseph Bellot,a French naval officer, embarked, the later discovered Bellot Strait.

1850-54 Capt. Robert M’Clure in HMS Investigator, searching from the W, penetrated Prince of Whales Strait where he wintered 1850-51. In the spring of 1851 M’Clure reached the N end of the Strait by sledge and was thus the first person to that a North West Passage existed.  Unable to force the Investigator through this strait, M’Clure than attempted to complete the navigation of the North West Passage by sailing around the W coast of Banks Isl. but was this time held up by ice in M’Clure Strait where he wintered 1852-53, finally being ordered by  Captain Henry Kellett to abandon his ship in Mercy Bay in 1853. M’Clure then crossed M’Clure Strait over the ice to join Capt. Kellett in HMS  Resolute which was also abandoned. M’Clure and Kellett proceeded over the ice to the North Star in which they returned to England. M’Clure thus was the first person to travers the North West  Passage partly by shi partly by foot

1851-55 Capt. Richard Collinson in HMS Enterprise, also searching from the W and wintering in the W Arctic reached the S end of M’Clintock Channel befor returning to England by way of Cape of Good Hope having circumnavigated the globe.

1852-54 Capt. Sir Edward Belcher, in command of HM ships Assistance and Pioneer and Capt. Henry Kellett HM ships Resolute and Intrepid where despatched by Admiralty to conduct its last and greatest search for Franklin. Belcher discovered the Islands in Norwegian Bay, but all his four vessels where frozen in and abandoned in the vicinity of Wellington Channel, the crews returning in a relief squadron under command of Edward Inglefield.

1853 Dr John Rae, surveying the S part of the Boothia Peninsula, obtained silver plate and other evidence of Franklins fate from the natives and was given a reward of 10000 pounds by the British government.   

1857-59 Captain Leopolt M’Clintock , continuing Lady Franklins search in the Fox, found the only written documents of the Franklin expedition on the W coast of King William Island, and established that Franklin had found a North West Passage.

1903-06 North West Passage navigated by Amundsen in the Gjoa

1906-10 Capt. Bernier in Canadian government Ship the Arctic completed numerous voyages in the Arctic waters to establish Canadian sovereignty over the archipelago and on the first of July 1909, at winter Harbour, unveiled a tabled on Parry’s Rock, commemorating the annexing of the whole Arctic Archipelago.

1913-18 The Canadian Arctic expedition under the anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefanson finally established the main outlines of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

1937-40 North West Passage repeatedly traversed by the Hudson Bay Company vessel Nascopie, and linking with tenders in Franklin Strait.

1940-42 Sergeant Henry Larsen made the first W to E passage in Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner St Roch.

1944. Staff sergeant Larsen made the first passage in one season, from E to W in the St Roch

1954 HM Canadian ship Labrador, an ice breaker, became the first medium draft vessel to compleet the passage.

1960 US nuclear submarine Seadragon followed a similar route to that of 1957, But at times departed from it to pass under ice.

1969 SS Manhattan, a specially strengthened deep-draught tanker of 110000 dwt and 43000 hp made the passage from E to W. Although escorted by an icebreaker an attempt to pass through M’Clure Strait had to be abandoned after meeting heavy ice.

1984 MS Explore became the first commercial cruise liner to navigate the North West Passage.

2006 MS Bremen became the first scheduled cruise liner to navigate the Passage with the aid of satellite images.            

2012 The World sailed from Nome, Alaska on the 18th of August, arriving Nuuk, Greenland on September the 12, becomming the largest passenger ship to transit the Passage

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