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Schooner 'Bowdoin' melting out, Refuge Harbor, Greenland, 1924

Schooner 'Bowdoin' melting out, Refuge Harbor, Greenland, 1924

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Description

By July 1924, the schooner Bowdoin was finally starting to break out of her winter quarters in Refuge Harbor, Northwest Greenland. From a nearby hill, patterns in the ice show that it is moving. But it was a long and hazardous melting out, and the vessel came close to being lost.

This was the schooner's second voyage north, beginning in 1923. The expedition's goals included establishing a scientific station, continual tide and weather observations over a year, and work in botany, geology, ornithology and anthropology. Magnetic observations were taken, and short-wave radio experiments conducted.

While the schooner was deliberately frozen in to her winter quarters (for 325 days), Donald MacMillan, the head of the expedition who had the schooner built to his specifications, took a dog sledge across Smith Sound to Cape Sabine on Ellesmere Island.

There he put up a memorial tablet to the ill-fated Greely Expedition (1881-1884), America's contribution to the first International Polar Year.

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