MAUD SURVEY IN CAMBRIDGE BAY, CANADA 2011
This last week Project Manager Jan Wanggaard and Project Diver and Photographer Dag Leslie Hansen have spent their time Surveying the wreck of Maud both over and under the water in Cambridge Bay in the North West Passage, Nunavut, North Canada.
Project Manager Jan Wanggaard makes a first Maud-walk on 4th of August 2011
Jan wanggaard films the front part of Maud
The first reports are very optimistic with regards to the state of the old ship that has spent the last 80 years on the seabed just outside Cambridge Bay, a small remote village with 1300 inhabitants. This incredibly strong built oak ship has been helped by the arctic cold and clean water to be kept in a reasonably good shape after so many years. Only the upper part of the ship has been torn by the ice over the years and thus gives the old lady a rather dramatic expression, well suited for a future museum exposure and also mirrors well those dramatic years of Roald Amundsen and his brave men during their expeditions into the deep Arctic in an attempt to be the first men to reach the North Pole.
Detail of the keel of Maud shows that it is still in an extraordinary good condition after 80 years at the sea bottom in Cambridge Bay. Further analysis of the oak wood will give us more answers.
Mainly warm welcome by the local people
We are also very happy to have been warmly welcomed locally here in this small place up in the High Arctic North. The weather has been good and we have had the chance to meet and speak with many people – both young and old, and many people express a positive attitude to our plans and our hope to salvage the old ship and bring her back to Norway, to conserve and finally present her in a Maudmuseum in Vollen, Norway where she was built nearly 100 years ago. Some of the elders we visited at the beach expressed an excuse for taking material for building materials from the Maud half a century ago. I excused them for that on behalf of Roald Amundsen himself, who I am sure would have thought that would be the right thing to do.
Yesterday we presented our plans to the local municipality and their response was mainly positive. Several local representatives expressed a positive attitude to our plans. The local Major expressed a worry that the ship might get damaged during a salvage operation, but we assured him that when we decide to lift Maud from its present position we will be sure not to make her suffer any way.
That is our plan and main ambition.
Some people locally have expressed a wish to have Maud saved and kept locally. We understand this point of view but as we all know our project plan is the only concrete initiative that exist today. Also we do feel that this old ship is strongly linked to Norway through the achievement and position that Amundsen have among the Norwegian people.
We do hope and feel that most people of Cambridge Bay will support our plans in the time to come, when our project plans becomes known and defined in more detail. Then everyone can have a better and more defined understanding of our plans and not least, our clear goals and determination. In this way we believe this project can benefit us all at the end of the day.
There is no doubt that there is a lot of valuable and interesting film and photographic material relative to this incredible ship and its brave expeditions that can be of great valuable for producing new and exciting communicative material that can benefit both Norway as well as Cambridge Bay where the ship has rested for all these years.
We still have one more week here in Cambridge Bay to continue our Diving Survey and we hope for more sun and happy faces along the way.