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Gjoa

Roald Amundsen's cutter Gjøa navigating the Northwest Passage.
Oil on board (800 x 600)

Gjøa was the first vessel to transit the Northwest Passage. With a crew of six, Roald Amundsen traversed the passage in a three year journey, finishing in 1906.

The 70 ft square-sterned 48 ton cutter was built by Kurt Johannesson Skaale in Rosendal, Norway in 1872, the same year Amundsen was born. She was named Gjøa after her owner's wife. For the next 28 years she served as a herring fishing vessel.  Amundsen bought her in 1900 from Asbjørn Sexe of Ullensvang, Norway, for his forthcoming expedition to the Arctic. Gjøa was much smaller than vessels used by other arctic expeditions, but Amundsen intended to live off the limited resources of the land and sea through which he was to travel, and reasoned that the land could sustain only a small crew (over-manning had perhaps been the cause of the catastrophic failure of John Franklin's expedition fifty years previously). Her shallow draught would help her traverse the shoals of the Arctic straits. Perhaps most importantly the aging ship was all that Amundsen could afford ...he was financing his expedition largely by spending his inheritance.
(From Gjøa ....Wikipedia)