June 7, 2010

Tuesday, 7 June 1910


Fram on her way to the Antarctic, 10 June 1910. Photograph by Anders Beer Wiltse. [1]

"Sailed at midnight," Amundsen wrote in his diary. "Quietly and calmly we stand out of the Christiania Fjord. Soon the land will have disappeared from view and Fram will have begun her third voyage. God grant it will be to our credit." [2]

Most of he crew of the Fram, 1910. Back, from left: sailmaker Martin Rønne, engineer Knut Sundbeck, seaman and ice pilot Andreas Beck, carpenter Jørgen Stubberud. Middle row, from left: seaman and ice pilot Ludwig Hansen, ship's cook Karenius Olsen, second officer Lt. Kristian Prestrud, first mate Lt. Frederick Gjertsen, deck-hand and later third engineer H. Kristensen, cook Adolf Lindstrøm. Front, from left: dog-driver Sverre Hassel, Oskar Wisting, carpenter Olav Bjaaland, ice pilot and dog-driver Helmer Hanssen. [3]

They would spend a month on a preliminary cruise in the North Atlantic, taking oceanographical readings for Nansen. They would also, of course, be testing the Fram's new diesel motor and the men.

The 7th of June was, significantly, Norwegian Independence Day, marking the peaceful separation of the country from Swedish rule in 1905, the first time that Norway had been fully independent in over five hundred years.

The night before, Amundsen had revealed to Gjertsen and Prestrud that they were going south. "When asked whether they wished to take part in the new plan," he wrote laconically, "they both answered at once in the affirmative, and that settled it." [4]


[1] Roald Amundsen Bildearkiv, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[2] Roald Amundsen, diary, 8 June 1910, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.287-288.
[3] Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[4] Roald Amundsen, The South Pole, ch.3.

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