South With The Sun
Published by Knopf – 2011 and HMH – 2012
Roald Amundsen, “the last of the Vikings,” left his mark on the Heroic Era as one of the most successful polar explorers ever.
Lynne Cox, adventurer and swimmer, author of Swimming to Antarctica (“gripping” —Sports Illustrated) and Grayson (“wondrous, and unforgettable” —Carl Hiaasen), gives us in South with the Sun a full-scale account of the explorer’s life and expeditions.
We see Amundsen, in 1903-06, the first to travel the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in his small ship Gjøa making his way through the entire length of the treacherous ice bound route, between the northern Canadian mainland and Canada’s Arctic islands, from Greenland across Baffin Bay, between the Canadian islands, across the top of Alaska into the Bering Strait. The dangerous journey took three years to complete, as Amundsen, his crew, and six sled dogs waited while the frozen sea around them thawed sufficiently to allow for navigation.
Lynne connects his journey toward the North Pole in Fridtj of Nansen’s famous Fram, until word reached his expedition party of Robert Peary’s successful arrival at the North Pole. Amundsen then set out on a secret expedition to the Antarctic.
Cox makes clear why Amundsen succeeded in his quests where other adventurer-explorers failed, and how his methodical preparation and willingness to take calculated risks revealed both the spirit of the man and the way to complete one triumphant journey after another. Cox then honors the explorers by swimming segments of the Amundsen’s journey, describing her experience as a modern-day explorer.