North Tide
In the Spring of 1882 the polar ship 'Gerrit de Veer' leaves Rotterdam with a Dutch scientific expedition. In Newfoundland an ice master comes on board, and in Greenland three Eskimos with dog sleds. The final destination is Ellesmere, a virtually unknown territory between Greenland and the North Pole. The region is uninhabited and covered with glaciers and mountain ranges.
North Tide is a novel about a grand and dangerous adventure. The members of the expedition have prepared themselves well, with a capable leader, the geographer Dr. Rutgers-Matthes. They face storms at sea, icebergs, polar bears and blinding snow. In spite of their courage they are nearly overwhelmed by the wilderness and the unforgiving climate. When they are surrounded by pack ice, conflicts arise between the scientists and the sailors in charge of the ship. It soon becomes clear that the most serious danger lies not in the desolate world around them, but in their own human nature. During the three-month long Arctic night, suspicion, demoralization and tragic mistakes lead to a shocking catastrophe.
William Bradford: Ice dwellers watching the invaders (c. 1875)
Collection New Bedford Whaling Museum, Massachusetts