First Complete Northwest Passage
Finally in 1903 -1906 the Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, made
the first complete voyage of the passage in a small forty
seven ton herring sloop, the Gjoa assisted by a thirteen horse
power engine. He spent two winters in what is now called Gjoa Haven.
In August 1905 he pushed west through the shoals and reefs
of Queen Maud Gulf into the Beaufort Sea, only to be blocked
for another winter west of Mackenzie River. On August 30th
1906 he passed the Bering Strait to make the historic first
boat passage into the Pacific Ocean.
The 32 metre Royal Canadian Mounted Police vessel Saint
Roch under the command of Norwegian born Sergeant Henry Larsen
in 1940 - 42 made a west-east passage and in 1944 succeeded in
an east-west passage in a single season.
In 1977 Willy De Ross, a Belgian, aboard his 14 metre
diesel powered ketch Williwaw left Falmouth on 21st May 1977
and arrived in Vancouver on the 16th October 1977, having
journeyed mostly single handed through the passage. He
encountered much pack ice en-route, but by keeping close to
shore was able to avoid the thicker "old ice" to make a
passage in good ice year.