North Star Bay
|North Star Bay|
|Thule Harbor, Wolstenholme Bay|
|Ocean/sea sources||Baffin Bay|
|Islands||Saunders Island and Wolstenholme Island|
The bay is named after HMS North Star. Thule Air Base is located at the edge of the bay. There are two large islands in the bay, Saunders Island and Wolstenholme Island. The channel to the south, between Saunders Island and the mainland is known as Bylot Sound.
In 1849 under Commander James Saunders the North Star sailed to the Arctic in the spring on an expedition to search and resupply Captain Sir James Clark Ross' venture, who in turn had sailed in 1848 trying to locate the whereabouts of Sir John Franklin's expedition.
Failing to find Franklin or Ross, Saunders's mission aboard North Star consisted in depositing stores along several named areas of the Canadian Arctic coast and returning to England before the onset of winter. However, James Saunders's ship progress northwards was hindered by ice in Melville Bay and the ship became trapped by ice off the coast of NW Greenland in North Star Bay. A paper left by Saunders in a cairn reads thus:
This paper is placed here to certify, that H.M.S, North Star was beset, at the east side of Melville Bay, on the 29th of July, last year, and gradually drifted from day to day, until, on the 26th of September, we found ourselves abreast of Wolstenholme Island; when perceiving the ice a little; more loose, and the Sound perfectly clear, we made all plain sail, and pressed her through it, anchoring in the lower part of the Sound that evening, and arrived in the Bay on the 1st of October, where she remained throughout the winter.
During the winter 1849–50 Saunders named numerous landmarks in that area while wintering in the frozen bay.
- 1:1,000,000 scale Operational Navigation Chart, Sheet B-8, 3rd edition
- Eriksson, Mats (April 2002). "On Weapons Plutonium in the Arctic Environment (Thule, Greenland)" (PDF). Lund University: 11. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Icy Imprisonment: The 1849 Voyage of the HMS North Star
- The Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle, Simpkin, Marshall & Co. London 1850, p. 588
- Plutonium in the environment at Thule, Greenland, from sampling in 2003
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