A Voyage Towards the North Pole Undertaken by his Majesty’s Command 1773.


Phipps was sent to determine the navigability of the North Pole from Spitsbergen, Phipps's expedition was initially hampered by ice. By sailing east and then northward again from Woodfjorden, the expedition attained a new furthest north of 80° 48'N, a record not surpassed until 1806 (by Scoresby). A solid ice wall blocked further progress, and the ships remained off Spitsbergen making scientific observations. The Voyage contains much information relating to Spitsbergen, though not the famous account of a meeting between a polar bear and a young Horatio Nelson, the expedition's midshipman. In spite of the expedition's relative success, other concerns precluded official British involvement in Arctic exploration until the expeditions of 1818 under Ross.