By James Delgado
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Additional resources for Across the Top of the World. The Quest for the Northwest Passage
The supposed Strait of Juan de Fuca, thought to be the Strait of Anian, remained on maps for some time, although belief in its existence gradually fell out of favour. It was not until 1787 that an American sea captain, Charles Barkley, sailing up the north Pacific coast, entered a broad strait in those latitudes that Spanish and British explorers,' including lames Cook,' had missed. Cognizant oJ o of the old tale, Barkley dubbed it the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the name it bears to this day. Later explorers conclusively proved that this body of water only separated Vancouver Island from the British Columbia mainland and was not the entrance to the Northwest Passage, to but ' it took centuries for the myth of the Strait of Anian to die.
In 1^8^, a group of merchants led by William Sanderson of London sponsored a voyage in quest of the passage. " o Sailing from Dartmouth on June 7, the ships were delayed by weather and did not reach Greenland until mid-July. After rounding Cape Farewell at the island's southern tip and heading northwest alongo the coast,' landfall came at Godthab Fjord, where the explorers encountered a group of Inuit. After a cautious first day of observingo each other,' contact was made. Leaving Greenland on August i , the ships continued northwest, reachingO Baffin Island on the sixth.
Elizabeth and Helene, with the damaged pinnace, headed west toward Labrador and its rich fishing grounds. Their orders were to oo fish and await the arrival of Davis in Sunneshine, who was to sail north along the eastern shore of o Greenland, then pass through what is now known as Davis Strait and into Baffin Bay. Sunneshine reached as far north as 72° 12', the site of today's Upernavik, before turningO about and headingO west. 1 Making landfall off the east coast of Baffin Island, Davis entered the broad waters of Cumberland Sound, which he had encountered on his first expedition.
Across the Top of the World. The Quest for the Northwest Passage by James Delgado