The Frozen Frontier

Jane Maufe, the Frozen Frontier: Polar Bound through the Northwest Passage (London: Adlard Coles Nautical), 2017

David Scott Cowper had fully proven himself as an intrepid sailor before he invited Jane Maufe to join him on the adventure of bringing his expedition vessel, Polar Bound through the Northwest Passage, traversing from west to east. Cowper had already made transits of five of the seven routes through the Northwest Passage. This book chronicles the sixth route. Sailors in private boats do not often tackle such arduous and technically challenging routes. Maufe served as a crew member for the passage and they saw some extreme and adventurous sailing.

Maufe also gives good biographical insights into Cowper, showing his steely determination, humility and his resourcefulness when facing a challenge. She also reports on the fascinating relationship between her and Cowper, who had clearly defined roles during the passage and in their relationship.

Two very adventurous and ambitious people become dedicated to the ship, to each other, and to the journey. It is a truly fascinating account and well worth the read for anyone who is interested in exploration, adventure and sailing.