Don Pedro Christophersen and Balmy Buenos Aires
This chapter documents the Fram’s and its crew’s arrival in Buenos Aires in April 1911, under a shroud of intrigue, using personal correspondence written from the ship’s captain Thorvald Nilsen to Roald Amundsen’s brother Leon Amundsen. As word had spread regarding Roald Amundsen’s secretive actions, some key figures globally and in Norway had turned away from their hero. Captain Nilsen finds no supplies, no money for repairs, and no promissory notes from the Norwegian banks waiting for him as anticipated in Buenos Aires. Acting under Amundsen’s orders, Nilsen appeals to Don Pedro Christophersen, who had offered financial assistance earlier. The elder statesman and businessman provides the funds, provisions, equipment, and accommodations necessary for the crew and ship to complete their stay in Buenos Aires, conduct their assigned oceanographic cruise, and return to Antarctica to retrieve Amundsen and the winter party. Thus, Christophersen saves the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition – and, in the future, will be rewarded by Amundsen in a way that involves the sled dogs. The Fram leaves the waters of Buenos Aires in June.
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