Wednesday, August 17, 2011


“The Voyage of the Fox,” sculpture depicted here is the work of the article’s author, Bill Osmundsen. The prototype was created as a model for a bronze monument to be placed in New York and Norway. Further information about this project can be obtained by visiting the artist’s website:, or by contacting Project Coordinator, Victor Samuelsen at or (203) 561-0005. Photo courtesy of Bill Osmundsen.


On open waters: The Norwegian-American voyage of the FOX made the impossible a reality.

This year marks the 115th anniversary of the voyage of the FOX, the first transatlantic crossing by oar, in an open 18-foot rowboat named FOX. The nearly impossible feat was accomplished by two young Norwegian-American seamen who left New York June 6, 1896, and arrived in Le Havre, France on Aug. 7, 1896.

By Bill Osmundsen
Norwegian American Weekly

Around the time that Nansen was lauded for his polar achievement, two other Norwegians by birth – George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen – rowed more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in an 18-foot surfboat called FOX. They didn’t discover anything, but they did prove that through endurance and careful planning, two men in an open boat could actually achieve what was in 1896 believed impossible. If we look at their modest effort, compared to the mounting of the great expeditions of the Fram – Nansen, north and Amundsen south, they also exhibited great courage and fortitude and should join the ranks of explorers who have pushed the human limits. Harbo and Samuelsen were the first to successfully cross the Atlantic in an open rowboat.


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