The South End Rowing Club of San Francisco will be hosting author Lynne Cox on October 6 from 6-8 pm. She will be speaking about her new book, South with the Sun, on the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. Among other things, Amundsen is known for beating Robert Scott in the race to the South Pole in 1911.
Roald Amundsen, “the last of the Vikings,” left his mark on the Heroic Era as one of the most successful polar explorers ever. A powerfully built man more than six feet tall, Amundsen’s career of adventure began at the age of fifteen (he was born in Norway in 1872 to a family of merchant sea captains and rich ship owners); twenty-five years later he was the first man to reach both the North and South Poles.
In South with the Sun, Lynne Cox, adventurer and author of Swimming to Antarctica, gives us a full-scale account of Amundsen’s life and expeditions. Cox makes clear why Amundsen succeeded in his quests where other adventurer-explorers failed, and how his methodical preparation and willingness to take calculated risks revealed both the spirit of the man and the way to complete one triumphant journey after another.
Cox describes reading about Amundsen as a young girl and how his exploits inspired her to follow her dreams. We see how she unwittingly set out in Amundsen’s path, swimming in open waters off Antarctica, then Greenland (always without a wetsuit), first as a challenge to her own abilities and then later as a way to understand Amundsen’s life and the lessons learned from his vision, imagination, and daring.
With the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen’s Antarctic expedition soon upon us (he tagged the South Pole on December 14, 1911—34 days before Robert Falcon Scott), Cox's book is a timely and exciting contribution to the literature on one of Norway's greatest explorers.