of the most tenacious explorers was a moody, enigmatic Englishman
named Henry Hudson, who set out in 1610 on the most lavishly financed
single-ship expedition of his day in search of the Passage.
Hudson sailed farther north and west than any European before him, zigzagging along the coast of mainland North America. A few weeks later, the coast suddenly opened to the south. Hudson was convinced he had reached the Pacific.
soon the shore dropped away to the south, then to the southwest,
then, due north. With dawning horror, Hudson realized that he
had sailed not into the Pacific, but into the bottom pocket of
a huge bay.
Then the arctic winter set in. Because they thought they were heading to the South seas, few members of the crew had adequate clothing. Trapped in the Bay without food or shelter, the men suffered the agonies of frostbite, scurvy and near starvation.
Watch a movie clip of Henry Hudson's path into the Bay in RealVideo.
© 2000 MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. All rights reserved.