In the Great Age of Discovery, the frigid waters of Hudson’s Bay in northern Canada were believed to lead directly to a sea route to the riches of the Spice Isles of Southeast Asia—and unparalleled commercial wealth for the first nation to discover and lay claim to it. The search for a shorter, northern route from Europe to the Pacific was Henry Hudson’s lifelong obsession. Though he is best known for his voyages along the east coast of North America and up the great river that now bears his name, Hudson’s arctic and sub-arctic voyages were far more courageous. They confronted him and his crewmen with more fearful terrors than those faced in usual transatlantic crossings. Icebergs and huge pods of whales that could easily smash a fragile wooden hull—and barren shores that yielded few provisions—led Hudson and his men to panic and on the brink of starvation. In this episode, we’ll explore an even more chilling aspect of his last, fateful mission: violent mutiny and Hudson’s mysterious disappearance.

Music and FX Credits

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