Brower had left San Francisco with the intention of making a short dash north on a whaling ship bound for the mythic Arctic Circle. Adventure had a way of following Charlie Brower. His initial landing turned into a fifty-year long ice-bound lifestyle. Once he stepped off the whaler and back onto dry, albeit frozen land, Brower took a job as master of the whaling station. But, though commerce brought him north, it was the people that helped keep him there for Charlie soon became fast friends with the native Inuit people. They taught him how to hunt seals on the ice, caribou on the tundra, and whales out on the sea. He learned their secrets, lived in their igloos, navigated in their kayaks and avoided being murdered in their feuds. Plus the young adventurer observed the great dramas of the Far North play out. He saw the last of the sailing ships disappear over the horizon, and watched the first airplane fly in. For fifty-seven years, through ice storms and northern lights, Charlie Brower maintained both this lonely outpost and his claim as “Uncle Sam’s most northerly citizen.”
A book to remember, “Fifty Years Below Zero” is richly illustrated throughout with photos by the author.