As a young man Harald Sverdrup spent seven years on Amundsen's MAUD expedition in the icy wastes of the Arctic Sea. The observations he collected during this period form the basis of fifty published papers and constitute much of our factual knowledge about geophysical phenomena in the Arctic. Nevertheless, those years of voluntary exile would be of relatively small interest to his colleagues were it not for their effect on his personal and scientific qualities, and the insight which they give into his character.