Omai later became one of the first Pacific Islanders to visit Europe, before returning to Tahiti with Cook in After calling at Tonga in the Friendly Islands the ships returned to New Zealand but were separated by a storm on 22 October. This time the rendezvous at Queen Charlotte Sound was missed — Resolution departed on 26 November, four days before Adventure arrived. Cook had left a message buried in the sand setting out his plan to explore the South Pacific and return to New Zealand.
Furneaux decided to return home and buried a reply to that effect. I who had ambition not only to go farther than anyone had been before, but as far as it was possible for man to go, was not sorry in meeting with this interruption The vessel was then launched north to complete a huge arc in the Pacific Ocean, reaching latitudes just below the Equator then New Guinea. On 10 November the expedition sailed east over the Pacific and sighted the western end of the Strait of Magellan on 17 December.
After passing Cape Horn, Cook explored the vast South Atlantic looking for another coastline that had been predicted by Dalrymple.
When this failed to materialize they turned north and discovered an island that they named South Georgia. Here he correctly predicted that:. Later, in February , he called the existence of such a polar continent "probable" and in another copy of his journal he wrote:. On 21 March Resolution anchored in Table Bay, there to spend five weeks as her rigging was refitted.
His reports upon his return home put to rest the popular myth of Terra Australis. Cook's log was full of praise for the watch which he used to make charts of the southern Pacific Ocean that were so remarkably accurate that copies of them were still in use in the midth century. His acceptance of the post was reluctant, insisting that he be allowed to quit the post if the opportunity for active duty presented itself.
On his return to England, Forster claimed that he had been granted exclusive publication rights to the history of the voyage by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich —a claim that Sandwich vehemently denied. Eventually, Sandwich agreed that Forster and his son could add a scientific section to Cook's account of the voyage.
This led to so much animosity between Forster and Sandwich that Sandwich banned him from writing or publishing anything about the voyage. Forster then avoided the ban by writing a book in his son's name using a draft of Cook's journal which he had earlier acquired. Cook's accounts of the large seal and whale populations helped influence further exploration of the Southern Ocean from sealers in search of the mammals' valued skins. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Exploration voyage from to Cambridge Digital Library. Retrieved 23 July Retrieved 28 May Retrieved 6 August Yorkshire Post.
Retrieved 8 April Geographic Association. Retrieved 29 July December National Geographic. Retrieved 15 January Cook, Journals, vol. Cambridge: Hakluyt Society. National Maritime Museum. Archived from the original on 21 April Retrieved 10 October Retrieved 12 October Beaglehole, John Cawte The Life of Captain James Cook. Collingridge, Vanessa February Ebury Press.
Hough, Richard Captain James Cook. Hodder and Stoughton. McLynn, Frank Captain Cook: Master of the Seas. Yale University Press. Rigby, Nigel; van der Merwe, Pieter Captain Cook in the Pacific. London, England: National Maritime Museum. Robson, John Random House Australia. Franz Josef land was simply a series of scattered islands that had been incorrectly mapped by their discoverer, Julius Payer. One day Armitage was searching the area with his field glasses when he spotted someone approaching on skis.
The man was covered in oil and grease and black from head to foot. It was Nansen! Unfortunately, they too soon discovered the impossibility of such a trek. Nansen and his companion had been dragging sledges and two kayaks, having eaten all the dogs by then, across seven hundred miles of ice, hoping to reach Spitzbergen where whaling vessels occasionally called.
Finding Armitage saved their lives as a trip across the open seas to Spitzbergen in kayaks would have resulted in certain death. The doctor on the Jackson-Harmsworth expedition had been Reginald Koettlitz, a six foot tall man with drooping mustaches of German heritage. At the age of thirty-nine, Koettlitz received his appointment in Markham described him as "a very honest food fellow, but exceedingly short of commonsense". However, Koettlitz was in agreement with other notable doctors that scurvy, the plague of all polar expeditions, was caused by a poison resulting from putrefaction of preserved food.
The remedy was absolutely pure food. The assistant surgeon was a young man recently qualified at St. George's Hospital. He had a wonderful talent for drawing and painting in water colors, was a deeply religious man and had a passion for birds. His name was Edward Adrian Wilson, son of a Cheltenham doctor. A courageous young man, Wilson spent too many chilly nights bird-watching, too many long nights with his studies to make up for time spent in art galleries, too much starving himself so he could give money to beggars or to buy books, and probably too much smoking.
He ruined his health and contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. After spending two years in Norway and a Swiss sanitarium, he shook the disease but as soon as he began his duties as junior house surgeon he contracted blood poisoning which resulted in a painful abscess in his armpit. When Scott met him in , his arm was still in a sling.
Scott appointed him on the spot but he still had to pass an Admiralty Medical Board. He failed the first time and the second exam, only weeks before sailing, reported "Mr. Wilson unfit on account of disease in the right lung". Scott told Markham he must have him and Wilson told Scott "I quite realize it will be kill or cure, and have made up my mind that it will be cure".
Wilson's contributions to the expedition were enormous and his incredible gallery of original artwork left for our enjoyment is highly prized and very valuable. The three naval officers appointed, at about the same time as Scott, were Charles Royds as first lieutenant, Michael Barne as second naval lieutenant and Reginald Skelton as chief engineer. Royd's charge was to deal with the men and internal economy of the ship. There were still three scientific positions to be filled and the first of those, as naturalist, was offered to a Scot, W.
The position was then offered to Thomas Vere Hodgson, aged thirty-seven, director of the marine biological laboratories in Plymouth. The geologist, Hartley Ferrar, aged twenty-two, had just graduated from Cambridge with an honor's degree. Born in Ireland and raised primarily in South Africa, Markham felt he was capable but "very young, very unfledged, and rather lazy; however, he most likely could be "made into a man in this ship" by "the young lieutenants". The physicist was Louis Bernacchi, aged twenty-five.
His appointment was so late in coming that he had to join the ship in New Zealand. He had spent a very adventurous childhood on a mountainous island that was uninhabited except for his family and their dependents. Louis studied physics and astronomy at the Melbourne Observatory and was the only member of the expedition to have prior experience in the Antarctic. Markham declared him "Always grown up--never a boy". This concluded the complement of primary officers and scientists. She was the sixth of her name and the first to be specifically designed and built for scientific work. She had to be a wooden ship to withstand the pressure of the ice since steel would simply buckle.
She had to be a sailing ship but with auxiliary engines. The ship was to be exceptionally strong, built from a variety of timbers: English oak for the frames, eleven inches thick; Riga fir for the lining, eleven inches; Honduras mahogany, pitch pine or oak for the four-inch-thick lining, all sheathed with two layers of planking--twenty-six inches of solid wood in all. Her bow was incredibly strong; some of the bolts running through the wood were eight and a half feet long.
The vessel was feet long and 34 feet wide, of tons register and a displacement of tons. She had to have room to store fuel, oil, tons of coal, fresh water, dog food, medical supplies, scientific instruments, axes and saws, a sectional wooden hut, a piano and a library. Invitations for bids were offered but only two were received. Food for the 47 men was stored aboard: tons of roast pheasant, of roast turkey, whole roast partridges, jugged hare, duck and green peas, rump steak, wild cherry sauce, celery seed, black currant vinegar, candied orange peel, Stilton and Double Gloucester cheese, 27 gallons of brandy, 27 gallons of whiskey, 60 cases of port, 36 cases of sherry, 28 cases of champagne, lime juice, pounds of tobacco, pemmican, raisins, chocolate and onion powder.
While being loaded, many visitors came to see her. The new King and Queen, still uncrowned, came aboard. The Queen's Pekinese fell overboard and one of the sailors had to rescue it. As Markham noted, "Truly, th ey form the vanguard of England's chivalry. No finer set of men ever left these shores, nor were men ever led by a finer Captain". Discovery launched March 21, This became an immediate concern as New Zealand was 14, miles away.
Her first stop was at Madeira Island where they took on more coal and sent back considerable mail. What could be dried was saved and the rest was thrown overboard. The ship arrived in Cape Town on October 3, where nearly everyone proceeded to get drunk. Owing to the slowness of the voyage, Scott decided to cut the Melbourne leg of the journey and sail directly to Lyttleton, New Zealand. As a result of this decision, Dr. Murray was left in Cape Town so that he could return to his post at the British Museum. Meanwhile, the hospitality extended to the crew was generous, at the very least.
Royds wrote that there was "Not a single sober man on board. The men are rushed at as soon as they get ashore and all good Service feeling is lost and I have awful times. Better men never stepped a plank whilst they are at sea, but in harbor they are nothing but brute beasts, and I am ashamed of them, and told them so, and penitent indeed they are, but only until they are drunk again". Scott wrote that the drunken men "disgust me, but I'm going to have it out with them somehow.
There are only a few black sheep but they lend colour to the flock". A few were discharged and replaced. The men were nearly all bachelors and the young sailors soon were welcomed right into New Zealand homes. Skelton lived with the Meares family and eventually married the youngest daughter, Sybil, while Ferrar went on to meet his future wife in Christchurch. While in New Zealand, Scott was to receive some good news from Markham.
In May Mr. Soon after crossing the Antarctic Circle they entered the ice pack. Just before midnight on January 8, , Royds sighted land off the port bow. They headed for Cape Adare, where Borchgrevink's party had wintered, and soon landed on the beach. From Cape Adare they sailed nearly due south along the shore of Victoria Land and eventually landed at Cape Crozier on the northeastern tip of Ross Island where Royds and Wilson climbed to feet and viewed the Great Ice Barrier stretching as far as the eye could see.
From Cape Crozier they steamed along the eastern edge of the Barrier and on January 30, after emerging from a whiteout in a snowstorm, the eastern extremity of the Barrier was reached where patches of rock were determined to rise feet above them. Scott turned about and retraced their route back to McMurdo Sound where they intended to set up winter quarters. Along the way they stopped long enough for Scott and Shackleton to take a trip aloft in the balloon. The balloon developed a leak and was never used again. After arriving at their winter quarters, the ship was secured by ice-anchors to an ice-foot and a foot square hut was built.
Two smaller huts were put up to house the magnetic instruments and the dogs were moved into their kennels. On February 16, , the sun slipped below the horizon for the first time. It was too late in the season for any long-distance sledge trips so Scott planned a few short practice trips to test the equipment and men.
- Mountains of Madness, A Journey Through Antarctica!
- Distance Calculator - How far is it from Philadelphia – Pennsylvania – USA.
- Landscapes and Landforms of the Czech Republic.
- Abstract Algebra I;
- Post navigation.
As it turned out, Armitage and Bernacchi were the only men with a little dog-driving experience. It was hilarious to watch them but many hard lessons were learned. A hard lesson was learned on this first sledge trip as the three nearly became the first casualties of the expedition.
Distances in the Antarctic are very deceptive and when plans were made, the three felt the island could easily be reached in a day and a half of sledging. The men had decided to haul the sledge themselves. It was two days before they reached the island whereupon a blizzard set in and frostbite struck their faces and feet. They were so exhausted from the trip that they could hardly pitch their tent and cook their meal. The trip taught them how little they actually knew about the Antarctic. On the morning of March 4 the men started out for the penguin rookery at Cape Crozier where they were to leave a canister containing directions on how to find the expedition's winter quarters.
Scott was to lead the party but had to decline as he had injured his knee in a skiing accident. The dogs did hardly anything but fight, frostbite attacked, the snow was so soft that they sank in well above their ankles and progress was so slow that on the second day they only made five miles. The rations got mixed up in the bag so that a mush of sugar, cheese, butter, soup tablets and chocolate had to be cooked together. Most of the dogs went lame and the men were exhausted so on the fourth day Royds decided to push ahead with Koettlitz and Skelton and send the rest, under leadership of Barnes, back to the ship.
Royds and his men had a terrible struggle and after five days of hard going, they still hadn't found the rookery. Royds, Koettlitz and Skelton reached the hut in four days but the other men had not been so lucky. Barnes and the returning party, eight members in all, had arrived to within four miles of the ship at a hill called Castle Rock.
When they reached the summit, a blizzard came up and reduced visibility to nearly nil. They pitched their tents and since they couldn't get their cookers to work, frostbite began to set in. An experienced crew would have remained, no matter how uncomfortable, but the novice crew decided to head out into the storm. They soon found themselves on a steep slippery slope where Evans stepped on a patch of bare ice and tumbled out of sight. Barne sat down and slid after him with Quartley following close behind. All three men miraculously came to a halt when a patch of soft snow stopped them at the edge of a precipice with the sea pounding below.
A howling dog flashed past and disappeared over the edge. Frank Wild took charge of leading the remaining five who were left at the head of the slope. He led them off in the direction of the ship but suddenly came upon a cliff with the dark sea below; another step and he would have gone right over the edge. Unfortunately, Vince could get no grip on the slippery ice and, like the dog, he vanished over the edge and into the sea. Wild, Weller, Heald and Plumley were able to fight their way back to the ship.
Of the original twelve, only four had returned. A search party was quickly organized and led by Wild who came upon Barne, Evans and Quartley wandering about in a daze at Castle Rock. That evening Royds brought in his party and so it seemed only two men were lost, Vince and Clarence Hare. Hare had last been seen heading back to the abandoned sledges to get his ski boots.
Two days later a figure came walking down the hill towards the ship. Incredibly, it was Hare and without even a trace of frostbite.
The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Worst Journey In The World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard.
It seems he had fallen down and simply gone to sleep. The snow covered and preserved him as he slept for thirty-six hours! One more sledging trip was undertaken before winter set in. The objective was to lay depots towards the south for use of the sledging parties in the spring. When they became exhausted, the men crawled into their sleeping bags. As Wilson put it, "Once in, one can do literally nothing but lie as one falls in the tent. Reindeer skin hairs get in your mouth and nose and you can't lift a hand to get them out".
At night the men would sweat which would produce a puddle beneath them and since nothing could be dried, by morning "you put on frozen mitts and frozen boots, stuffed with frozen grass and rime. There's a fascination about it all, but it can't be considered comfort". Two more days of this and Scott decided enough was enough.
They packed up their gear and headed back to the ship with everyone learning from this experience. On April 23, the sun sank below the horizon and would not reappear for more than four months. A winter routine was established with each man having his own special task. Royds was in charge of the seamen and petty officers, who were employed on routine activities such as "watering ship" every few days by hacking out blocks of ice and taking them on board to be melted in the boiler.
Exercise was a problem as blizzards and extreme cold kept everybody inside for days on end. Birthdays were celebrated by special dinners and a religious service was held each Sunday. The South Polar Times appeared, edited by Shackleton, and all were invited to contribute; the first copy was formally presented to Captain Scott. Some men played cards and chess while others read and carried out scientific studies.
Summer sledging began on September 2 when Scott and eight others set out to lay a depot. They were back in three days as the conditions were impossible for both men and dogs. A typical sledging camp can be best described from descriptions written in the diaries of the men who fought the extremes.
The first step was to set up a small tent just large enough for three men to lie down in. Snow was piled up around the outside of the tent in order to hold it down in case of a blizzard. The sledge would be unloaded and the cooker set up inside the tent. One had to be careful when grabbing metal as sometimes your skin would stick right to it. Changing from the day outfit into night gear was a laborious task, indeed. First you removed your finneskoes, making sure you left them in the shape of your feet since they froze as hard as bricks in a few minutes and would be impossible to put on in the morning until one could find a way to thaw them out.
Then you had to unlace your leggings, which had to be done with bare hands. Needless to say, a pause was necessary periodically to stuff your hands back in your pants to keep them from frostbite. Three pairs of socks were pulled on which had been kept next to the body all day in order to keep them warm. Then came a long pair of fur boots reaching above the knee, then fur trousers and finally a loose fur blouse. Day-socks were often tucked inside the pant leggings in order to keep them warm for the next morning.
Then came supper which consisted of a hoosh made of pemmican, cheese, oatmeal, pea-flour and bacon. At bedtime it was often discussed whether each man should sleep in his own bag or if three should try it together. Unfortunately, one could not move without disturbing the others, not to mention the fit of experiencing a leg cramp, which they often did.
- THE WORST JOURNEY.
- Navigation menu.
- Finite-temperature field theory?
- Viola Sonata No. 1, Movement 3 - Piano Score!
- Open All Night: New Poems;
- No Lovelier Death (The Faraday and Winter series Book 9);
Condensation of breath was another problem. After a few days the inside of the tent became covered with a layer of ice and every time the wind shook it, a shower of ice fell on the men sleeping beneath. Also, their breath froze in their beards and around the necks of their fur coats which produced a collar as stiff as a board. Shivering fits could last for hours. Next morning, the whole process would be repeated in reverse.
Then, Bernacchi wrote twenty-five years later, came a ceremony that no one ever talks about. Bathrooms were ruled out since they took too long to dig and besides, they would just fill up with snow. So, "feeling like a ham in a sack", each man took his turn loosening his clothes, going out into the snow, facing the wind and "watchfully awaiting a temporary lull. It's a ghastly business". No matter how quick you were, your clothes would fill with snow and for the next few hours you would walk around with a wet, cold bottom.
Some of the men suffered from dysentery so one can easily imagine how much misery these men had to sustain when blizzards raged for days on end. On September 17, Scott went on a preliminary reconnaissance with Barne and Shackleton. On the second night a blizzard came up and nearly took their tent away as they had neglected to pile enough snow around the outside.
Before they made it back to the ship all had suffered from frostbite. Many sledging trips took place over the spring and early summer. On November 2 Scott, Wilson and Shackleton set forth on their southern journey together with a large supporting party under Barne. This was to be the centerpiece of the expedition. Soon after leaving, they were slowed by sticky snow and deep sastrugi. A two-day blizzard kept them in their tent and on the third day Shackleton started to cough.
Beyond Minna Bluff, they were into the unknown and "already appeared to be lost on the great open plain". At the 79th parallel, photographs were taken and half of Barne's supporting party turned back. The rest pushed on until November 15 at which time the balance of Barne's party took for home. From the next day, things began to go wrong. The major problem came with the dogs.
Instead of bringing dog biscuit to feed them, dried stockfish was brought. From November 16 onwards Scott's diary makes sad reading, with the dogs daily losing heart and condition, and the men's hopes of making a heroic journey slowly fading away. There was nothing they could do but to press on as far south as they could and when the dogs could do no more hauling, they simply would do the hauling themselves.
They would have been better off just killing the dogs and depoting the meat as they sledged south but they went on hoping somehow the dogs would revive. On November 25, the party became the first to cross the 80th parallel, beyond which all maps were blank. Hunger now became a problem with the men as rations were significantly reduced in order to preserve what little food they had left.
On December 5 Scott wrote, "The events of the day's march are now becoming so dreary and dispiriting that one longs to forget them when we camp; it is an effort even to record them in a diary. Our utmost efforts could not produce more than three miles for the whole march". Five days later the first dog died.
The other dogs pounced on the fallen animal and ate the corpse. They decided to try and save the best nine dogs by feeding them the flesh of the others. Wilson volunteered for the job of butchering as Scott considered the job "a moral cowardice of which I am heartily ashamed". The victim was led away, with tail wagging, as the others howled in anticipation of the meal to come.
Scott wrote, "We can only keep them on the move by constant shouting; this devolves on me. Stripes and Brownie doing absolutely nothing and vomiting. Poor old Grannie pulled till she could pull no longer and lay down in the snow; they put her on a sledge and she soon died. The dogs take away all idea of enjoying the marches".
More problems appeared as Dr. Wilson noticed that Shackleton's gums were swollen, the first sign of scurvy. Portions of seal meat were increased but "hunger is gripping us very tightly". On December 20 Wilson lay awake all night from sheer hunger. On December 26 snow-blindness was bothering Wilson's eyes so badly that he finally told Scott. The next day he hauled his sledge blindfolded as Scott described to him the mountains that were coming into view. Within sight was a huge peak which was larger than any mountain they had seen thus far.
They estimated its height at 13, feet and named it Mt. They had traveled miles farther south than anyone before them and were only statute miles from the Pole. A dog a day was dropping dead or being slaughtered. Bismark was killed on January 4, Boss dropped behind and was never seen again, and when Kid died, they gave up trying to drive the rest and instead set them free to follow behind. When they were down to one day's ration, Scott pulled out his telescope and spotted the depot left on the outward march. Meanwhile, Shackleton's scurvy symptoms had reappeared; his throat was congested, his breath short, his gums were red and swollen and he started to spit blood.
Now there were only two men to pull the sledges as Shackleton could only walk beside them in order to avoid too much exertion. On January 18, , Shackleton completely gave out which forced them to camp for a number of days. Finally, on January 28 they reached Depot A, only sixty miles from the ship.
With Shackleton aboard one of the sledges, the team set off the next day and sledged fifteen miles. On February 2, White Island came into view and Scott wrote,"We are as near spent as three persons can be". On February 3, Skelton and Bernacchi came out and greeted them. Soon they were back on the ship with handshakes and congratulations coming from all.
They had been gone for ninety-three days and had covered statute miles. On January 24, she made fast with ice-anchors to the flow off Hut Point. On February 22 they tried blowing holes in the ice with explosives to crack the floes but this didn't work. Fourteen tons of stores were offloaded onto the ice along with twenty tons of coal.
In his diary, Scott wrote that "On board he would have remained a source of anxiety, and would never have been able to do hard out-door work".
Greenpeace UK co-founder, Pete Wilkinson: 'Some of the things we did made people’s jaws drop'
Shackleton shed tears as he watched his friends and shipmates drop out of sight. The winter of set in earlier and was much colder than the year before. Sledging plans were made for the following season while resentment grew between Scott and Armitage. Royds wanted to go back to Cape Crozier to look for more penguin eggs while Armitage wanted to go south across the Barrier, more or less in Scott's footsteps.
Royds wrote, "In my opinion, his sole wish is to beat the Captain's record. This the Captain wouldn't allow, though not for that reason by any means". This put Scott in an awkward position. If he refused, Armitage would charge that Scott wanted to keep the "farthest south" record to himself and not "let a subordinate have a go". This raised the question with Scott: are they there to do scientific and discovery work or are they there to compete for a dash to the South Pole? Scott clearly felt that it was the first-named objective.
Scott could find no purpose in allowing Armitage to make a dash to the south as he felt, without dogs, Armitage would be fortunate to get as far as he had and would only risk death for himself and his party. It simply made no sense to Scott. Wilson wrote, "The Captain worked out the possibilities on paper and showed them to me, and I agreed with him in thinking it was far better to apply all our sledging energies to new work, rather than covering old ground with the chance of doing so little at the end of it.
The upshot of it all is that Armitage is off the sledging list for this year altogether, though whether this is due to himself or anyone else I cannot say". Armitage's resentment only deepened. On August 21, the rim of the sun appeared for the first time over the horizon.
There were to be two major ventures, each with a supporting party to lay depots and then return. Scott was to go west up the Ferrar glacier as far as he could get; Barne was to explore an inlet south of McMurdo Strait. The first to leave the ship, on September 7, were Royds, Wilson and four men, bound for Cape Crozier. The journey was rather uneventful as eggs and two live chicks were collected. They arrived back at the ship without any further hardship.
On September 9 Scott set out with Skelton and four others to lay a depot in preparation for the ascent of the western mountains. Meanwhile, Barne's party was out on the Barrier laying a depot southeast of White Island where the mercury in their thermometer dropped to Scott's team left for their main journey on October With four sledges, hauling pounds per man, they reached New Harbor and dragged their loads up Ferrar glacier to a basin at about feet. The runners on the sledges became damaged to the point that the whole team had to turn around and travel eighty-seven miles back to the ship for repairs.
Five days later they started out again and this time they succeeded in struggling to the top of the mountains where they were caught in a blizzard that nearly buried them alive. It was the most miserable week of his life, Scott wrote. They spent twenty-two out of every twenty-four hours in their sleeping bags for a whole week. They only climbed out long enough to get the cooker going and eat a hot meal.
On November 14 they reached the summit at feet where they found themselves on a flat plain. For the next two weeks they sledged due west. A constant icy wind produced raw and bleeding lips. Lashly wrote, "The wind seems to be very troublesome here". On December 1 the team turned back.
Scott wrote, "I don't know where we are but I know we must be a long way to the west. As long as I live, I never want to revisit the summit of Victoria Land". He was disappointed to find it an endless plateau nearly feet above sea level. It was now a familiar story: hunger, exhaustion, deep sastrugi, fog, snowdrift, frostbite and snow-blindness.
Food ran short and oil was nearly gone. On December 14 Scott faced the fact that they were lost. They had reached the edge of the plateau and were beginning to descend when Lashly slipped and started to slide on his back down the slope. In the process, he took the legs out from under the others and down they went, sledge and all, and when they came to a halt, they were stunned to find themselves at the head of the glacier, in familiar territory, only five or six miles from their depot.
Miraculously, there were no broken bones. In Lashly's words, "all of a sudden the Captain and Evans disappeared down a crevasse and carried away one of the sledge runners, leaving me on top. It was now my duty to try and get them up again". Scott and Evans were left dangling with blue walls of ice on either side and nothingness below. Remarkably, Scott was able to swing his feet around and grip the wall with his crampons.
Using the last of his strength, Scott was able to climb out to safety while Lashly pulled Evans up, whose only comment was "Well, I'm blowed". That night they reached the depot and eight days later, on Christmas Eve, they reached the ship. In fifty-nine days they had hauled their sledge miles. Only four men were at the ship to greet them when they arrived as the others were out on the ice, ten miles away, sawing and blasting at the ice in the hope of breaking it up to a point where the DISCOVERY could be freed.
Scott was pleased that all the sledging trips had returned safely. On the western mountains Ferrar had discovered a fossil leaf. Wilson was pleased with the results of his "penguin" expedition. By the end of December, "twenty miles of ice hangs heavy on me".
Scott had to start preparations for a third winter at Hut Point. On January 5, a ship came into view. Wilson wrote, "We were dumbfounded". Wilson and Scott set off for the two ships and were subsequently greeted at the edge of the ice by four men speaking "such perfect Dundee that we could hardly understand a word they said". They had no idea of the problems encountered by Markham in England but one thing they knew for certain: one ship was all that was needed and to send two implied they were in deep trouble and unable to handle things on their own.
Scott wrote, "It was not a little trying to be offered relief to an extent which seemed to suggest that we have been reduced to the direst need. No healthy man likes to be thought an invalid". Scott was very concerned that his career would be jeopardized. After all, if found an incompetent commander by his superiors, he might as well forget any promotion upon their return. Ironically, the Government seemed concerned that the expedition might be having too good a time.
To them it made no sense to have their officers and men remain indefinitely in the Antarctic on full pay, all the while feasting on seals and provisions sent at great expense in an annual relief ship. In July the Government "could not consent to the officers and men of the Royal Navy being employed in any further expedition in the ice, even if sufficient private funds were raised for such a purpose, and that Commander Scott will receive directions to this effect". Scott was furious. She was dearly loved by her crew; she had been their home for two and a half years.
Related From Deptford to Antarctica: The Long Way Home
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved