November 21, 2011
Shackleton’s Nimrod Hut, Lat. 77 33 South. Long 166 67 E
Last night, we left Franklin Island about 10 pm and continued our journey south to McMurdo Sound. Mt Erbus came into view during early afternoon. What a lovely sight as we cruised along side Ross Island. The ice was amazingly thin for this time of year which allowed the Captain to park the Kapitan Khlebnikov a few miles from Cape Royds. It is extremely unusual to get into the ice so close to Cape Royds.
Suddenly after securing a position for the ship to begin the helicopter operation to Shackleton’s hut, whiteout condition appeared from nowhere. The operation was delayed but we all made it off the ship to visit the hut within the next few hours. The hut was constructed during Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition 1907-1909. It was used again during his later expeditions. The 7 x 8.5 m hut housed 14 occupants. It also contains a laboratory and darkroom.
The Antarctic Heritage Trust maintains the hut and its artifacts so that this part of Antarctica history will never be lost. They allow only few people at a time into the hut for 15 minutes. Still, for those for those few minutes, I traveled back into time.
(This is Laurie’s fourth visit to Antarctica. She is blogging her way through this epic month-long Antarctica cruise; the Kapitan Khlebnikov’s Ross Sea Centennial Voyage. Tune in for daily updates from the field. Pictures from Laurie’s past Antarctica travels are found on her website.)