NOVEMBER 23, 2011
During the early morning the captain moved the ship south toward Cape Evans on Ross Island. The ship was at its furthest point south on this expedition. Temperature was minus 4 degree C, with wind making it a bit chilly, but the sky was mostly blue. It was a perfect day for our flight to Cape Evans to visit Robert Falcon Scott’s hut until whiteout conditions appeared during the afternoon. The flights were started and stopped numerous times, but eventually all passengers were able to visit the Terra Nova hut on Ross Island.
Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery expedition stayed in the Terra Nova hut on Ross Island during 1911-1912. From this hut Scott and four members of his expedition team began their journey to the South Pole on November 1, 1911. They reached the South Pole on January 17, 1912 just one month after Roald Amundsen had already claimed the South Pole. None of the members of Scott’s Polar party survived the expedition.
Yet, the hut and its artifacts have been so well maintained by the New Zealand Heritage Trust, it is as if Scott’s expedition team is still living there. At any moment Scott and his men could have walked through the door with snow covered boots. As I entered the stable I imagined explorers Cherry Garrard, Bowers and Wilson talking about their journey to Cape Crozier. To think that I stood in the very spot with likely the same weather conditions where Scott’s team embarked on their incredible journey 100 years ago.
(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.)