ARCHIVE - ANTARCTIC NEWS
IRELAND: EXHIBITION COMPLEMENTS THE KILDARE 2014 SHACKLETON SCHOOL
ATHY STAGES A DOUBLY SUCCESSFUL SERIES OF EVENTS
The event runs from Saturday 25 October to Friday 5 December.
The Centre is famous for presenting major events relating to Antarctic Heritage, as well as local heritage in County Kildare, where Ernest Shackleton was born at Kilkea, between Castledermot and Athy, in 1874.
The exhibition features prints from the original film of the Expedition's pioneering polar photographer, the late George Lowe; and is complemented by artefacts and selected objects from private collections. Its visual narrative is based on the new book by Huw Lewis-Jones, published by Thames & Hudson.
The opening also saw the launch by celebrated singer-actor Aidan Dooley of Michael Smith's new book on the 'Boss': Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer.
A book accompanying the exhibition is on sale in the Museum.
JOURNAL: PACKED NEW EDITION OF THE JAMES CAIRD SOCIETY JOURNAL
VOLUME SEVEN OCTOBER 2014, EDITED BY STEPHEN SCOTT-FAWCETT FRGS
This edition of the Journal will be all the more prized for the many new and unfamiliar photographs the Editor has selected for inclusion. They in themselves tell a remarkable tale - of heroism, of initiative, of research.
What makes this so timely is that the 'Shackleton Boat Project' has led to the bringing south from Scotland of Trevor's James Caird replica, the Sir Ernest Shackleton, for restoration and permanent display at the Scott-Polar Research Institute in Cambridge (SPRI), with support from the Society and particularly from Stephen Scott-Fawcett and Alastair and Virginia Woodrow, who were also generously behind the funding and building of the Sir Ernest Shackleton. Ginny is the daughter of the Society's founder, Harding McGregor Dunnett.
In particular, Trevor remembers with pleasure the delight they all felt in calling London and being put through to the London Boat Show, where the original James Caird was being displayed under the watchful eyes of Harding Dunnett and Alexandra Shackleton. In a way, that provided the crew with a journey back in time, and a feeling of direct touch with the very reason for their reenaction voyage. If a full crossing of the mountains eluded them, Trevor was indeed the first to skipper a reenactment of the boat journey.
Stephen Scott-Fawcett himself performs a considerable service in drawing attention to the other great Antarctic explorers of the Heroic Age, offering a pen picture of the achievements of each.
Not only Swedish-Norwegian, but French, German, Belgian, Australian, American, Scottish, Irish, English and even Japanese pioneers played a role in the exploration of the great white continent. Thus the great Otto Nordenskjöld, Adrien de Gerlache and Wilhelm Filchner all receive apt tributes. One has to remember that Shackleton often felt far more at home with his continental contemporaries and rivals than with his UK-based colleagues. It was from de Gerlache that he bought the Stavanger-built Polaris, which became the Endurance. Nor should William Speirs Bruce's successful 1902-4 expedition, which saw the naming of the extensive Coats Land coast to the east of the Weddell Sea, be forgotten.
Bob pays special attention to the role played by Captain Carl Anton Larsen, both at the outset and subsequently up to his death at the Ross Sea in 1924; his family still remains in touch and it is Capt. Larsen's foundations that largely and generously fund the ongoing well-being of the building.
The announcement of the discovery created a press frenzy, with well near a thousand stories being printed worldwide, as the first crate was transported to New Zealand by the US Air Force and a slow process of defrosting the ice inside was undertaken. The majority of bottles were undamaged. Richard Paterson of Whyte and Mackay was able to announce that analysis revealed a 'light, floral taste' quite distinct from the peatier whiskies of today. Once a replica had been produced under his supervision, the original test bottles were repatriated to New Zealand and the crates to Cape Royds.
LECTURE: ANTARCTICA: TRUTH AND LEGEND - 31 MAY 2014 AT KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON
4-5 PM FORUM HOSTED BY THE AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE & THE ARTS
The James Caird Society's President, the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, will be one of the speakers at a discussion entitled 'Antarctica: Truth and Legend', to be hosted by the Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and the Arts on Saturday, 31 May.
The cost is £10 (£8 for concessions). Details and how to book your place at the discussion can be found at the AusNZ Festival website, http://ausnzfestival.com/event/antarctica-truth-and-legend
It has spawned a wealth of literary fiction and countless biographies, but where does the truth end and the legend begin?
The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton is President of the James Caird Society who work to preserve the legacy of her grandfather, Sir Ernest Shackleton and to support further research and exploration.
She will be joined by the Australian-born Antarctica expert, author and historian Meredith Hooper. In 1994 she was selected by The Australian Antarctic Division to visit Antarctica as a writer; and was subsequently chosen by the US National Science Foundation to visit Antarctica as a writer in 1998-1999 and 2001-2002, on their Antarctica Artists Writers Program. Her writings include the celebrated children's book 'A for Antarctica')
With them will be Jesse Blackadder, whose book Chasing The Light: A novel of Antarctica tells the tale of the first woman to reach Antarctica. Her novel for younger readers, Stay: The Last Dog in Antarctica was published in 2013.
They will discuss what draws them to this inspirational landscape, and why the facts and fictions of Antarctica continue to enthral.
SHACKLETON: THE BOSS'S GRAVE : A FINAL MISSING PART RETURNS
HMS PROTECTOR DOES THE HONOURS AT THE GRAVESIDE
Sailors on board HMS Protector have returned a stone to an isolated grave 75 years after it was removed by a young rating.
Joseph Collis served on board HMS Ajax when it anchored in South Georgia in 1937. During a brief visit to Grytviken, the former whaling station, Collis, still virtually a teenager, was one who visited the grave site of Sir Ernest Shackleton; and being moved by the experience, decided to pocket a piece of green granite as a trophy.
But the decision stirred remorse within the sailor, who always regretted taking the stone. Now Portsmouth-based HMS Protector has fulfilled his long-held wish to return it to its rightful place.
Captain Rhett Hatcher, HMS Protector's commanding officer, said: 'HMS Protector was pleased to be able to carry the stone on what was the last leg of its long journey. Returning the missing stone to Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave made an excellent finale to our period completing important work with the government of South Georgia and members of the South Georgia Heritage Trust.'
At his funeral, Joseph's son, Malcolm, recounted his father's remorse at taking the stone, and pledged to see it returned. Malcolm Collis contacted the government of South Georgia and asked for assistance. Touched by his story, the government said it was happy to help, and arranged for Malcolm to send the stone to HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hants.
The stone was then flown to the South Atlantic and passed on to the first ship heading for South Georgia: HMS Protector. The Portsmouth-based ice patrol ship has been tasked to visit Grytviken to collect hydrographic data. So Captain Hatcher seized the opportunity to replace the stone, ending its 8,000 mile journey around the world.
[Joseph retained the relatively small stone as a treasured keepsake throughout his adult life. His feeling it was important perhaps showed discernment and a respect for courage and adventure in the young man.
Since he survived to the grand old age of 95 - double Shackleton's age - it would be nice to think that his trust in Sir Ernest gave him just a bit of help along the path to such an august age!]
ART: ATMOSPHERIC ALPS TO ANTARCTICA PAINTINGS EXHIBITION CONTINUES TILL DECEMBER
AT THE ALPINE CLUB, LONDON EC2. SUPERB POLAR AND SUB-POLAR CANVASES BY AN EMINENT AND ACCOMPLISHED ARTIST
The Display can be visited until Christmas this year, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Non members of the Club by prior arrangement, please.)
Venue: The Alpine Club, 55 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3QF (Tel: 020 7613 0755).
NEW ZEALAND WOMEN'S EXPEDITION HONOURS FRANK WORSLEY
WALKING AND SKIING EXPEDITION TO SOUTH GEORGIA IN AUTUMN 2012
In October 2012, five women from Wanaka, New Zealand are planning a "Wake of Worsley" expedition to South Georgia, to retrace part of the journey made by Frank Worsley, a New Zealander born and raised in Akaroa, near Canterbury in South Island and the crucial member of Shackleton's crew aboard the James Caird.
The women plan to ski the Shackleton Traverse, a focal part of the original 1916 journey, becoming the first all-woman team to do this; and to climb Mt Worsley, not climbed as yet by any New Zealanders.
The group of five consists of Vivien Eyers, Kylie Wakelin, Lee Ball, Lydia Bradey and Brenda May George.
"We plan to sail from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia," explains Vivien. "Because of the isolated location the regulations for any landing on South Georgia are stringent, and require suitable yacht backup. An expedition committee vets all applications. They require two qualified guides per team and we meet this requirement by having Lydia and Kylie in our team."
"We will retrace Worsley's steps over the island (The Shackleton Traverse) and include an ascent of Mt Worsley, conditions permitting. We intend to go in October 2012 as conditions at that time of year will be good for skiing across which we see as a much more appealing and safer option than trekking around hundreds of open crevasses."
"Shackleton, Worsley and Crean took 36 hours for their crossing, as they simply had to keep going or die; we plan to take three days, either adding time for the attempt on Mt Worsley or taking a further opportunity while we are at South Georgia: two weeks in all, plus two weeks for the return sailing trip."
"By retracing part of Frank Worsley's arduous journey we aim to bring to life, the achievements of this adventurous, brave and skilful but under-recognised New Zealand hero," says Eyers.
"We want to inspire others to connect to the adventurous Kiwi spirit and our seafaring heritage. We aim to encourage others, particularly young people, to aspire to the example of courage, hope and endurance set by this amazing Kiwi."
SKIP NOVAK'S PELAGIC VESSELS
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SHACKLETON : ENVIRONMENTAL EXPEDITION TRACES SHACKLETON'S ROUTE
TEAM LED BY MICHAEL AW CHARTS SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF ANTARCTICA
The National Maritime Museum magazine reports that in February 2010 a team of explorers inspired by the heroic spirit of Shackleton set off to document photographically a part of Antarctica, the world's last pristine wilderness.
The route of the 19-day Elysium Epic expedition roughly followed the track of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew after they lost the Endurance. This took them to the Weddell Sea, then across the treacherous Drake Passage and on to South Georgia.
One of the primary objectives of the expedition's leader, award-winning underwater photographer Michael AW, Director of the Ocean Geographic Society and founding director of the conservation charity OceanNEnvironment, and his team was to document faithfully, in present time, the sights and sounds of the region that those early 20th Century explorers would have experienced. It is, he said, "about extraordinary explorers using advanced imaging technologies to document the last wilderness on our planet. The aim of the project is to provide a visual library that documents the flora and fauna of Antarctica, and to produce a documentary feature and book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the heroic legendary expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Trans Antarctic challenge in 1914b
The 57-member team came from 18 countries and included artists, photographers, film-makers, musicians and scientists. They included Emory Kristof, who with Robert Ballard discovered the wreck of the Titanic; the celebrated photographer David Doubilet (of National Geographic fame); and Jonathan Shackleton, Sir Ernest's cousin, who as expedition historian provided accounts of early explorations of Antarctica, including the first sightings in 1820 and first landing in 1821.
During the Elysium project they produced evidence of the rapid warming of the Antarctic Peninsula: the reductions in sea ice, ice sheet collapse and increases in air and water temperatures are major areas of concern. Rain is quite common and it and soft snowfalls create a significant threat to marine life. Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap and King penguins were noted, and crabeater, leopard, Weddell and fur seals. All are dependent on krill (small crustaceans) for their food, which can be abundant one year and almost absent the next.
Their landing on Elephant Island was notable for the presence of fur seals at Cape Wild, which are recovering after man's depredations in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The glaciers draining the icecaps of the peninsula and surrounding islands are also shrinking. The thunderous calving of icebergs and rumble of avalanches were evidence of this. The abundance of wildlife on South Georgia was gratifying, and included reindeer roaming the hillsides. Among the birds in evidence were albatrosses and petrels.
The National Maritime Museum is exploring the possibility of hosting the world premiere of the Elysium Epic exhibition. The Elysium Epic book will be published in 2013, in time for the centenary of the Endurance expedition.
SCOTT : THE SCOTT100 WEBSITE AT THE SCOTT-POLAR, CAMBRIDGE
TO CELEBRATE THE CENTENARY OF CAPTAIN SCOTT'S LAST EXPEDITION
David Wilson, coordinator of the Captain Scott Centenary plans at the Scott-Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, has announced the launch of a significant new website, marking the centenary of Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova expedition, as follows:
Dear Antarctica 100 network,
You will all be pleased to hear that the Scott centenary event co-ordination website which we agreed at the last Antarctica 100 meeting has now gone live. The URL is http://www.scott100.org
In due course, we hope to add a facility for press releases, so that this can become a one-stop media and public relations site for Scott centenary events.
However, there is a limit as to what we can post on here and so I suggest that you all put relevant details of your own events on to your own websites and then send the link so that we can link to more detailed information from scott100.org.
Contact: Rachel Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
With my thanks and best wishes,
Dr David M.Wilson
Scott Centenary Co-ordinator SPRI
01303 256 627
POLAR : REPUTABLE UP TO DATE ANTARCTIC NEWS WEBSITE
THE ANTARCTIC SUN - REGULAR NEWS FROM THE US ANTARCTIC PROGRAM
For regular news of events and discoveries in the Antarctic, try browsing the website The Antarctic Sun (http://antarcticsun.usap.gov)
This is the newspaper of the Unites States Antarctic Program, and contains much of interest for Antarctic enthusiasts.
It was the USAP which temporarily erected the South Pole's impressive geodesic dome, devoted to polar studies. The dome was still in place when the Centenary Expedition led by Henry Worsley arrived there, and was finally disassembled, after three decades' useful life, in January 2010.
The website also includes features on individuals conducting current or recent polar research and activities, and a wide range of interesting articles.
WILD: A PLAQUE TO HONOUR FRANK WILD IN GRYTVIKEN; AND A TUNNEL THROUGH ELEPHANT ISLAND
NEWS FROM THE INFORMATIVE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE WEBSITE
First, a plaque in honour of Commander Frank Wild has been erected in the church at Grytviken, South Georgia to honour the veteran of five Antarctic eexpeditions and Shackleton's most trusted lieutenant.
The sculptor Angie Butler, who has done research in South Africa where Wild died and was cremated in 1939, was concerned that apart from a plaque in his local church in St John the Baptist Church, Eversholt, Bedfordshire, there is no lasting memorial to this Yorkshire-born legend of Antarctic exploration and leadership.
Angie and Elsa Davidson, curator of the Museum at Grytviken, are pictured on Antarctic Circle flanking the newly presented bronze plaque, now handsomely displayed on the wall of the Grytviken Whalers' Church. She writes in Antarctic Circle explaining the development of the project and indicates that any assistance towards this worthwhile enterprise, which cost around £1,600, from individuals or donating funds would be welcome.
To read the full article and see Ted Stump's impressive photo, please visit the Antarctic circle website.
A GUIDED TOUR OF HMS 'ENDURANCE' IN PORTSMOUTH
SOCIETY REPRESENTATIVES PAY A VISIT TO THE CELEBRATED ANTARCTIC RESEARCH SHIP
|Visit the HMS Endurance website for information about Shackleton and his Endurance crew|
'However, we have done it with flying colours and are very glad to be here.
The ship is ready and raring to get to work in Antarctica early in the New Year. We have many exciting and challenging days ahead of us. We look forward to sharing them with you all and hope that you will be able to get a real sense of what it is like in the most amazing place in the world!
'I really want to thank our friends, families and all those around the world who follow out antics and travels on the Visit and Learn website. It is hugely important to us to know we have your support: your messages really do cheer us up on a gloomy day.'
FAMOUS POLAR CRUISE SHIP MV 'EXPLORER' SINKS OFF THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA
DOUGHTY ANTARCTIC TOURISTS EXPERIENCE A TASTE OF 'THE SHACKLETON EXPERIENCE'
Some 445 miles south-east of Ushuaia, the Explorer was in the general area of the South Shetlands and Graham Land, off King George Island and approaching the Bransfield Strait as she made for the tip of Antarctica and the Danco coast, when it apparently struck what Shackleton would have known as a 'growler', an underwater iceberg.
One of the cabins below the waterline was punctured with a hole 'the size of a fist', and there was subsequent cracking. That was sufficient, after attempts were made to stem the water incursion, to cause a 45 degree list in the ship. 90 minutes later the captain gave orders for 'abandon ship'.
The area north of the tip of Antarctica is famously prone to major storms and howling winds. Fortunately the conditions were relatively mild (only -5 degrees centigrade, with a sea temperature at around -1 degree), seas were calm and winds light at the time, providing optimal conditions for an evacuation, and everyone was safely evacuated from the eight semi-rigid lifeboats and four life rafts onto the 403 foot, ten-year-old Norwegian cruise ship NorNorge, in a rescue operation coordinated from Norfolk, Virginia and by the Argentinians in Ushuaia.
The Chilean navy, which first received a distress signal around 10 p.m. Eastern Time on the night of Thursday 22 Nov (3 a.m. GMT on Friday morning) reported that after attempts by the captain and crew to see if she could be righted, the water pumped out and the damage made good, the Explorer was completely abandoned and finally sank beneath the Antarctic waves on the evening of Friday 23rd November, about 20 hours after the accident.
Gap Adventures spokeswoman Susan Hayes said it was not an iceberg, but a "submerged piece of ice."
The MV Explorer is known as the 'Little Red Ship', a 'small ship with a big heart', because of its plucky endeavours prior to now. She was the first custom-built ship designed for cruises and expeditions; most famously, she was the first cruise ship to traverse the North West Passage, and to visit the far east of Russia as part of an Arctic exploration. Originally Scandinavian-owned, she currently belonged to Gap Adventures, a respected Canadian travel firm, sailing under a Liberian flag of convenience.
The Independent also reported Captain Arnvid Hansen, the Norwegian skipper of the NordNorge, as saying, 'All are aboard my vessel. There are no afraid passengers, or anything like that. Some are cold but none has hypothermia. We are giving them as many clothes as we can.'
THE FUCHS FOUNDATION LAUNCHES ITS APPEAL ON 24 OCT
IN CELEBRATION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL CROSSING OF ANTARCTICA
Wednesday October 24th 2007 sees the launch of a Public Appeal to mark the relaunch of the Fuchs Foundation (Patron: Sir Ranulph Fiennes) with a programme of illustrated Lectures and a Reception at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London, starting at 7.00 p.m.
'Inspiring Teachers - Changing Lives' celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the First Crossing of Antarctica by The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1956-58, led by Sir Vivian Fuchs (1908-99), Past President of the RGS, and wishes 'bon voyage' to the first Fuchs Foundation teachers expedition to the Antarctic (details below). Effecting the first ever crossing of Antarctica was the project planned by Shackleton for his 1914-16 Imperial Transantartic Expedition.
The Vivian Fuchs evening's Programme will be: 6.00 Doors open (pay bar available). At 7.00 there follow two lectures, introduced by the evening's host, the Environmental Consultant Tom Heap: "Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition - The Last Heroic Age Expedition", by Peter Fuchs - an account by the Explorer's son of the planning, difficulties overcome and final success of the 1956-8 Expedition; and "The Science Legacy: Antarctic Science Today", by Prof. Lloyd Peck, scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, examining the legacy of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition. At 8.30 there follow a Reception (wine, refreshments and canapes, together with a pay bar) and an Exhibition of memorabilia of the Transantactic Expedition.
The idea of founding a Fuchs Foundation was conceived by a party of British Antarctic Survey scientists wintering on South Georgia in 1973/4. Its prime objective was, fittingly, to mark the service of Sir Vivian Fuchs as the first Director of the BAS. It was Fuchs who, in partnership with Sir Edmund Hillary, succeeded in fulfilling Sir Ernest Shackleton's ambition of crossing Antarctica from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea via the South Pole - the objective which Shackleton's 1914-16 Endurance expedition was unable to achieve when it became trapped in the ice.
According to the original Trust deed, the stated objective was: "To provide education and character training, physical moral and spiritual for boys and girls and young men and women who are in necessitous circumstances, through adventurous and challenging experiences."
Over the first 30 years of its existence the Fuchs Foundation has helped over 200 young people in this way.
The Foundation has now been re-launched as a purely Educational
charity which will send Science and Geography teachers to the Polar regions. On 3 November 2008 four young teachers will be setting off to experience immense challenges in a dangerous and extreme environment in Antarctica.
The aim for the teachers will be challenging themselves to undertake useful projects which they will convert into exciting lessons for their students, helping them with the National Curriculum. The present expedition will head for the Ellsworth Mountains (approximately 80 degrees S and 83 degrees W), deep inland on Western Antarctica. The team of two leaders (from the expedition's coordinators, Bull Precision Expeditions) and four teachers will fly in to the Patriots Hills base of Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions, on their first flight of the 2007/8 austral summer.
THE AURORA AUSTRALIS AND AURORA BOREALIS
News of dramatic pictures from space of the Antarctica's Aurora Australis and her northern equivalent, the Aurora Borealis, can be found at the BBC's Science and Technology site, and also at the superb National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Library site.
ROSS DEPENDENCY STAMPS
The webmaster of the New Zealand-based 'Antarctic Link' website has written to say: 'You might be interested in the recent issue of Ross Dependency stamps - the set of six use wonderful original photos from the first Discovery expedition and the 40c stamp has, I believe, a photo of the three 'southern trekkers' including Shackleton.'
In fact, Shackleton and Endurance are both commemorated on the $1.50c stamp.
The letter goes on: 'Should any of your members wish to visit us in Christchurch and Lyttelton (or you might even like to arrange a group trip here) please let me know and I'll see if I can coordinate meetings with some of our resident scientists and historians, including those presently or formerly connected with Heritage Expeditions, the conserving of the Ross Sea Historic Sites and the curating of the Antarctic Section of the Canterbury Museum.'
STRIKING PHOTOS OF ANTARCTICA
ANTARCTIC PHOTOS AT GERMAN ONLINE SITE
Antarctic Link has also drawn our attention to the valuable and intriguing collection of photos of Antarctica which can be found at a German language site, &-Online, including some taken by Pete Bucktrout, the British Antarctic Survey's photographer.
LEADING ANTARCTIC EXPLORERS: SHIRASE, DE GERLACHE, NORDENSKJöLD, FILCHNER, WILKINS
The 'South Pole' site is also a very useful source for biographies of the main competitors in the history of Antarctic exploring, both early pioneers and those who were part of the second great age of Antarctic exploration.
The completion of the great British naval expedition of 1839-43, under the command of James Clark Ross on HMS Erebus and Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier on HMS Terror brought to an end the era of early Antarctic exploration. On the other hand, a significant number of sealing and whaling voyages were undertaken by a variety of nations in the years leading up to the end of the century.
In July 1895, the Sixth International Geographical Congress met in London and adopted a resolution: 'That this congress record its opinion that the exploration of the Antarctic Regions is the greatest piece of geographical exploration still to be undertaken. That in view of the additions to knowledge in almost every branch of science which would result from such a scientific exploration the Congress recommends that the scientific societies throughout the world should urge in whatever way seems to them most effective, that this work should be undertaken before the close of the century'.
Just such an undertaking was already under preparation by a lieutenant in the Royal Belgian Navy. He was 29 years old and his name was Adrien Victor Joseph de Gerlache. a 250-ton barque was purchased for 70,000 francs in Norway. The three-masted whaler Patric had been built for the icy waters of the north. Extensive refitting was done and subsequently re-christened as the Belgica. On July 29, 1896, de Gerlache received a letter from a 25-year-old Norwegian wishing to sail, unpaid, aboard the 'Belgica'. His request was accepted and thus Roald Amundsen was added to the ship's crew.
The stories of other great figures in the history of Antarctic Exploration can also be found there. They include Otto Nordenskjöld, the Scandinavian who was also the discoverer of the North East Passage (north of Russia to the Bering Strait) and who also suffered a disaster to his ship and threat to his and his men's lives comparable to Shackleton's loss of the Endurance.
Indeed Nordenskjöld's disaster, and the remarkable story of the saving of his men, together with other stories of ship-loss and survival (or non-survival) from earlier in the century and in the early years of Polar exploration, will have had a strong influence on the planning of men like Shackleton, Nansen, Scott and Amundsen.
Other prominent expeditions included those from the United States, from many parts of Europe, including the Scandinavian countries, France and Germany, with Russia and China in pursuit, and also from Japan:
It was with the assistance of Shackleton, Nordenskjöld and Amundsen that the great German explorer Wilhelm Filchner, after whom the Filchner Ice Shelf was named, secured the use of the Norwegian ship the Bjorn, which earned fame when renamed the Deutschland. The ship left Buenos Aires on 4th October 1911 and arrived on the 18th at South Georgia.
The German crew spent the next 48 days at the Norwegian whaling station at Grytviken. While there, they boarded the Undine and investigated the coasts, making new charts, and re-opened the observatory at Royal Bay. They also made an exploratory trip to the South Sandwich Islands.
Filchner's ship and crew departed for the Weddell Sea on December 11, 1911. What with the life-threatening experience of Nordenskjöld before him, Filchner wrote, "None of us knew if we would ever come back alive".
Sir Hubert Wilkins (1888-1959), who served on Shackleton's Quest expedition, was one of the great Australian Polar explorers who followed in the steps of Sir Douglas Mawson. His first Polar expedition, to the Arctic, was in 1913. He was an eminent photographer who recorded Australia's wartime contribution, including at Ypres uner fire, and returned to film the Gallipoli battlefield where the Anzacs made their famous stand, after the war.
Wilkins' many ventures included Antarctic flights and an attempt to take a submarine, the Nautilus, under the North Pole in summer, 1931. Despite the failure to achieve his planned end, he did succeed in proving that submarines are capable of operating beneath the polar ice cap, and this important discovery paved the way for successful submarine exploratory trips thereafter.
Wilkins' other bold endeavours in the Arctic included a pioneering flight to Spitsbergen from Alaska across the Arctic Sea. Later he and his colleague and pilot, Carl Ben Eielson, were the first to make flights over the Antarctic (exploring the Graham Land Pensinsula starting from Deception Island - this was the first time ever that a plane had been used to map uncharted territory).
However Wilson was unsuccessful in his ernest bid to become the first to fly to the South Pole.
After the 1919 Air Race (says Sir Hubert.com) Wilkins returned to England strongly determined to continue polar exploration. He joined Dr John Cope on the Imperial Antarctic Expedition. It was Wilkins' first trip to the Antarctic, but the expedition lacked funds and achieved relatively little.
Next, Hubert Wilkins was appointed Naturalist on what was to prove Sir Ernest Shackleton's last expedition to the Antarctic, aboard the Quest. The ship gave trouble on the way out, and had to be repaired in South America. Wilkins went on ahead to South Georgia to photograph the flora and fauna. It was only when the Quest arrived six weeks later that he learned the tragic news that Shackleton had died on board ship
Many years later, after Wilkins' death in 1958, a ship was named after him. The Sir Hubert Wilkins is an ice-strengthened ship which was formerly the state launch of Finland. It was purchased in 2000 by Antarctic veterans Don and Margie McIntyre, of the Australian based company "Ocean Frontiers". She was converted in October 2000 and a helicopter landing pad was added. She is now based in Tasmania and operates from there south to the Antarctic mainland in the Australian Antarctic Territory and the Ross Dependency, providing logistic support for both private and government-sponsored Antarctic expeditions.
Many of Hubert Wilkins's papers have been collected and archived by the Byrd Polar Research Center at the Ohio State University. Their site is well worth a visit, and gives details of the collection held and samples of the photos, of which a large number can be obtained on CD at low cost.
'VIRTUAL SHACKLETON' DISPLAY AT THE SCOTT-POLAR WEBSITE
Welcome to Virtual Shackleton! This exciting new section of the Scott-Polar Research Institute's website responds to the tremendous popular interest in the life and expeditions of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Virtual Shackleton allows you to view a selection of the SPRI's unique archive and museum treasures and aims to provide a scholarly resource as well as an introduction to the Institute's wealth of historical documents and artefacts.
One of many fascinating and intriguing items is a pair of snow goggles, used by Sir Ernest Shackleton during the Endurance expedition. As the accompanying article records, 'After the successful crossing of South Georgia to reach the safety of the whaling station at Stromness, Shackleton gave these goggles to a Norwegian whaler from Sandefjord called Harald Nilsen. The whalers knew Shackleton well and were enormously helpful both before the expedition left for the Antarctic and also when he returned in May 1916, to set about rescuing his men.' Another is a chronometer (a very accurate watch used for navigation). This was used by Worsley during the open boat journey, aboard James Caird, from Elephant Island to South Georgia in 1916, which remains one of the greatest boat journeys ever accomplished. 'Worsley's skill in navigating is remarkable. Using only a sextant and chronometer they reached the safety of King Haakon Bay in South Georgia on 10 May 1916 and saved the lives of the men stranded on Elephant island.'
There are items relating to five expeditions of which Shackleton took part or which he led. They are: Discovery (Scott's 1901-4 Antarctic expedition), on which Shackleton served; Nimrod; Endurance: Aurora (the support party to the Endurance expedition); and Quest (Shackleton's uncompleted last expedition of 1921-2). Virtual Shackleton, the SPRI explains, is an ongoing project and more articles will be added in the future.
A prize possession is Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance diary, along with his diaries from the Nimrod and the Quest. There are also the deck logs from the Nimrod and Quest, and two other valuable Shackleton diaries: one being the diary he kept on Captain Scott's Discovery expedition, together with the scientific notes he made on that, his first expedition; the other being his first Antarctic sledging diary The many other treasured items include a sheet of instructions from Shackleton on what each of the men should do if the ice brokeup around 'Ocean Camp', one of the Endurance party's temporary (though nonetheless trusty and enduring) resting places on the ice; a telegram from Queen Alexandra to Emily Shackleton upon the news of Shackleton's safe arrival in the Falklands; a letter from Shackleton to his wife; a letter from Sir James Caird, sponsor of the Endurance expedition; a letter from the Liptons tea company about supplies for the Aurora; the chart used by Shackleton's ten men stranded in the Ross Sea at the same time as the Endurance expedition (and currently on loan to the French maritime exhibition); a list of provisions and letter from Capt. Aeneas Mackintosh, commander of the Aurora; and sections of the diary of Dr. Alexander Macklin charting the crew's arrival at Elephant Island.
There is a testimonial letter introducing Shackleton from Sir Clements Markham, RGS President; a humorous article by Captain Scott published in the South Polar Times; a spirited letter of request from three young ladies, Peggy Pegrine, Valerie Davey and Betty Webster, to join Shackleton's Endurance expedition.
The letter from the three daring young ladies begins: 'We "three sporty girls" have decided to write and beg of you to take us with you on your expedition to the South Pole. We are three strong, healthy girls and also gay and bright, and willing to undergo any hardships that you yourselves undergo. If our feminine garb is inconvenient, we should just love to don masculine attire.....We do not see why men should have all the glory, and women none, especially when there are women just as brave and capable as there are men.'
Of particular interest are a map drawn from memory by Frank Worsley of the route he, Shackleton and Crean took across the mountains of South Georgia; the deck log from the Quest, including Worsley's poignant, to-the-point entry in the early morning of 5 January 1922: "3am. Sir Ernest Shackleton died suddenly of heart failure. Drs. Macklin and MacIlroy in attendance.' Shackleton died in his cabin aboard the Quest.
The SPRIs Virtual Shackleton was proposed by former JCS member and much-missed leading light of the Scott-Polar, the late William Mills (see obituary below) and implemented by Caroline Gunn with the assistance of the SPRI's Webmaster. The project is funded by The Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.
ANTARCTICA PROJECT - ANTARCTIC COALITION
Scientific and research information about the Antarctic Ice Shelves can be found at the site of The Antarctica Project - the secretariat of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) which contains nearly 230 organizations in 49 countries and leads the national and international campaigns to protect the biological diversity and pristine wilderness of Antarctica, including its oceans and marine life.
INTERNATIONAL ANTARCTIC NEWS
'The Antarctican', a striking and attractive new Antarctic News website, has recently been founded. The site, published in Tasmania, aims to deliver the latest news and comment on 'Antarctic life, South Polar endeavour, the world of the ice, and the Southern Ocean around it.'
LOCATIONS WITH ANTARCTIC CONNECTIONS
A useful list of Antarctic-related sites outside Antarctica, taken from the publication A Low-Level Antarctic Gazeteer can be found at the Antarctic Circle site, which also includes perhaps the most extensive and valuable list of Antarctic links.
PILOT PARDO, A RELUCTANT HERO
RESOURCEFUL CHILEAN CAPTAIN WHO RESCUED SHACKLETON'S MEN MAROONED ON DISTANT ELEPHANT ISLAND
Foreman: Jose Munoz Tellez; Blacksmith: Froilan Cabana Rodriguez; Seamen: Pedro Pairo, Jose del C. Galindo, Florentino Gonzalez Estay, Clodomiro Aguero Soto; Cabin Boy: Bautista Ibarra Carvajal.
CENTENARY OF THE NIMROD EXPEDITION
Following his return from the Discovery expedition in 1904 and several years as Secretary to the Royal Scottish Geographical Association in Edinburgh, Ernest Shackleton purchased the Nimrod - an old Scottish sealer which had been used in Newfoundland - on a trip to Norway. She was an old ship, almost the same age as Shackleton himself, built in Dundee some 40 years earlier. He paid an initial £5,000 for her, and spent a further £7,000 in refitting her for the "British Antarctic Expedition". The Captain of the Nimrod was to be Rupert England; and the First Mate, John King Davis. He relied heavily on private sponsorship, bank loans and a large number of individual creditors.
Professor Douglas Mawson, who would later lead his own Antarctic Expedition, joined the ship in Australia, and the Australian government offered a further grant of £5,000 and the New Zealand government, £1,000. In return, it was understood that the Nimrod would undertake oceanographic work between Australia and Antarctica. Nimrod also carried two men recommended to Shackleton by his friend William Bruce, who had commanded the recent expedition aboard the Scotia (1902-4): James Murray was a biologist from Glasgow; and Alistair Forbes Mackay signed on as the Nimrod's second doctor/surgeon.
On July 30, 1907, the Nimrod sailed from London's East India Docks for Torquay. Having diverted back to Cowes for inspection by His Majesty King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, the Prince of Wales (later George V), Princess Victoria, (later Edward VIII) Prince Edward and the Duke of Connaught on Sunday 4 August, the Nimrod sailed from Torquay on 7 August 1907. After calls at the isle of St. Vincent and Cape Town, she proceeded to Australia and New Zealand. Her final port was Lyttelton, in South Island. Thereafter, for five months she was escorted under tow by another ship, the coal-fired Koonya, supplied by the New Zealand Government, which left Nimrod at 4 p.m. on 1 January 1908 as she entered the ice. Conditions proved harsh and around 20 of the party, notably Marshall, Mawson and Pristley, were appallingly seasick.
The Nimrod skirted the Barrier until finally on 25 January Shackleton gave up all hope of reaching his planned destination, King Edward VII Land. The pack-ice was too thick as well as being interspersed with giant icebergs. It seemed impossible to reach land, and the shortness of coal, the leaky condition of the ship, and the absolute necessity of landing all the stores and putting up the hut before the vessel left them made the situation extremely anxious for Shackleton.
Given the heavy and unstable pack ice affecting Barrier Inlet and also the Bay of Whales, and fearing becoming trapped in the ice with limited coal supplies and a leaking ship, Shackleton could see no alternative to steering west towards McMurdo Sound, where Scott had also been based, thus breaking a written agreement he had recently made with Scott and earning Scott's extreme displeasure, causing a temporary breach between the two men. The Nimrod stayed some sixteen miles offshore: Shackleton established his base not at 'Hut Point' but on Cape Royds, on Ross Island, where Shackleton's hut (now on the list of the World Monuments Watch's 'hundred most endangered sites') was erected, some 20 miles north of Scott's hut. Within a month (the start of February 1908)it was possible to unload supplies as the sea ice receded. The ponies and a motor car were unloaded, although the horses were in very poor shape and one, "Nimrod", had to be shot. The Nimrod left the landing party and headed back towards New Zealand on 22 February.
The party proceeded to winter over in preparation for the South Pole attempt the following Antarctic summer (January-March 09). Scientific experiments and observations were begun, and a six-man party Including Mawson) succeeded in the first ascent of the nearby Mount Erebus, the active volcano on Ross Island rising to over 13,000 feet (4,023 metres), and measuring the crater before descendeing rapidly by sliding down the 5000 feet in four hours). The others pursued their special interests: Adams wound the chronometers, checked instruments and did other meteorological work; Marshall, the surgeon, tended to medical needs and exercised the ponies; Wild, the storekeeper, issued food to the cook, opened the cases of tinned food and dug the meat out of the snowdrifts (penguin, seal or mutton); Joyce fed the dogs and trained them for sledge-pulling; David spent time on geological studies; Priestley and Murray worked at dredging; Mawson studied the Aurora Australis, ice structures and measured atmospheric electricity. (for a fuller version of their activities, see the useful account at www.south-pole.com, from which some of these details are derived).
Attention now focused on the South Pole. The main plan was that four men, Shackleton, Adams, Marshall and Wild, would make for the South Pole. Because of poor success with dogs during Scott's 1901–1904 expedition, Shackleton arranged to use Manchurian ponies for transport. In advance of the main group a second party consisting of Edgeworth David accompanied by Mawson and Mackay, would set out on the somewhat shorter journey to reach the Southern Magnetic Pole, a round trip of 1,260 miles. These three men left on 25 September 1908 and despite considerable privations achieved the Magnetic Pole, the first men ever to do so, by 15/16 January 1909.
Shackleton and his three comrades left in bright sunshine a month later, on 29 October 1908, equipped with ponies. Their route took them up a vast glacier, subsequently named after their sponsor, the Greenwich-born Scottish ship builder William Beardmore (1856-1936), later a pioneer in armaments manufacture during the First World War. (Beardmore's Arrol-Johnston company also supplied the car used by the expedition). However although they took food for 91 days (3 months), rations on the journey were meagre and the four men soon became hungry. On 5 November Wild, Adams, Marshall and the pony "Grisi" were all rescued from crevasses (Marshall twice). Three days later Marshall and Wild pitched their tent right next to an unseen crevasse. The next day another pony slipped into an abyss and was narrowly saved from death. They shot "Chinaman", the weakest pony, on 21 November 21; part was eaten, part preserved in crucial supply depots for the return. Adams, unable to sleep for days from a toothache, let Dr. Marshall extract it without the use of tooth-pulling equipment. On 26 November 1908 they passed the previous 'Furthest South' point achieved by Scott, Shackleton and Wilson in 1902.In early December two more ponies were shot. Shackleton, with his soft heart for animals, believed he heard the last pony, "Socks", whinnying "all night for his lost companions. On 7 December he too was lost in a crevasse, and the four began man-hauling. They were by now eating pony maize.
It was by now Christmas and Shackleton records that the four of them enjoyed a memorable Christmas celebration at 9,500 ft and still 250 miles from the Pole, with 'plum pudding, brandy, cigars and a spoonful of creme de menthe.' By two days later they had arrived at the Polar Plateau, some 10,000 feet up, with blizzards blasting them, and suffering from a lack of food (just 3 weeks' supply of biscuits) and frostbite. Shackleton was aware of their limited time and the men's worsening physical state. They battled southwards into the wind; blizzards and white-outs sometimes kept them in their sleeping bags all day. On 30 December they made just four miles in a blizzard.
By 2 January, 1909, Shackleton was near the breaking point. "I cannot think of failure yet. I must look at the matter sensibly and consider the lives of those who are with me...man can only do his best..." Two days later he wrote, "The end is in sight. We can only go for three more days at the most, for we are weakening rapidly". They fought through a blizzard on 4, 5 and 6 January. On 7 January, only 100 miles from the pole, a howling blizzard kept them in their sleeping bags all day. It was the same next day. The end of their southern journey began at 4 am on January 9. They left the sledge, tent and food at the camp and took only the Union Jack, a brass cylinder containing stamps and documents to mark their farthest south, camera, glasses and a compass.
Finally at 9 a.m. on 9 January they reached their Furthest South point - 88°23'S, 162°E, just 97 miles from the South Pole. Once a flag had been planted and the appropriate photographs had been taken, the four men turned and headed for home. It was a tough and brave decision by Shackleton to forsake the prize and turn about when so awesomely close to their goal. I thought you'd think, my dear, he wrote to his wife Emily, "that a live donkey is better than a dead lion." She agreed. On the return journey with the wind behind them and a sail erected they once (on 19 January) made 29 miles in a single day. By the morning of 26 January they had only tea, cocoa and a little pony maize left. But the carefully laid depots supplied them with a wealth of food and horsemeat. That same day they travelled 16 miles over "the worst surfaces and most dangerous crevasses we have ever encountered". On 27 February 27 Shackleton decided to leave Marshall, who was suffering badly from dysentery, and Adams behind while he and Wild took off for Hut Point. The two reached Hut Point on 28 February just in time to catch the Nimrod, still sheltering close by, but on the very point of sailing (a message warned them it had intended to sail on 26th). A fire signal summoned the boat and the pair were safely aboard by 11 a.m. At two in the afternoon Shackleton led a rescue party to recover Marshall and Adams. At 1 a.m. on March 4, all four of the Southern Party were at last safe on board the Nimrod.
As the Nimrod made its way past Cape Royds, Shackleton wrote: "We all turned out to give three cheers and to take a last look at the place where we had spent so many happy days. The hut was not exactly a palatial residence...but, on the other hand it had been our home for a year that would always live in our memories...We watched the little hut fade away in the distance with feelings almost of sadness, and there were few men aboard who did not cherish a hope that some day they would once more live strenuous days under the shadow of mighty Erebus".
While the Nimrod expedition did not make it to the pole, largely because it was defeated by the appalling weather and blizzards which allowed only pitifully slow progress, played havoc with their schedule and dangerously used up their rations, Shackleton, Adams, Marshall, and Wild covered (as Shackleton recorded) precisely 1,755 miles and 209 yards, and were the first humans to traverse the Trans-Antarctic mountain range and set foot on the South Polar Plateau. They also located and pioneered the Beardmore Glacier route into the interior.
Upon his return to the United Kingdom in summer 1909 Shackleton was hailed as a hero and was knighted by the king. A government grant helped defray some of the large outstanding costs of the expedition.
The Nimrod party consisted of:
Sir Ernest Shackleton: Expedition Leader
Jameson Boyd Adams: Expdition Second in Command, Meteorologist (also on Furthest South)
Lt Rupert England, RHR: Ship's Master
John K Davis: First Officer
Aeneas Lionel Acton Mackintosh: Second Officer (also captained Aurora)
Alfred Cheetham: Third Officer and Boatswain (also on Endurance)
Henry J L Dunlop: Chief Engineer
Edgeworth David: Director of Scientific Staff, Geologist
Sir Philip Lee Brocklehurst: Assistant Geologist, i/c Sea Current Observations
Prof. Douglas Mawson: Physicist
James Murray: Biologist
Raymond E Priestley: Geologist
Dr. Alistair Forbes Mackay: Assistant Surgeon
Dr. William Arthur Rupert Michell: Surgeon
Dr. Eric Stewart Marshall: Surgeon, Cartographer (on Furthest South)
George Edward Marston: Official Artist (also on Endurance)
Bernard Day: Electrician and Motor Mechanic
Ernest Joyce: Storeman, Dogs, Sledges, Zoological Collections
Frank Wild: i/c Provisions (also Deputy Leader on Endurance)
William C Roberts: Ship's Cook
THE 'YELCHO': A NAME CELEBRATED IN MARITIME HISTORY
A GRATEFUL TRIBUTE TO THE PLUCKY AND GALLANT CHILEAN SHIP WHICH SAVED THE LIVES OF SHACKLETON'S 22 MEN
MAJOR EVIDENCE OF ANTARCTIC DISINTEGRATIONI
Pine Island Glacier, one of the biggest on Antarctica, may be on the verge of slipping into the sea far faster than anyone previously thought, according to the preliminary results of a survey mission to the White Continent.
The team of scientists from Chile's independent Centre for Scientific Studies and the US space agency (Nasa) has teamed up with the Chilean Navy to make a series of flights over some of Antarctica's most important and unexplored regions. Their aim has been to create the most detailed maps ever made of the ice surface and the underlying geology, so scientists can accurately measure the impact of climate change.
Pine Island, a massive block of ice pushing out into the ocean in the remote and relatively unexplored western corner of Antarctica, stretches some 50 kilometres across in places, with ice up to four kilometres deep. Its mouth is protected by the Antarctic sea ice; it lies at the most remote part of the entire Antarctic continent, where Antarctica is also most unstable. Here any small changes in the Earth's temperature as a result of global warming are likely to have a big impact on the ice. The unexpectedly rapid rate of glacial disintegration has surprised the scientific community.
Some excellent photos of Antarctica and a good outline of the Shackleton story can be found on Paul Ward's thoroughly worthwhile 'Cool Antarctica' site.
In addition to the fine photos, the site includes fascinating sections on Antarctic exploration, the geography of the area and its environmental protection, about cruise ships, and much else.
It deserves to be one of the first ports of call for all those interested in matters Antarctic.
STUCK IN THE ICE, LIKE SHACKLETON
It didn't only happen in Shackleton's day! The '70South' antarctic website and the website Antarctic Philately from New Zealand reported that the American icebreaking research ship Nathaniel B Palmer took a leaf out of Endurance's book by becoming stuck fast in the ice near the Antarctic Peninsula for several days during late October 2001. The ship was about 60 miles from the ice edge and wedged between Adelaide and Alexander Islands, with rafts of sea ice 65 feet deep around it. However a few days later it succeed in freeing itself and headed safely for Punta Arenas.
The Nathaniel B. Palmer was named to commemorate the American credited with being the first to see Antarctica. Nathaniel Brown Palmer, then only 21 years old, commanded the 14-meter sloop Hero, which on 16 and 17 November 1820 entered Orleans Strait and came very close to the Antarctic Peninsula, reaching about 63° 45' South. Later in life Palmer won wealth and fame as a pioneer clipper ship master and designer.
SLOW COLLAPSE OF LARSEN B ICE SHELF
Satellite images have revealed the collapse of Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, fulfilling predictions made by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists. The collapse of the 3250 square kilometre ice shelf is the latest drama in a region of Antarctica that has experienced unprecedented warming over the last 50 years.
FIRE IN ANTARCTICA
The Bonner Laboratory at the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera Research Station was completely destroyed by fire at the end of September 2001.
Happily, no-one was killed or injured.
THE plucky optimism of the youngest member of Captain Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole will be made public for the first time as his journals go on display in Cambridge.
Henry Bowers, the youngest of the five men to perish on their way back from the Pole, writes with bounding enthusiasm of the journey that would eventually kill him in late March 1912, when he died alongside Robert Falcon Scott in a tent 11 miles short of the next food depot.
Bowers's diary entries, which are mostly unpublished, begin with affectionate observations about the expedition's animals but become increasingly sparse as the men become exhausted in unexpectedly bad weather.
His entry for November 27, 1911, when the expedition was still at full strength, is typical of his buoyant attitude in adversity. "Midnight - it has been blowing and snowing all day and to the S[outh] it is as thick as a hedge, it looks as if we shall have a pleasant march like yesterday's. However as long as weather permits us to do our 13 miles I suppose we should not growl, though for summer weather this really seems the limit."
The journals are being shown at Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute, which will reopen on June 8 after a pounds 1.75 million revedelopment.
Bowers shows particular affection towards Victor, his pony, observing that the animal seems oblivious to Bowers's slips on the ice. "This never disturbs Victor who either stops to eat snow or ignores me altogether."
He notes on November 14: "Huge icicles form under [the ponies'] noses during the march. V generally rubs his off on my sleeve."
He repeatedly shows concern for the welfare of the animals, although the party did eventually kill and eat the ponies.
Bowers, whom Scott admired for his ability to withstand the cold, remained cheerful as he described the difficulties that befell him. "I am enjoying a slight touch of snow blindness in my right eye and so am reduced to goggles," he wrote on November 14.
"They are a beastly nuisance as they constantly get fogged and one's breath on them freezes at once. They must be endured however and are a comfortable pair fortunately."
One of his tasks was to monitor the weather, which he wrote about until he was too exhausted to continue. An early entry, on November 11, features a prediction that failed to come true, with fatal consequences. "The summer should surely be setting in soon and as it only lasts for two months out of the twelve in this region I do trust it will be kind to us at this most critical time."
Bowers's records of the weather showed a trend that was unknown at the time. Unlike in the Arctic where there is a slow transition from summer to winter, the Antarctic winter closes in almost without a trace of autumn.
Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, said that Bowers was unable to write much after mid-January because he was too weak with hunger.
"He must have known it was coming to an end. They were all struggling physically. The problem was that they were using far more calories than they were expecting because it was so cold and they were at altitude. He just didn't have the energy to write."
One of Bowers's last detailed entries, from December 16, showed his optimism was unbowed. "I am wearing a strip of plaster on each lip as they are all swollen blistered and scabby with the sun. My face is like a ham - fortunately an ample beard will soon make a kindly covering."
Also on display is his final letter to his mother, which has been published but never displayed. His writing, which remains legible and cogent till the end, shows his hope fading away.
"Each depot has been a harder struggle to reach, but I am still strong and hope to reach this one with Dr Wilson and get the food and fuel necessary for our lives... Oh how I do feel for you when you hear all - you will know that for me the end was peaceful as it is only sleep in the cold. Your ever loving son to the end in this life and the next when we will meet and when God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes."
A MASTERPIECE OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE FEATURING SHACKLETON AND ENDURANCE
HIGHLY IMAGINITIVE NEW SHACKLETON BOOK BY WILLIAM GRILL
To celebrate Ernest Shackleton's departure on "Endurance" across the Antarctic seas, star illustrator William Grill brings us a detailed visual narrative of this extraordinary and historic expedition.
Grill is a master illustrator. His, beautiful use of coloured pencils and vibrant hues place him somewhere on the artistic spectrum between Raymond Briggs and David Hockney, and his fastidious cataloguing of every single detail of the expedition is nothing short of a Blackstock collection.
Grill evokes the atmosphere and intrepid excitement that would have surrounded the expedition with his impeccably researched and detailed drawings.
Children will love examining the exploded diagrams of the peculiar provision taken or the individual drawings of the sled dogs or pack horses.
This book takes the academic and historical information surrounding the expedition and re-interprets it for a younger audience in a way that will capture their imaginations.
A new exhibition in Cardiff will chart the scientific discoveries from Captain Scott's expedition, 100 years after the explorer reached the South Pole.
The event at National Museum Cardiff this monthJanuary marks the arrival of Scott's party at the South Pole on January 17, 1912.
It includes many photographs of the expedition setting out from Cardiff on their world-famous, but ultimately tragic effort to reach the pole.
National Museum Wales Geology Curator Tom Sharpe said while the expedition is best remembered for the tragedy that befell Scott and his four companions on the return journey, the exhibition aims to highlight the team's scientific research between 1910 and 1913.
He said: "The year before last, 2010, we put together a small exhibition about the departure of the ship from Cardiff.
"What we've done this time, we've still included the story of the Cardiff departure and Welsh support.
"That's something that people don't realise that there was so much support from Wales. If Scott hadn't had that support, the expedition would never have happened.
"We've got some of the rocks and fossils that Scott and his party collected on their way back from the South Pole. They dragged them literally to the bitter end, they were found when the bodies were discovered. These are rocks and fossils that tell us something about the geological history of that part of the world."
In this exhibition, visitors will also be able to see a selection of specimens collected during the expedition as well as some of the iconic images of Antarctic exploration through the watercolours of Edward Wilson and the photographs of Herbert Ponting.
Among the specimens on display from the Museum's own collections will be the Welsh flag flown on Scott's expedition ship, the Terra Nova, and the ship's figurehead.
Mr Sharpe said there were also plans to recreate the geologists' workspace from inside Scott's hut to give visitors an idea of a condition the scientists were working in.
Mr Sharpe has recently returned from a trip to Scott's hut, which he said provided inspiration for the upcoming exhibition.
He said: "It was amazing. I'd seen these photos for years, what really struck me was standing outside and seeing it in colour.
"There was a real sombre feeling of tragedy, Scott and his group left that hut and planned to come back but didn't make it."
Supported by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust, Captain Scott: South for Science is at National Museum Cardiff from Saturday (January 14) until May 13.
Cardiff's role in Captain Scott's trip to South Pole Exhibition Jan-June 2010
Captain Robert Scott's legenday trip to the South Pole which claimed his life and that of four more explorers left from Cardiff 100 years ago this June.
His ship, the Terra Nova, sailed from the city's docks laden with Welsh coal, fuel, and supplies.
City business leaders got behind Scott and even helped him secure government backing for the expedition.
Now the famous masthead is at the centre of a Cardiff
exhibition about the ill-fated trip.
Scott's Terra Nova, which he had bought from a Liverpool ship owner, was cheered on by thousands when it set sail from the Welsh capital early on the afternoon of 15 June, 1910.
Three years later, crowds of around 60,000 joined Scott's widow Lady Kathleen and young son Peter to welcome her back.
Wales and particularly Cardiff played a huge role in the whole trip, explained Tom Sharpe, curator of the exhibition at National Museum Cardiff.
"The ship went laden with with 100 tonnes of coal, 300 tonnes of fuel made from coal dust mixed with bitumen, as well as pots and plans from the Llanelli tin works.
"In fact, she was so full, she started leaking and letting in water.
"Cardiff contributed far more than any other city in the UK," he said.
Amongs the Cardiff-based sponsors who helped the expedition were ship owners Daniel Radcliffe and William Tatem, and James Howell of the Cardiff department store Howells who provided a Welsh flag which flew from the Terra Nova on her long journey south.
The editor of the Western Mail newspaper William Davies was key to rallying public support.
He also persuaded the Chancellor David Lloyd George to provide a government grant of £20.000 for the expedition.
Poignantly, the exhibition includes a handful of rocks, part of a 35lb load of geological specimens found on a sledge with the bodies of Scott and two of his polar companions.
Exhausted, cold and hungry, they died just 11 miles from a supply depot in March 1912, having made it to the South Pole in January of that year only to find Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it.
Two other members of the polar party, Welshman Edgar Evans from Rhossili on Gower, and Captain Lawrence "Titus" Oates - he of the renowned phrase "I am going outside and I may be some time" - had earlier lost their lives.
Tom Sharpe said: "Amundsen was lucky. He had a route that took him through the ice. He was lucky in the weather as well. And Scott was unlucky."
The exhibition also explores other Welsh links with Antarctica - a geologist from St Fagans, a stowaway from Newport and the Antarctic work of a zoologist from St Brides Major who later became director of the National Museum.
The display will close on 14 June, marking the date the Terra Nova returned to Bute Dock at the close of the expedition 97 years ago. Then from June to October it will be shown in Swansea.
It will then be shown at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea from 14 July until 10 October 2010.
Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/cardiffonline/cardiff-news/2012/01/05/captain-scott-s-antarctic-discoveries-on-show-in-cardiff-91466-30062059/#ixzz24lWhpxrR