SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
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.