Saturday, November 10, 2012
Antarctica Nov 3
Cape Evans/Scott's Hut
Robert Falcon Scott of the British Antarctic Expedition aspired to be the first person to reach the South Pole. His first attempt was in 1901, when he traveled on the ship, Discovery, and built the Discovery Hut in McMurdo Sound.
Since the Discovery was trapped at sea and it was extremely cold and windy, Captain Scott felt that this was not the ideal place to house the expedition. In 1911 he returned and established a base in Cape Evans. This elaborate hut was fabricated in England and carried on the Terra Nova ship along with 25 other polar explorers.
It had an attached stable for 19 Siberian horses and room for some husky sleigh dogs.
The hut was insulated by sewing seaweed into a quilt and inserting it between the inner and outer walls of the hut. It was lit by gas and coal was burned for heat that was vented through the stove in the kitchen.
It seems like the Heinz family could have been one of the sponsors.
On November 1, 1911 the men left Camp Evans for their journey to the South Pole with dog sleds, ponies and motorized vehicles. On the way many died and unfortunately, when Scott arrived on Jan 18, 1912 he discovered that he had just missed being first by 2 weeks! Roald Amundsen of Norway had been there on Jan 4.
When they left the Pole, they were freezing, exhausted, disappointed, and sick with scurvy. Setting up a temporary camp on March 11, they encountered a blizzard and all froze to death. On November 12, a rescue team discovered the remaining men frozen, still in their sleeping bags.
Scott's Hut was very well equipped and everything was left as it was in 1912.
Some hearty food for a long summer's stay...
It is amazing that these men attempted such a feat in 1911. Antarctica is a harsh environment and extremely difficult to explore. Blizzards appear sporadically. The cold thin air is so much colder with the addition of the wind chill factor, which is always listed as part of the temperature.
Today is a pretty warm day here. 12.2 degrees with a wind chill of -2.5 degrees.
The South Pole is -49 degrees with a wind chill, which cannot be measured.
After exploring Scott's Hut, we went to the Barne Glacier. The winds were so strong that if we did not have crampons on, we would have slid away on the ice.
But anything for a good picture!!!
Posted by Diane Tuft