Thursday, February 01, 2007

Antarctic history

McMurdo Sound has long been an outpost for the early explorers in their forays deeper into the continent.

The original hut used by Robert Falcon Scott is still standing just a short distance from the modern day buildings at McMurdo Station and serves as a reminder to the rich history that surrounds us today. Scott, of course, came in second in the race to the South Pole, where the station is named after both his nemesis Roald Amundsen and himself.

Scott named it Discovery Hut and used it a base of operations in his earlier expeditions in 1901-1904. His ship, the Discovery, became trapped by sea ice here and for that reason, Scott built another hut at Cape Evans, which was the launching point for his ill-fated journey to the South Pole in 1912.

It's largely left intact as it was a hundred years ago with many of their belongings and supplies left behind. Carcasses, tins and crates of food, clothing and blankets are laying around as if their owners are expected to walk through the door to reclaim them.

Fortunately today we live in more comfortable digs but it gives you an appreciation of what these brave explorers endured in their quests to understand this continent. To stand in the very same space as Scott did is a remarkable experience and I'm glad that they paved the way many years ago to the place that I've been calling home.


At 12:40 AM, Anonymous north of U said...

Thank you, Heidi. These pics of the Discovery Hut are something I had not seen before.

At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Tara said...

It is absolutely incredible how Scott's hut and all its contents have been perfectly preserved for almost 100 years!

These are amazing photos Heidi, thanks for sharing them. I just gotta know what is inside the bowl - surely not fossilized cereal!

At 10:30 PM, Blogger Heidi said...

I think they're seal McNuggets. The whole place has a funky musty slightly rotted smell to it but interestingly enough, I catch the same whiff going into building 155 at McMurdo. Maybe there's a dead seal under the entrance steps.


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