Pictures of Antarctica
Antarctica Picture | Antarctica Cruise | Facts | History | Boots | Store | Clothes | Whales  | Books | Video | Schools | Forum | Site Map | FIDS / OAE's

Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) page 2
The Terra Nova
Expedition 1910-13
Crew of the Terra Nova

Great God! This is an awful place.
 - Robert Falcon Scott, 1912
History: The Heroic Age | Historical timeline | Geological timeline | Ships of the explorers | Explorers quiz Antarctic Expeditions crew lists and biographies
Explorers: Amundsen Fram pictures | von Bellingshausen - Vostok and Mirny | Borschgrevink - Southern Cross | Bruce - Scotia | Charcot Français Pourquoi-Pas? | Dumont D'Urville - Astrolabe and Zéléé | von Drygalski - Gauss | de Gerlache - Belgica | Mawson Aurora | Nordenskjöld - Antarctic | Ross - Erebus and Terror | Scott: Discovery South Pole The journey to the pole Pictures | Shackleton: Nimrod Endurance Quest
Ebooks: The South Pole - Amundsen | Home of the Blizzard - Mawson | Last Expedition - Scott | South - Shackleton

Buy poster of Antarctic grotto
Antarctic Grotto the Terra Nova as famously captured by Herbert Ponting on the 1910 - 1913 expedition

Terra Nova at Ross Island
Terra Nova at Ross Island

Terra Nova in pack ice
Terra Nova in pack ice

Aboard the Terra Nova, about to enter a band of loose pack ice
Aboard the Terra Nova, about to enter a band of loose pack ice

picture courtesy NOAA
The Terra Nova "In the pack - a lead opening up."
From: "Scott's Last Expedition", 1913

Dr. Wilson on board Terra Nova
Dr. Wilson on board Terra Nova

Hauling up fish traps
Hauling up fish traps

Bowers, Wilson and Cherry-Garrard about to set out on the "Worst journey in the world"
The Cape Crozier party
Left to right, Bowers, Henry Robertson, 1883-1912. Wilson, Edward A. (Edward Adrian), 1872-1912. Cherry-Garrard, Apsley, 1886-1959.

More recent pictures of Scott's Cape Evans hut

Pictures of the Cape Evans Hut from 2007

The Terra Nova Expedition 1910-13

Scott wanted to use the Discovery again for this second expedition, but the admiralty had sold it to the Hudson's Bay Company some years before, and they refused to sell her back. After considering several others, Scott purchased the Terra Nova, which had been used for whaling and sealing since her return from the Discovery expedition.

Raising money for the expedition was a slow and difficult task, volunteer crew by contrast were applying from all over the world. More than 8,000 men volunteered to join the expedition. One man who didn't go, though Scott wanted him to was a young lecturer from the University of Adelaide, Douglas Mawson.  Mawson was making his own plans, like many others, he intended to explore an unmapped stretch of coast and country west of Victoria Land.

The choices for transportation made by Scott were to have profound effects on the final results of the expedition. He didn't take dogs, perhaps influenced by his experiences on the Discovery expedition. Instead he had motor sledges which were experimental, since none had ever been used before, (and motor transport technology was still in its infancy), and ponies. Ponies had been used before by Shackleton, but not successfully.

Scott planned to use the motor sledges as far as possible, establishing depots along the way. The ponies would then take over and haul the sledges to the foot of a glacier, the next major obstacle, when the south pole party would begin to manhaul their sledges.

The journey to Antarctica on the Terra Nova was eventful and losses of ponies, a dog, coal and other stores occurred during a storm. On December 8th 1910 the first iceberg was spotted and on the following day, in latitude 65°8'S, the Terra Nova entered the pack ice. The ship continued to encounter heavy pack ice for the next three weeks, consuming a great deal of precious coal in the process.

It is thought by many that had Scott taken a dog team and properly trained men, he would have had a much easier time of it getting to the pole and back.

Scott wrote: "In my mind no journey ever made with dogs can approach the height of that fine conception which is realised when a party of men go forth to face hardships, dangers, and difficulties with their own unaided efforts, and by days and weeks of hard physical labour succeed in solving some problem of the great unknown. Surely in this case the conquest is more nobly and splendidly won".

On December 30th Scott wrote, "We are out of the pack at length and at last one breathes again". On New Year's Day, 1911, Mount Erebus came into view. They attempted to land at Cape Crozier, where they had planned on setting up winter quarters, but the seas were too rough. So, McMurdo Sound was their next option. On January 4th 1911, the Terra Nova anchored to the ice and the unloading began. The ponies were especially happy to finally be on firm ground as they rolled and kicked in the snow.

The motor sledges began well, they were unloaded and immediately put to work hauling stores to the new camp. The third and largest sledge however broke through the ice to the sea and sank in sixty fathoms of water as it was being hauled by twenty men towards the shore.

The hut was erected quickly, it measured fifty feet by twenty-five and was nine feet to the eaves. It was insulated with quilted seaweed, lined with matchboard, lit by acetylene gas, provided with a stove and cooking range and divided into two by a partition made of crates (including the wine) to separate the men's from the officers' quarters. Within two weeks the hut was built and occupied.

"He (Scott) cried more easily than any man I have ever known. What pulled Scott through was character, sheer good grain which ran over and under and through his weaker self and clamped it all together."
 Apsley Cherry-Garrard. From the Introduction to The Worst Journey in the World.

Like the Discovery expedition, again the centrepiece of the expedition was to be to reach the South Pole, and again this was but one of several projects and exploratory trips from the base camp. Depot laying parties set out shortly after arrival to leave stores and provisions. Doubts set in early on about the usefulness of the ponies, as they had problems with sinking into soft snow.

It was only after arriving at their winter camp and erecting the hut that Scott found out that the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had arrived at the bay of Whales and he too was planning to reach the South Pole the following summer. Amundsen had more dogs and better trained dogs, what was more, he and his men were experienced in using them efficiently. Many of Scott's party were unhappy at the arrival of Amundsen, his arrival was thought to be an unsporting and previously unannounced attempt at beating Scott and his team to the pole.

The ponies continued to fare badly, two were lost in the sea when they broke through ice. When they were unable to be retrieved, they fell victim to killer whales. Before the sun went down for the winter, only 10 ponies were left out of an original 19.

The one sledging journey was undertaken in the winter by a small team of men led by Wilson, the biologist and including the young Apsley Cherry-Garrard, famously this gave rise to the acknowledged greatest of all Antarctic adventure and travel books "The Worst Journey in the World". This was a trip to Cape Crozier in search of eggs from Emperor penguins that were known to lay and incubate their eggs in the Antarctic winter though none had ever been returned intact to science. Indeed they had only first been discovered a few years beforehand.

The winter was a very active time for the expedition and a large quantity of scientific data never before collected was able to be gathered. Though Scott spent much time engaged in science his thoughts were inevitably also always on the attempt to reach the pole to be carried out when the weather allowed after the sun had returned.

He decided during the winter on who his companions were to be for the polar journey. The chosen team was:

Dr. E. A. Wilson known as "Uncle Bill", chief scientist and doctor of the expedition.

Captain L. E. G. Oates, a career soldier and in charge of the Siberian ponies.

Lieutenant H. R. Bowers, respected for his hardiness and dauntlessness.

Petty officer Edgar "Taff" Evans the strongman of the party, in charge of sledging equipment.

"I don't know what to think of Amundsen's chances. If he gets to the Pole it must be before we do, as he is bound to travel fast with dogs, and pretty certain to start early. On this account I decided at a very early date to act exactly as I should have done had he not existed. Any attempt to race must have wrecked my plan, besides which it doesn't appear the sort of thing one is out for...You can rely on my not saying or doing anything foolish, only I'm afraid you must be prepared for finding our venture much belittled. After all, it is the work that counts, not the applause that follows"
Letter from
Scott to his wife Kathleen, 

The story continues, the journey to the pole

Historical photographs on this page by permission of National Library of Australia

 

 

 


A picture of Scott taken in the hut in 1911 juxtaposed with a picture of the same place taken in 2005

Robert Falcon Scott Books and Video

The Coldest March: Scott's Fatal Antarctic Expedition
The Coldest March: Scott's Fatal Antarctic Expedition
by Susan Solomon
 Buy USA    Buy UK
Free world delivery

The Great White South: Traveling with Robert F. Scott's Doomed South Pole Expedition
The Great White South: Travelling with Robert F. Scott's Doomed South Pole Expedition by Herbert Ponting
 Buy USA    Buy UK
Free world delivery

The Last Place on Earth (Modern Library Exploration)
The Last Place on Earth by Roland Huntford
 Buy USA    Buy UK
Free world delivery


90 Degrees South: With Scott to the Antarctic (1933) DVD
Buy USA  Buy UK

The Worst Journey in the World. Apsley Cherry-Garrard
 Buy USA    Buy UK
Free world delivery
Journals: Scott's Last Expedition (Oxford World's Classics)
Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals of Captain R.F.Scott
 Buy USA    Buy UK
Free world delivery

With Scott to the Pole
Herbert Ponting,
illustrated.
Buy UK (international shipping)
Free world delivery
History Chapters: Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott Race to the South Pole (History Chapters)
History Chapters: Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott Race to the South Pole. Ages 4-8
Buy USA    Buy UK
Free world delivery
Robert Falcon Scott Pictures
 
Terra Nova' in the Ice. from Scott's Last Expedition
More about this print
 
Antarctic Expedition of Robert Scott on Ice with Ship "Terra Nova" Anchored in Background
 More about this print
 
Robert Falcon Scott, British Naval Officer and Explorer of Antarctica
More about this print

Terra Nova Icebound, British Antarctic Expedition, Circa 1910
More about this print

 
Royal Navy Officer and Antarctic Explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott, 1912
More about this print

Robert Falcon Scott Antarctic Explorer
More about this print

Captain Scott in His Den at Winter Quarters, During the Terra Nova Expedition
More about this print

Lt. Shackleton, Captain Scott and Dr. Wilson, Antarctica
More about this print

Celebrating Christmas Near the South Pole During the Scott and Wilson Exploration

More about this print

Terra Nova' in the Pack Ice. a Lead Opening Up, from Scott's Last Expedition
More about this print

The Terra Nova in the Mc Murdo Sound
More about this print

Members of the Terra Nova Expedition
More about this print


The Officers of the Terra Nova Expedition
More about this print

The Crew of the 'Terra Nova', from 'Scott's Last Expedition'
More about this print

The Terra Nova in Antarctic waters
More about this print

Members of the Shackleton and Scott "Discovery" Expedition to the Antarctica Grow Crocuses
More about this print

The "Discovery" Frozen in
More about this print

Captain Scott's Sepulchre Erected Amid Antarctic Wastes
More about this print

Scott Killed at the South Pole
Art Print

S.S. 'Terra Nova', June 1910
More about this print
 
Antarctic Sledging, One of Scott's Party Prepares for a Night Away from Base, 1903
More about this print
 
Scott Exercising the Ponies Through the Snow
Wilson, Edward A.
More about this print

Sledge Hauling on the Great Ice Barrier, 1903, Scott's Expedition to Antarctica 1901-4
Wilson, Edward A.
More about this print

Scott's Ship, the Terra Nova
More about this print

Roald Amundsen  Douglas Mawson Robert Falcon Scott  Ernest Shackleton

Historical books on Antarctica   |   Historical videos about Antarctica   |   Shackleton Store

 


Cool Antarctica Store - Pictures, Shirts, Calendars, Cards etc.



Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository


Lonely Planet travel guide Antarctica
Buy from Amazon USA USA  |  Buy from Amazon UK UK
Free world delivery


Frozen Planet
Buy from Amazon USA DVD  |  Buy from Amazon UK DVD


Shackleton
Buy from Amazon USA DVD  |  Buy from Amazon UK DVD


The Endurance - Shackleton's Legendary Expedition
Dramatization with original footage

Buy from Amazon USA DVD  |  Buy from Amazon UK DVD


Custom Search

Home | Site Map | Pictures | Antarctica Stock Photos | Facts | History | Antarctica Travel | Antarctic Clothing | Video | Books | Calendars
FIDS | Feedback | Buy pictures | Find a trip to Antarctica | Whales | Photography | Women's Winter Boots Sale | Schools | Jewelry

Copyright  ©  2001 Paul Ward  |  copyright issues  |  privacy policy  |