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55 Years Ago in the Weddell Sea

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  • 55 Years Ago in the Weddell Sea

    10 Jan, 1957 aboard the USS Wyandot: The Staton Island got back to us about mid-night last night, and tied up to the bow of the Wyandot. There wasn't any use breaking the Wyandot loose because we couldn't have gotten very far no how. The ice ahead just won't give. There is no doubt in our minds now why no other human beings or ships have come this far. This Weddell Sea was never meant for man to enter, but here we are only 300 miles from Cape Adams - our destination, but God can can we make it, and if we did would we ever get out? We don't have the answers, and it's very doubtful if the captains of the 2 ships and our task force commanders know the answers. All we can do now is wait. We don't even know the reason why the waiting except that we can't go forward, and we can't turn because heck, I don't know the answer...except if there even is a slight chance we might get through, we got to chance it. One of the helecopters took off a little while ago, maybe they will bring back some good news...can't never tell. Our nerves are pretty well shot, fights and arguments among the men are getting to be regular, and they don't care. If my writing or what I say gets fouled up in the days to come, just figure my nerves got my thinking off the beaten track, this has just been another day as for work. Chow ain't improved none, thats about it for today...

  • #2
    Re: 55 Years Ago in the Weddell Sea

    I take it this is from a diary Motovichd? Can you tell us the details of whose?

    Any more to come? (hopefully)

    Ah - your father's diary at 19 years old - just seen your other post.


    • #3
      Re: 55 Years Ago in the Weddell Sea

      My dad (known as Matty) was a Seabee on the Wyandot to the Weddell Sea in 1956-57. He was a equipment mechanic. He kept a journal of his trip and took about 300 slide photos. I am currently using the journal in my 7-8th grade literacy class. We are comparing the voyages of Shackleton, Operation Deep Freeze, and a modern adventure called Impossible to Possible, or i2P ( ). Ray Zahad started the organization and actually has Antarctic connections. He ran across it! He takes students on seemingly impossible trips (this year it was to India) and they have video chats and blog. It was really interesting.

      Dad had some real insight at times through out the trip. I will share the interesting ones!


      • #4
        Re: 55 Years Ago in the Weddell Sea

        Pics? Any chance of posting them? Operation Deep Freeze is a section in waiting, are the pictures published anywhere online or could they be? PM me maybe?

        It sounds wonderful that you are using Shackleton, a modern adventure and your father's own adventures with your class. Especially as I presume you are older now than your dad was when he wrote his diary.


        • #5
          Re: 55 Years Ago in the Weddell Sea

          Interesting about the fighting breaking out. The U.S. program (and I presume others) screens applicants before sending them, including psychological testing for winterovers. There are also lots of recreational options available now that weren't available then, and women. I suppose all these contribute to there being very little in the way of altercations these days.

          I imagine military expeditions were quite different in many ways, and indeed it was less than 20 years ago that McMurdo Station finally eliminated separate dining rooms (galleys, after Naval usage) for administrators and workers (officers and enlisted, formerly, except there were also civilians). I don't know all the details about that, by the way, I've just seen references to the fact that there were two dining rooms. I can't imagine that the scientists were sent to eat with enlisted men, but I don't know what criteria were used for separating the groups.


          • #6
            Re: 55 Years Ago in the Weddell Sea


            If I remember correctly the very basic, cramped shelter occupied by Scott's Northern Party when it was unable to rejoin the main expedition, was divided into a section for officer's and another for 'men'. It shows just how entrenched the naval system was that it persisted even under the most extreme conditions which the Northern party experienced during that winter. Makes McMurdo seem positively 'normal'!