Inexpressible Island

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Inexpressible Island

Inexpressible Island is a small rocky island in Terra Nova Bay on the Ross Sea that is most notable for being where the "Northern party" of Scott's 1910-1913 expedition had to endure an enforced winter. Their ship the Terra Nova could not pick them up as planned in February 1912 due to particularly heavy pack ice.

The six men passed a particularly miserable winter with just four weeks worth of rations which were supplemented by killing penguins or seals that they found though these were few and far between . They dug an ice cave and built a rock shelter, though suffered greatly from frostbite, hunger and dysentery. They gave the name "Inexpressible Island" in recognition of how awful the place and time they spent there was.

They remained on Inexpressible Island until the last day of September 1912 when they set off on the 200 miles journey to Hut Point arriving on November the 5th despite great illness, discomfort and a lack of supplies.
The location of the ice cave on Inexpressible Island is a Category 1 site as classified by the Antarctic Heritage Trust and receives protection under the Antarctic Treaty.

Photo; © Mike Usher - Pictures from an icebreaker cruise to Eastern Antarctica.