It is now only few days ago that we landed in Antarctica and already it feels like home at Scott Base. We had a lot of field training and had a walk over the pressure ridges. It is a lot of Health and Safety regulation in place, but as soon as one steps outside it is understandable, even when there is such a fine weather like now. It is 11:15 pm and it is bright and sunny. How the first explorer felt this is in their diaries, but I think it is not much different to each individual experience until today. This part of the world is fascinating beautiful and dangerous at the same time.
I have seen the TAE hut today (Transantarctic expedition, 1957 – 1959). Edmund Hillary started from here to the South Pole. Even when he had not intended it in the first place, he reached the Pole with his Ferguson Tractors and met Vivian Fuchs who made his way from the Weddell Sea. Ernest Shackleton tried this in 1914 and failed because of the ice conditions and was trapped in the ice, lost his ship and saved all his men from the Weddell Sea party. Here in the Ross Sea waited his support party, laid depots for the party which should come from the Pole. The Ross Sea Party lost 3 men, but the survivor were rescued in 1917.
It was bad weather today and so the flight was cancelled. Maybe it is happening tomorrow; that is life in the Antarctic! You have to deal with it!
This picture is from 1912 when Wilhelm Filchner (expedition leader) and his companion Alfred Kling (navigation officer) were traveling to examine the ice during the time when the ship Deutschland was frozen into the ice. Filchner is searching the horizon and at one of these journeys they proofed that Morrell Land was not existing. When I go, all the surrounding of Scott Base is known, and I hope to see it soon, maybe tomorrow… who knows…
At 16th December it will happen. I am on the first flight (of two) to Scott Base. Last week the PCAS students and 3 tutors were 3 days in Cass for the field training and after that we had 2 days of intensive out door first aid training. We will do some field work in the Antarctic and I get already instructions for the radar and some other handy advice. I really hope to see the huts. As historian it is even a professional task to see them.
This is Filchner’s hut. It was in the Weddell Sea, so on the other side of the place where I will be, but I hope that our camp will not end up like this.
This happened because the hut was built on an iceberg which turned over, consequently this hut is on no conservation plan…fortunately no one was hurt and only one dog went missing.
Scott Base is at its place since 1957 and on solid ground, so I think this will not happen.