Originally Posted by iceman
The family and I saw the Scott exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum a few months ago. Extremely enlightening and frightening!
I'm also halfway through reading Peter Fitzsimmons book about the south pole explorers - a great read!
I know you like history and that era of early Antarctic exploration has some
If you end up with a thirst for more reading, I recommend the following -
"South: The Endurance Expedition"
by Ernest Shackleton.
In 1914, Shackleton sets out to become the first to cross Antarctica and this
book chronicles the expedition. The first chapter or so starts out routinely, with
Shackleton detailing depth soundings as the Endurance heads south
and it initially lulls you into a sense that there is nothing of great interest here,
like listening to an orchestra tuning up before a performance.
However, the Endurance gets caught and crushed in the pack ice
far from the mainland and soon the men are forced to abandon ship.
As the ocean freezes about them, they are far from open water and all they
have are three open row boats. The story that unfolds is on a scale
so epic, so unbelievable, so skillful and so heroic that you will look forward
to telling your children and later your grandchildren.
Amazon link -
"Shackleton's Forgotten Men"
by Lennard Bickel but I originally read an earlier edition
entitled "Shackleton's Forgotten Argonauts".
So Shackleton plans to become the first to traverse Antarctica. To do this, he has
another ship, the Aurora, and another team of men on the other side of the continent
at the Ross Sea whose job it is to lay down supply depots across the Great Ice
Barrier that the main expedition will depend upon. A group of ten men are initially
landed ashore with little more than the clothes on their backs and some rations,
with a plan to unload supplies and more men over subsequent days. A mighty
gale blows up overnight and the ten men wake up and the Aurora is gone.
With no idea if the ship will ever come back or if it has been lost forever
and with probably a minimum two year wait for a rescue party to come in search
of the them, the ten men are now faced with the prospect that Shackleton,
"The Boss", and his team will soon be coming over the continent and will be
relying on the depots that are meant to be laid for them. Little do they know,
of course, that Shackleton has his own problems and won't be coming. But they
must improvise and despite their own predicament, they must somehow forge ahead.
What unfolds is a tale of human endurance, loyalty and sacrifice that will leave
a lump in your throat.
"Home of the Blizzard"
by Douglas Mawson.
January of this year marked the 100th anniversary of the construction of Mawson's hut.
Mawson's ship was the Aurora, the same ship that was later used by
Shackleton's Ross Sea party. Mawson's account of death and survival, including
two crevasse falls, is a remarkable tale.
"The Worst Journey in the World"
by Aplsey Cherry-Garrard.
Cherry-Garrard was a member of the Scott expedition and in July 1911, he and
Bill Wilson and Birdie Bowers set off on an expedition across the Ross Ice Shelf to
bring back Emperor penguin eggs. Being winter, the journey is in complete
darkness at temperatures of -40C with extreme winds. Later, Cherry-Garrard
gives a personal account of searching for Scott's team and his description of
discovering the frozen remains of Scott, Bowers and Wilson in the tent is poignant.
Link here -