Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX
Voyage of the Scotia 1902-04

The Ship

Three shipyard workers alongside the hull of the Scotia

image from Springburn Virtual Museum

On the advice of the experienced Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, William S Bruce, when preparing for his Scottish National Antarctic Expedition in the autumn of 1901, bought the Norwegian whaler Hekla for 2620. The vessel was brought across the North Sea the following spring.

The vessel had been recommended as eminently suitable but in fact required much refurbishment and alteration for its new purpose. This work was undertaken by the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company in Troon, to the plans of the naval architect George L Watson - who gave his services free.

Here we see the enormous scale of the timbers, up to 63cm (25 inches) thick amidships. These were required to enable the ship to withstand the impact and pressure of pack ice.

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Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX