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

Section 2: Antarctic Exploration ... Early Twentieth Century

Swedish expedition 1901-03

image from Voyage of the Scotia

This expedition was led by Otto Nordenskjold, nephew of Adolf Nordenskjold who was first through the Northeast Passage, on the research ship Antarctic. The aim was to explore the eastern part of the Antarctic Peninsula. Nordenskjold and five companions were left on Snow Hill Island for the winter while the ship returned to the Falkland Islands.

The expedition made a major contribution of the knowledge of the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula. A sledge party went down the east coast along the Larsen Ice Shelf.

When Captain Larsen returned in the spring he found the way blocked by ice. Three men set off to find Nordenskjold but became lost. They were to survive the winter in a makeshift hut living on penguins in Hope Bay. Larsen tried to force a passage through the ice to Snow Hill Island but the Antarctic became trapped in the ice, was crushed and sank. The ship's company spent a terrible winter on Paulet Island.

This became a remarkable survival story as all three parties survived and met up on Snow Hill Island in the spring. They were rescued by the Argentinian sloop of war the Uruguay on 8 November 1903. (Larsen was later given money by the Argentinian authorities to set up the first whaling station on South Georgia in 1904.)

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