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

Section 3: Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen ... Scott's journey to the South Pole

The Terra Nova

On 10 June 1910 Scott sailed on the old patched-up whaler Terra Nova which had been used in the rescue mission to help Discovery. (Discovery had been sold after the 1901-04 expedition.) Terra Nova was registered as a yacht to prevent too close a scrutiny by the board of trade who might have pronounced her unseaworthy. Terra Nova, the largest of the Scottish whalers, proved a tough ship although her old engine needed one ton of coal for every 10km (six miles) steamed.

Terra Nova sailed with 65 men on board (8,000 had applied to join the expedition), including Captain Titus Oates and Lieutenant Birdie Bowers who each paid 1,000 to join the ship. Both men were to lose their lives.

Severe gales on the way south and a thick ice pack meant that the expedition reached their base later than expected. At one time during a severe gale the pumps were choked and a line of men with buckets helped to clear an alarming amount of water in the bottom of the ship. Two ponies died in the gale and ten tons of coal were lost overboard along with 65 gallons of petrol.

Terra Nova eventually reached McMurdo Sound, but the ship could not get as far south as had Discovery, due to the ice. A base was set up on Ross Island in the shadow of Mount Erebus.

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