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

Cape Evans

image from Voyage of the Scotia

The first winter was spent at Cape Evans preparing gear and stores for the march to the pole in the Antarctic summer. Scott had bought three motorised sledges to help move supplies to the supply dumps. One of these was to sink through the ice and be lost while the other two had very limited use and did not prove reliable. Neither were the ponies very successful and most died during the expedition.

Some of the supply depots were laid before the winter set in. Bad weather resulted in 'One Ton Depot' being laid at 7928.5'S instead of 80S. This was to prove fatal on the Scott's return from the pole.

Before leaving Melbourne, Scott had received a telegram:

'Beg to inform you Fram proceeding Antarctica.
Amundsen.'

Scott had hoped to beat Shackleton's record of 'furthest south' and reach the South Pole - and now there was serious competition from Amundsen and his team of very experienced men. Amundsen had wintered in the Arctic, was the first to go through the Northwest Passage and had lived with Eskimos. He had used skis since he was a young boy and all of his team were expert dog handlers and skiers. Scott believed this experienced crew had a great chance of beating him to the pole.

image from Voyage of the Scotia

Other scientific work, and Fram
While Scott and his party were on their way to the pole, scientific work continued at Cape Evans. A party had also landed on King Edward Land from Terra Nova, 650km (400 miles) away. Their survival for a year was another polar epic. On the way to King Edward Land Terra Nova came across Fram in the Bay of Whales. The crew of Terra Nova were amazed at the comparative luxury of the Fram. There was no separation of officers and crew. Fram had taken only 26 men south, as compared with 65 on Terra Nova.

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