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

Section 5: Voyage of the Scotia ... Planning and financing the expedition

The equipment

Large ships are needed for voyages to the Antarctic due to the amount of supplies required. Scotia carried stores for two years. This included all the equipment detailed below, plus food supplies (although fresh supplies were purchased in the Falkland Islands), timber to build huts, spare yards and canvas for the ship and 200 tons of coal.

The expedition was fortunate in respect of donations of cash, but 150 firms donated items such as instruments, foodstuffs (sugar, flour, chocolate, cocoa), crockery, games and tobacco. Offers of several crates of whisky had to be turned down through lack of space. Books included reports of previous polar expeditions.

Bacteriological investigations were hampered by mould on the ship which interfered with cultures.

Meteorological instruments

Magnetic instruments


Other equipment

image from Voyage of the Scotia

Soundings and dredging on Scotia
Scotia was fitted with a 40 horse power steam winch for hauling in the sounding wire (often attached to tubes for water sampling) and for pulling in the dredge which captured sea life from the surface to the bottom of the sea. The wire had to be coiled below deck by hand - an arduous task in the cold and wet and one shared by crew and scientist - they had over 3,600 metres (12,000 feet) of wire.
The Lucas sounding machine was lent by Bruce to the Mawson expedition on Aurora and also for use on Aurora during Shackleton's Endurance expedition.

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