June 30, 2009

Summer 1909


Adolf Lindstrøm [1]

Helmer Hanssen [2]

Oscar Wisting. [3]

Kristian Prestrud
[4]. All of these photographs are part of the series of the Fram's crew taken by Anders Beer Wilse shortly before departure in 1910.

Adolf Lindstrøm and Helmer Hanssen, both of whom had been with Amundsen on the Gjøa, signed on for the Arctic drift, Lindstrøm as cook and Helmer Hanssen as dog driver. Hanssen, with his mate's certificate, could also navigate.

Oscar Wisting, a naval gunner, was working on the Fram at Horten when Amundsen came up to him and said, "as he patted me amiably on the shoulder," Wisting later wrote, "'You can come North with me.' To put it mildly, I was surprised." [5] Like Helmer Hanssen, Wisting had his mate's certificate, and he also had considerable experience whaling around Iceland and in handling small ships; Kristian Prestrud, already signed on as one of Amundsen's officers, had recommended Wisting to Amundsen for the expedition.


[1] GalleriNOR, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[2] GalleriNOR, Nasjonalbiblioteket. Helmer Hanssen spelled his name with a double "s" only later in his life. To avoid confusion with Godfred Hansen, he is here referred to by his full name.
[3] GalleriNOR, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[4] GalleriNOR, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[4] Oscar Wisting, 16 År med Roald Amundsen (Gyldendal, 1930), p.10, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.260.

June 19, 2009

Saturday, 19 June 1909


Scott presided at a dinner for Shackleton at the Savage Club in London, saying in his after-dinner speech that the South Pole must be discovered by an Englishman, and that he himself was prepared "to go forth in search of that object.... All I have to do now is to thank Mr Shackleton for so nobly showing the way." [1]

This was virtually a declaration of intent to organize another expedition, but opinion remained somewhat lukewarm. Shackleton was interested in going South again.

Admiral Sir Lewis Beaumont, vice-president of the RGS, felt that Scott was trying to compete with Shackleton, and wrote to Leonard Darwin, "Let him lead another Antarctic expedition if he will ... but let it be a scientific expedition... He is looking at the thing now from too close." Beaumont saw Scott's eagerness as mere Pole-hunting, and disapproved. "All this is to incline you to put Scott off from making ... a mistake -- that is, competing with Shackleton in organising an expedition to go over the old route merely to do that 97 miles ...." [2]


[1] The Observer, 20 June 1909, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.247.
[2] Admiral Sir Lewis Beaumont, letter to Leonard Darwin, 19 June 1909, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.248.