May 31, 2010

May 1910


"Terra Nova, Tromsö, Norway, 1905", a watercolour by Russell W. Porter. [1]

The Terra Nova, although lately put into service as a relief ship for both the Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic expedition and Scott's own Discovery, was still equipped for her original use as a whaler, and was now in London's West India docks being refitted for the Antarctic: blubber-tanks removed, hold cleansed, bilges sluiced, hull reinforced with seven feet of sturdy oak.

Lt. Evans recorded "a multitude of necessities -- canvas for sail-making, fireworks for signalling, whale-boats and whaling-gear, flags, logs, paint, tar, carpenter's stores, blacksmith's outfit -- bought, borrowed or 'aquired'. We then 'had her barque-rigged'.... A large, well-insulated ice house was erected on the upper deck which held 150 carcasses of frozen mutton, and owing to the position of the cold chamber, free as it was from the vicinity of iron, we mounted here our standard compass and Lloyd Creek pedestal for magnetic work.... A new stove was put in the galley, a lamp-room and paraffin store built, and store rooms, instrument, and chronometer rooms were added.... Twenty-four bunks were fitted around the saloon accommodation ... laboratories ... constructed on [the] poop, while two large magazines and a clothing store were zinc-lined to keep them damp free." [2]


[1] Papers of Russell W. Porter, 1893-1949 (XRWP), The National Archives and Records Administration. Porter was astronomer and artist for the American Ziegler/Fiala expedition to the Arctic in 1903-1905. The Terra Nova collected the stranded expedition in Franz Josef Land and brought them back to Tromsø.
[2] E.R.G.R. Evans, South with Scott, pp.27-29, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.364.

No comments:

Post a Comment