June 1, 2010

Wednesday, 1 June 1910


The Terra Nova in Cardiff. [1]

Canadian explorer Robert Bartlett, who had been with Peary in 1908-09, attended the farewell luncheon at the RGS on 31st May, and, by special invitation, was at the docks to see the Terra Nova depart London for Cardiff the next day.

"Two things especially struck me about what I saw," Bartlett later wrote, "the attitude of the country and the kind of equipment ... there were gold lace and cocked hats and dignitaries enough to run a Navy. I couldn't help comparing all this formality with the shoddy, almost sneering attitude of the American public towards Peary's brave efforts.... The basis of all Peary's work was application of Eskimo methods .... In contrast to this, the British worked out their own theories. [They] proved on paper that it wasn't worth while to use dogs .... I thought of these things as I looked at the fine woollen clothing, the specially designed (in England) ... other gear. None of it looked like the Eskimo stuff that we were used to." [1]

Scott was not aboard; he stayed behind for last-minute fund-raising and final arrangements, leaving Teddy Evans in charge of the ship. Six of the staff were aboard -- Atkinson, Wright, Taylor, Gran, Oates, and Cherry -- the others were to join the ship in New Zealand and Australia.


[1] Source unknown.
[2] Captain Robert Bartlett, The Log of Bob Bartlett, p.224, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.283.

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