August 15, 2010

Monday, 15 August 1910


Simon's Town, ca.2006. Photo by Henry Trotter. [1]

The Terra Nova arrived in Simon's Bay, not far from Cape Town, South Africa, on her way south.

Scott spent much of his time in South Africa wooing donors, and managed to secure a government grant of £500 and an equal amount from private sources.


Johansen, a few days before the Fram's departure. Photo by Anders Beer Wilse. [2]

Around this time, Johansen wrote in his diary, "I am compelled to make comparisons between this voyage and the first one of Fram's. The difference is great. This time there is too much fuss. There is no esprit de corps. There is not the comradeship, not to mention anything so elevated as friendship, which is necessary if an expedition as serious as this is to have a fortunate outcome." [3]

Tensions and perplexity abounded on the Fram. If they were going north, why take the trouble of hauling the dogs all of the way from Greenland, instead of getting them in Alaska? Why all of that coal? Why was the captain already on board when he had planned to join the ship in San Francisco? And what about that so-called "ice hut"? "Their very faces," Amundsen remembered, "began to resemble question marks." [4]

"Heigh-ho," Johansen went on, "with time, things I suppose will improve. But with the atmosphere now on board ... there's no point in plunging into the ice up North and struggling for years with everything one encounters there."


[1] Wikipedia.
[2] GalleriNOR.
[3] Hjalmar Johansen, diary, [date not given], quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.293.
[4] Roald Amundsen, The South Pole, ch.3.

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