November 26, 2010

Saturday, 26 November 1910


"Probably the deck of the ship Terra Nova, Christchurch, 1910 ... Christchurch Press photograph. Photographer unidentified." [1]

The Terra Nova sailed from Lyttelton, heading down to Port Chalmers to wait for Scott.

"[The] scene on the morning of Saturday, November 26, baffles description. There is no deck visible: in addition to 30 tons of coal in sacks on deck there are 2 1/2 tons of petrol, stowed in drums which in turn are cased in wood. On the top of sacks and cases, and on the roof of the ice-house are thirty-three dogs, chained far enough apart to keep them from following their first instinct -- to fight the nearest animal they can see: the ship is a hubbub of howls. In the forecastle and in the four stalls on deck are the nineteen ponies, wedged tightly in their wooden stalls, and dwarfing everything are the three motor sledges in their huge crates, 16' x 5' x 4', two of them on either side of the main hatch, the third across the break of the poop. They are covered with tarpaulins and secured in every possible way, but it is clear that in a big sea their weight will throw a great strain upon the deck. It is not altogether a cheerful sight. But all that care and skill can do has been done to ensure that the deck cargo will not shift, and that the animals may be as sheltered as possible from wind and seas. And it's no good worrying about what can't be helped." [2]


[1] Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand.
[2] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, ch.2.

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