Skip navigation
0

The Huts  15 years on

Posted by Conservators Feb 9, 2011

Posted by Sarah


Date: 29 January 2011
Temperature: -9
Wind Speed: 0 knots
Temp with wind chill: -9

It was with great anticipation that I flew out to Captain RF Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition 1910-1913 hut at Cape Evan and Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 Nimrod Expedition Hut at Cape Royds on Saturday.  I have been working as a conservator at these huts since the 1997. Since my last trip in 2006, an enormous amount of work has been undertaken by the building conservators to shore up the huts and remove ice and snow from under the hut, to improve the internal environments. Additionally, thousands of artefacts have been conserved and placed back on display.


The visual and environmental changes inside the hut were very noticeable. The huts no longer have ice fingering its way up the wall with wet beads of corrosion glistening in my torch light. Instead the huts have a drier, more lived in feeling.  The picture shows one corner of Shackleton’s 1907 Nimrod Expedition Hut, 10 years ago the walls and floor under these beds was damp and moldy, now it is quite dry.

Shackleton's hut small.jpg

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 Nimrod Expedition Hut at Cape Royds © AHT / Sarah


I’m an in no doubt these changes will have an enormous impact on the longevity of these very special places, and it is fantastic that the Antarctic Heritage Trust  has had the resources to carry out the necessary work.

0

Boomeranged

Posted by Conservators Feb 9, 2011

Posted by Julie

 


Date: 2/2/2011
Temperature: -10.4
Wind Speed: 9.5
Temp with wind chill: -15

At breakfast the morning  when we were scheduled to leave, Jane said, “I don’t feel like we’re going to Antarctica.”  Guess what – Jane’s psychic!  We checked in and were given a short briefing, we boarded a C17 US military plane, and we flew five hours to Antarctica wearing our extreme weather gear.  And then we circled around… and around… and around… After about an hour of circling it was no big surprise when we were told that due to weather conditions on the ground, we were not going to land.  And so, we turned around and flew five more hours back to Christchurch – i.e., we were “boomeranged.”

resized 1.jpg
Jane and Sarah react to the announcement that we’re going back to Christchurch  © AHT/Julie

 

There aren’t many windows in the belly of a C17 (it’s like a machine room with wings, and the noise is deafening), but there are a few portholes.  We took turns at those windows and got a look at Antarctica: blue water with tabular icebergs and “pancake ice” on the approach, and then blindingly white mountains with blue and purple shadows on the continent (the photos don’t do it justice).  At one point we were invited up to the cockpit for a few seconds, where we had a panoramic view of Antarctica from the air.

resized 2.jpg
Antarctica from the cockpit of the C17 © AHT/Sarah

 

The next morning was déjà vu.  We got ready to leave again, but with one difference: when we asked Jane how she felt about the flight, she said she felt good about it.  Guess what, she was psychic again!  After flying back to Antarctica for five hours, we suddenly banked, put down the landing gear, and landed on the ice airstrip.  It was a beautiful day on the ground, and on our short drive from the airfield to Scott Base there was even a group of Emperor penguins near the road.