Date: 2 December 2012
Wind Speed: 10 knots
Temperature with Wind Chill: -15°C
After over six years with the Trust as Administration Officer, I was given the opportunity to visit Antarctica to assist the team during a busy period. I was both extremely excited and concerned at the same time, since I was told that the majority of my time involved camping in a tent at Cape Evans (the site of Captain Scott’s second expedition base). Having never camped before, this was worrying, but I was not going to let that get in the way of such a remarkable opportunity.
I arrived at Cape Evans by Hagglund, it took approximately one and half hours from Scott Base. Walking into Scott’s hut for the first time was very emotional: even after seeing thousands of photos, they did not prepare me for the feelings stirred. When I stepped inside I immediately noticed a distinctive smell, it took a few seconds before I realised it was the blubber stack, (left behind by the Ross Sea Party) stored in the western annexe. After over 100 years the smell was still extremely strong. It was like I’d been transported back in time and I was back in 1911, all was very real, in fact I was expecting to turn around and see Scott or one of the men from his party sitting at the wardroom table.
Walking around Scott’s hut I found myself thinking how noisy it must have been with 25 men living in the hut when it was first built in January 1911, but today it was eerily quiet, all I could hear was the wind howling around outside.
Stack of blubber in the Western annexe, Cape Evans
Veiw of the Western annexe, Cape Evans