Date: 3 October 2012
Wind Speed: 2 knots
Temp with wind chill: -35C
As Martin described in our last blog, we were recently able to make a quick trip out over the sea ice to Scott’s Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans. I had especially been looking forward to seeing the hut again, as three and a half years have passed since the last time I set foot inside. In the intervening years conservators have been working diligently to reconfigure various aspects of the hut to their original layout, many artefacts have been treated, and I had been eagerly anticipating seeing all of these changes first hand.
Captain Scott's hut at Cape Evans
Stepping into the hut is always a powerful moment: it is quite dark inside at this time of year as the windows are still covered by snow, and it takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. When they do, all sorts of artefacts - bunks and boxes of foodstuffs, scientific equipment, the large table in the centre of the room –start to emerge from the dimness, standing where they did when the hut was inhabited by the explorers of Scott’s expedition. A prescient silence also fills the hut, and there is a great sense of stillness that I find somewhat jarring – jarring because the wind outside is often howling by comparison, but also because when the hut was originally occupied, it never would have been so quiet inside.
Artefacts emerge from the darkness
Making my way around all the little nooks in the hut, it was rewarding to see how many artefacts have been conserved and how the sense of place has been so well preserved. I am looking forward to moving out to our work camp at the huts so we can once again spend most of our days inside this special place.