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5-The Adventure begins

26 January 1911 – On the Terra Nova at Cape Evans Campbell writes....

"Very fine weather. The party came back for the rest of the load then after tea Captain Scott said goodbye to all hands. The party left. Before this he gave me my sailing instructions and turned over the command to me. A Nly breeze had set a lot of pack ice into the bay during the day so we didn’t sail that night "

CAMPBELL, V L A [1]

The story of Campbell’s Northern Party starts on the 27 January 1911 when, as the Eastern party they set sail from Hut Point in the Terra Nova to explore the Ice Barrier and the area in and around King Edward V11 Land in the east.  This party, part of the Terra Nova Expedition but separate from Scott’s South Pole party, consisted of 6 men with supplies to provide for an over-wintering  and two summer sledging seasons.

 The Terra Nova, now under the command of Victor Campbell left Hutt Point, first landing Griffith Taylor, Wright, Debenham, and Evans (the Western Party) at Butter Point. Here Priestly found the depot laid in the summer of 1908-09 by Shackleton’s Western Party of which he was a member. He took some of his clothes that were left their two years earlier ‘and a couple of years later I was to be very glad of that addition to my outfit.’ [2]   Leaving Butter Point they sailed for Cape Evans to disembark Ponting, Nelson, and Demitri.  Now, on the 28 January, just twentyfour days after landing in Antarctica Campbell’s group started their own expedition.  Once around the top of Ross Island they followed close to the Barrier charting the tall ice cliffs as they sailed eastward.  While close to the Barrier they witnessed  sections of barrier collapsing into the sea with ‘thunder like roars and clouds of spray’.



[1] H.G.R. King, ed., The Wicked Mate.  The Antarctic diary of Victor Campbell. (Archival Facsimiles Ltd, 2001), 39-40.

[2] Raymond Edward Priestley, Antarctic Adventure; Scott’s Northern Party (General Books LLC, 1913), 34-35.

The journey across the  Ross Sea in the attempt to land in King Edward VII Land showing both the out and return routes to Cape Evans.

(Enlargement of section of map from Scott’s Last Expedition Vol 2)

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