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6-Cape Adare.

The time spent at Cape Adare is another story.  My prime interest is the details of the sledging before and after the party’s 1912 incarceration in the snow cave on Inexpressible Island.  However, suffice it to say that at Cape Adare they developed skills in living together, sledging, man hauling, traversing sea ice, summer and early spring sledging, and living and surviving in the field. 

After failing to find safe anchorage or suitable landing sites, Campbell writes in his diary:

There was only thing left; to land at Cape Adare, where Borchgrevink wintered in 1900.  I was very much against winter here, one thing as it is a hopeless place to sledge from, lying as it does at the end of a long peninsula.  Also I was anxious to break new ground, but coal would not allow our going back to Lady Newnes or Wood Bay so we steamed over to land at 3 am.’[1]

On February 18 the unloading began and continued until midnight then after a short break started again at 3 am.  Twice the unloading halted as heavy pack ice came into the bay preventing the ferrying of supplies.  Although by midnight everything was landed, heavy pack ice prevented the ship party getting back to the Terra Nova.  So everyone crowded into Borchgrevink’s old hut and caught up with some sleep.  The ice partially cleared by 4 am allowing the ship‘s party to return.  The Terra Nova then set sail for New Zealand.  However, before the ship sailed Campbell persuaded Pennell to change the date he would return to pick up the party next year. [2] Scott had instructed them to be ready on or after 25 February, 1912 (see Appendix-1). This would have been after the Terra Nova had sailed past Cape Adare to relieve the Main Party at Cape Evans. Campbell wanting to go to Wood Bay where he thought better work could be done than here at Cape Adare. Changing the pickup to early January on the inward trip before Terra Nova sailed to Cape Evans would give him six to eight weeks to explore in and around Wood Bay.
Now alone their priority was to complete their hut.  The outside was completed by the 25th and work began on finishing the inside.  Now inside working conditions were better although ‘when we miss a nail and hit our fingers with the hammer we feel it’.[3]   Eighteen days after landing, on the 8 March the hut was completed and the stove lighted for the first time.


[1] H.G.R. King, ed., The Wicked Mate.  The Antarctic diary of Victor Campbell. (Archival Facsimiles Ltd, 2001), 50.

[2] Meridith Hooper, The Longest Winter. Scott's other Heroes. (Jonh Murry2010), 101

[3] H.G.R. King, ed., The Wicked Mate. The Antarctic diary of Victor Campbell. (Archival Facsimiles Ltd, 2001, 53.

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