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Adare-p5

Campbell, planning for early spring sledging trips could see problems travelling over the vast areas of sea ice in front of them.  There was the possibility of the cracks opening as the weather became warmer, putting expanses of open sea in their paths.  His solution was to convert the sledges into kayaks, turning the sledges upside down and covering them with canvas.  The development and the tests needed to be complete quickly before all the open water froze over.  Two prototypes were tested; both worked, with the second capable of taking two people and stable enough to stand in.  The canvas coverings could be easily carried on top of the sledges.  After winter, these were completed and two canvas shells were ready for the coming sledging journeys across the sea ice.  The two canvas shells weighed 15 and 20lbs.



The left picture is the ‘Adele’ the first sledge boat --Campbell in the boat while Abbott and Priestley look on from the water's edge.(SPRI, Freezframe p48-14-111 )    The picture on the right is the ‘Great Western’ the second sledge boat with ‘more freeboard than the last, and she is, if anything, more seaworthy[1]) –-Campbell in the boat. (SPRI, Freezframe p48-14-110 )

Although they never used the kayak conversion on their sledging journeys, they were used during the summer at Cape Adare.  [2]    Very much later, on the 12 January 1913 as everyone was finally leaving  Antarctica Campbell’s boat was again used.  Tryggve Gran led a small sledge party including Abbott to retrieve a depot of rock samples from Discovery Bluff, after travelling 10 kilometres they came to 100yd open channel. 
There was only one thing to do and that was to try out Campbell’s patent boat……. It took only ten minutes to launch the ‘boat’.  It floated like a duck;  its builder Abbott was the first to try it [3]  
The trip was a success due to the Campbell’s boat and Abbott’s skill.  More than 300 kilograms of rock and fossils were brought back to the Terra Nova.


[1] Huxley, Scott’s Last Expedition - vol 2, 1913, May 2 1911.

[2] Priestley, Antarctic Adventure; Scott’s Northern Party, 145.

[3] Tryggve Gran, The Norwegian With Scott: The Antarctic Diary of Tryggve Gran, 1910-13, ed. G Hattersley-Smith, First Edition. (Stationery Office, 1984), 234.

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