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Should they have landed?

Of course they should have. They had come a long way to explore this region of Antarctica.  At the time they had no knowledge of what was to happen. No long range weather forecasts.  Being amongst the first to venture into these areas little previous knowledge was available and what was indicated that conditions would improve during the six week sledging period. This was the Antarctic 1912:

  •   An age of sail, steam, wooden ships, and where their land transport relied on man-hauling. 
  •  Their were no long range-weather forecast other than local interpretation of the immediate sea and sky conditions.
  •   Any achievement in this hostile land had some associated risk-more so then than now.

When considering actions taken back in 1912, we need to think in their terms, and not overlay our modern way of life  and standards.  Back in 1912 there were no 'Health and Safety'  regulations saying what they could and could not do. They had just good common sense and the actions of good practical men. Predominately sailors who had spent time a sea under sail. These were tough, resourceful men who knew when calculated risks should and needed to be taken.

Campbell, his party and Pennell all agreed to land.   There appears to have been no dissenters.

L us giveet Priestley have the last word:

Some risk must be taken in Antarctic exploration, however, and though our experience is not one to be lightly repeated, our action has been justified in the event beyond cavil. [v]                    

[i] Huxley, Scott’s Last Expedition - vol 2, 1913, 377.

[ii] H.G.R. King, ed., The Wicked Mate.  The Antarctic diary of Victor Campbell. (Archival Facsimiles Ltd, 2001), 112.

[iii] Raymond Edward Priestley, Antarctic Adventure; Scott’s Northern Party (General Books LLC, 1913), 200.

[iv] Ibid., 200-201.

[v] Ibid., 201.

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