Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s grandson says his visit to the explorer’s original Antarctic hut on January was an “incredible” experience.
Falcon Scott will leave Scott Base today to volunteer with the Antarctic Heritage Trust as a carpenter on the restoration of his grandfather’s later Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans.
He said the trip to the Discovery hut from the 1901-04 expedition, which is 4 kilometres from Scott Base, gave him an appreciation of the bravery of the explorers.
“You get this incredible sense that this building was the first thing there. When these men arrived … everything was strange to them.”
There was an incredible sense of history in the hut, he said.
“The light coming into the hut throws a light on to the past. When you are standing inside, you could imagine being in that era and having to knuckle down to that kind of life.”
As a carpenter, he saw the practical considerations that his grandfather and his crew faced.
“They didn’t even know what kind of rock it was until they had actually stepped ashore,” he said. “This hut had to stand a winter and they didn’t even know what a winter would throw at them.”
Scott, who lives in Scotland, spent New Year’s Eve camping in the field. He said it was a special experience, and looking in the direction of his grandfather’s final camp was emotional.
“I was looking south to Minna Bluff and thinking they had to come around that corner. They never did come around that corner,” he said.
Scott reached the South Pole on January 17, 1912, just over a month after Norwegian Roald Amundsen.
– © Fairfax NZ News