It sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey, in August 1928, in the square-rigged City of New York with not one, but three aircraft. To really explore the continent's history, we have to go back far before Cook first crossed the Antarctic Circle. Charcot used this entire fortune to finance construction of a three-masted schooner, Français, and to outfit it with laboratory equipment. A remarkable series of photographs, documenting the first known use of bagpipes in the Far South, shows an emperor penguin, head thrown back and beak agape, being serenaded by a kilted piper. Among those aboard was his second wife, Meg, who sailed as far as Punta Arenas. With the Australian government granting over half the expedition’s cost, Mawson escaped some of the financing worries that plagued other explorers. by MARTIN S (ISBN: 9781921719578) from Amazon's Book Store. Biscoe was also struck by the beauty of the aurora australis, which, he recorded, ‘at times (appeared) not many yards above us.’ Oncoming winter forced the ships north to Hobart, but scurvy so ravaged Tula’s crew that only Biscoe, three other men and a boy were able to work. From a height of 240m, Scott saw the Ross Ice Shelf’s undulating surface rising toward the polar plateau. Nevertheless, Shirase’s team was welcomed as heroes when they returned to Yokohama on June 20, 1912. The men were also breaking down. Instead Nordenskjöld and five men set up a winter base on Snow Hill Island in February 1902. Henry Bowers was added only the night before, a tactical error, since the food, tent and skis had been planned for a four-man team. To the cheers of Discovery’s men, Scott set out for the South Pole on November 2, 1902, with Shackleton, scientific officer Dr Edward A Wilson, 19 dogs and five supply sledges hitched in train formation. The ship sank 45km from tiny Paulet Island, and the men spent 16 days sledging provisions and small boats to it. But what do we know about its history? Although no one had previously penetrated further than a kilometer or so from the coast, Shackleton had no choice but to try to cross the island. He was well into planning an expedition where he would freeze his ship into the Arctic ice and drift with the current across the Pole when news reached him that American Robert E Peary claimed to have reached 90°N on April 6, 1909. Antarctica history is relatively short, at least in terms of human activity. Educated at the Munich Cadet Corps and a veteran of a pioneering horseback journey through the Pamirs and another expedition to Tibet, Filchner hoped to cross the Antarctic continent, starting from the Weddell Sea, to solve this puzzle. Honoring his wife by naming the new territory for her, Dumont d’Urville was the only early explorer to so honor his wife, though another Frenchman, Charcot, later followed his example. Two weeks later, after a pair of simple wooden huts were erected on Ridley Beach, which Borchgrevink named after his mother, Southern Cross departed to winter in New Zealand. The works’ owner, William Beardmore, took a liking to Shackleton and agreed to sponsor an Antarctic expedition. This may have been wisdom somehow gleaned from an early traveler who had experienced a tropical summer. If mortal fear was not enough to dissuade would-be discoverers, perhaps eternal damnation did the trick, for the Catholic Church found the idea of a southern continent – with its own population, and thus its own separate relationship with God – unacceptable. Once expeditions began to discover the Antarctic continent, they too claimed the parts they saw. Geologists collect evidence and piece together Antarctica’s history from today back to when it was part of the Gondwana supercontinent. On the last of these, Drygalski and his companions nearly were lost in the trackless white wasteland of snow-covered sea ice. American Lincoln Ellsworth (1880–1951), scion of a wealthy Pennsylvania coal-mining family, had whetted his appetite for polar exploration in 1925, when he made the first flight toward the North Pole with Roald Amundsen. I want emails from Lonely Planet with travel and product information, promotions, advertisements, third-party offers, and surveys. The war, meanwhile, raged for another 22 bloody months, long enough for two of Shackleton’s men to die in the fighting. Lindblad wanted to give tourists a first-hand experience on the ecological sensitivity of the Antarctic environment, in order to educate them and promote a greater understanding of the continent's role in the world. But the season’s first try was another disaster – an engine seized after its heavy preserving lubricant was not drained before starting. Two weeks later, the ice opened and they steamed into the polynya, only to be forced to wait another month until they could gain the open sea. Despite the Japanese public’s outright scorn of his fundraising efforts, Shirase organized an Antarctic expedition in 1910. Even as he was being invalided home by Scott, Shackleton resolved to return to Antarctica one day – which he did in 1908. One of his midshipmen, quoted in the Literary Gazette and Journal of Belle Lettres, called it ‘a prospect the most gloomy that can be imagined…the only cheer the sight afforded was in the idea that this might be the long-sought Southern Continent.’ They surveyed the islands along it for another 20 days before being stopped by pack ice and turning north. Sailing south again in November 1841, Ross aimed for the eastern extremity of the Barrier, reaching a new record south of 78°10´S on February 23. Nevertheless, Borchgrevink’s return to England was all but unheralded. But he also recorded his observations of large numbers of seals and whales – and others, more commercially minded than the Royal Navy, took notice. Belgica crossed the Circle on February 15, 1898. Sailing in a refitted three-masted sealing ship (with an auxiliary engine) that he purchased in Norway and rechristened Belgica, de Gerlache left Antwerp in 1897 with a decidedly international crew. By sailing through the straits that now bear his name, Magellan proved the southern land was not connected to South America, either, although it remained possible that it was attached to Tierra del Fuego. The next day, Ross sighted land, an unexpected development. Along the eastern side of the strait, they charted the Peninsula’s Danco Coast, named for the ship’s magnetician, who died during the expedition. The geology of West Antarctica has much in common with the geology of the Andes. Charcot decided instead to investigate the west coast of the Peninsula. One whale-catcher was retained and converted to another auxiliary raider. Finding none, he headed south once more, sailing eastward and discovering Adelaide Island (which he named for the consort of King William IV) on February 16, 1832. On October 31, Larsen led a group of five others in an open boat to search for the trio at Hope Bay. Between 1818 and 1836, he spent eight winters and 15 summers in the Arctic. The brutality of their work impressed even the sealers themselves. He also discovered a vast ice shelf, naming it ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Barrier’ for his emperor (who later insisted that it be renamed after Filchner). They were forced to spend another winter, arriving home in Australia in late February, 1914. Aged 40, he undertook the first of his three great voyages. Departing London on August 22, 1898, Southern Cross arrived at Cape Adare on February 17, 1899. To prevent scurvy, he urged de Gerlache to set an example by eating fresh seal and penguin meat, which the men detested. They built a stone hut and killed 1100 Adélies for food before the birds left for the winter. A month later, Oates was in such bad shape that he prayed not to wake upon retiring. ‘To the skilful hunter their overthrow is but the work of a moment, ’ wrote one sealer on Kerguelen. Although Nordenskjöld’s expedition is remembered primarily for its survival against nearly overwhelming odds, it also performed the most important research in Antarctica (including studies in botany, geology, glaciology and hydrography) undertaken up to its time. Tens of thousands of aerial photographs were taken along nearly three-quarters of the continent’s coast, although their usefulness for mapmaking was limited by a lack of ground surveys. Aristotle supported and refined the idea, suggesting that the symmetry of a sphere demanded that the earth’s inhabited northern region should be balanced by an equally inhabited – or, at least, inhabitable – southern region. Instead of reproach, he received the highest award of the newly established Royal Geographical Society. Göring was interested both in claiming territory and in protecting Germany’s growing whaling fleet. we use cookies to improve your experience on our website. Soon Endurance was squeezing through ever-narrower leads. One final charge, on February 16, 1904, released Discovery for the long journey home. An indefatigable worker with a charming, forceful personality, Shackleton inspired fierce loyalty and admiration. Drygalski remarked that cinders from the ship’s smokestack caused the ice on which they landed to melt, since the dark ashes absorbed the sun’s heat. Drygalski named the territory Kaiser Wilhelm II Land. Nearly a third of the peri-Antarctic islands were discovered by sealers. Together with nationalism, geomagnetic surveying was the main motivation behind, for example, the 1839–43 British expedition led by British explorer James Clark Ross, which discovered the Ross Sea, the Ross Ice Barrier (now called the Ross Ice Shelf), and the Victoria Land coast. As early as 700 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus records, a Phoenician fleet sailed from the Red Sea south along the African coast and around Cape Agulhas to the Strait of Gibraltar. As dogs weakened, they were shot and fed to the others. When Scott received Amundsen’s startling cable on Oct. 13, 1910 – the day after Terra Nova arrived in port – Scott became deeply distressed, but worked hard not to show it. Six days later, a party went ashore at Cape Adare in what was claimed to be the first landing ever made on the continent outside the Peninsula. Colbeck and Scott, upon his return, decided that with Discovery still frozen into the ice, Morning should not wait to depart. Antarctic atmospheric conditions sometimes combine to create a phenomenon known as ‘looming, ’ in which geographic features beneath the horizon—as far as hundreds of kilometers distant—appear much closer than they are. But on December 20, taking off again from Deception, they flew for 11 hours across the Peninsula and along its eastern side, covering 2100km and reaching as far as 71°20´S. Filchner then tried to establish a winter base (‘Stationseisberg’) on the ice shelf, but these plans had to be hastily abandoned when a huge section of the shelf carrying the expedition’s nearly completed hut calved into the sea. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. By now his body was literally coming apart: hair falling out, toenails loosened, even the thick soles of his feet sloughing off. There, the Governor of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) was John Franklin, himself a veteran Arctic explorer who would later sail Arctic waters again – in the same Erebus and Terror – before disappearing and triggering the greatest polar search in history. Heavy ice, meanwhile, slowed Wyatt Earp, which arrived four days later. Shackleton especially was suffering badly from scurvy – but accounts of the trip that say he had to be carried on the sledge are incorrect. Scotsman James Clark Ross (1800–62), considered one of the most dashing figures of his time, had all of the advantages for Antarctic exploration that Wilkes lacked. Gangs were typically dropped off on a promising beach and left for months at a time while the ship continued in search of other sealing grounds. With three companions – Jameson Adams, Eric Marshall and Frank Wild – Shackleton pioneered the route up to the polar plateau (which he claimed, and named, for King Edward VII) via the Beardmore Glacier, named for the expedition’s patron. An officer who had anticipated success brought out a bottle of Bordeaux and a toast was raised to the King. Shackleton lived by his family motto: Fortitudine vincimus (By fortitude we conquer). As the ship’s surgeon, de Gerlache signed an American, Frederick A Cook. The US Congress, however, handed Wilkes his bitterest defeat, authorizing publication of just 100 copies of the expedition’s official report. When Southern Cross returned on January 28, 1900, to pick up the expedition, it had proven a critical fact: humans could survive Antarctica’s winter ashore, using a wooden hut as a base for exploration. He had long dreamed of reaching the North Pole. The threat of a German expedition attempting the same journey helped Shackleton raise funds; nationalistic Britons sent in contributions to the ‘first crossing of the last continent.’ Shackleton’s plan was simple but ambitious: he would sail in Endurance to the Weddell Sea coast, establish a base, then trek across the continent via the Pole. In 1931 Ellsworth began what would become a long and productive association with Hubert Wilkins – with the goal of crossing Antarctica by air. sailed on Christmas Day 1908, continuing the survey work on the western side of the Peninsula that Charcot had begun with Français. Terra Australis (Southern Land) – the term was first used by Flemish mapmaker Oronce Finé in 1531 – continued to exert its attraction, however. After nearly a decade of being urged to do so, the US Congress voted to send ships south to explore the region. Antarctica, unlike any other continent, was postulated to exist long before it was actually discovered. By January 1899, Cook suggested that they attempt to liberate themselves by hand-sawing a canal 600m from a stretch of open water back to the ship. De Gerlache sold his ship, Polaris, a 270-tonne barquentine, to Shackleton, who renamed it Endurance. Arriving at Ross Island in January 1911, Scott found ice blocking the way to his old Discovery hut on Hut Point, so he established winter quarters at Cape Evans, named after his second-in-command, ERGR ‘Teddy’ Evans. Wilkins had already flown 4000km across the Arctic Ocean earlier in the year, becoming the first to cross the region by air, and now he took the same pilot (Carl Ben Eielson) and the same plane (now called Los Angeles) south to tackle The Ice. Dutchman Abel Janszoon Tasman’s voyages, charting parts of Tasmania and New Zealand in 1623–25 and again in 1644, also sparked hope that they might be part of the great missing continent, but they were not. On January 22, 1820, they landed at King George Bay (perhaps at Turret Point) on King George Island and again claimed the islands for Britain. On his third voyage, from 1776 to 1779, he explored the Arctic coasts of North America and Siberia before being killed by natives in Hawaii in 1779. Ross was equally dismissive of Wilkes’ claim for an Antarctic mainland, but Wilkes insisted that he had limned a continent. Six men led by Professor TW Edgeworth David ascended Mt Erebus for the first time, reaching the rim of the volcano’s crater on March 10, 1908 after a five-day climb. The infamous three-man midwinter trek to Cape Crozier, which Apsley Cherry-Garrard chronicled so eloquently in The Worst Journey in the World, braved 24-hour darkness and temperatures as low as -59°C – so cold that the men’s teeth cracked in their mouths and they were ‘beginning to think of death as a friend, ’ as Cherry-Garrard wrote – all so that they could be the first to collect emperor penguin embryos. Soon there was a 2m-deep channel filled with water. Amundsen’s Fram (Forward), used by Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen on his unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole, sailed from Norway on August 9, 1910. There, they crossed between the Peninsula and off-lying Joinville Island, naming the strait for their ship, Antarctic. The 3700km flight was intended to last just 14 hours, even with landings to refuel. When Ross married later that year, his bride Anne’s father set one condition: he must promise to end his exploring days, a pledge Ross made and faithfully kept – with one exception. WWII interrupted the plans of many explorers, although a secret Nazi expedition in 1938–39, led by Alfred Ritscher, was dispatched to Antarctica by Field Marshal Hermann Göring. On his third voyage that year, again in Williams, Smith landed on King George Island on October 17. The expedition got a late start sailing south, leaving Punta Arenas on December 14. Byrd and the others eventually rescued the stranded party. They had, however, plenty of canine companionship. There he persuaded Svend Foyn, wealthy inventor of the exploding harpoon gun, to back an expedition to assess the Ross Sea’s potential for whaling. Flying up the Liv Glacier, an icy on-ramp to the polar plateau, the plane was unable to climb due to the cold, thin air, forcing the men to ditch 110kg of their emergency rations. The expedition’s Southern Cross, a converted Norwegian sealer, sailed under the Union Jack only at the insistence of its magnanimous sponsor. The expedition also made the first radio contact between Antarctica and another continent, on September 25, 1912, using a wireless relay at a five-man station the expedition established on Macquarie Island. If the seals in these regions had been protected and only a certain number of ‘dogs’ (young male seals unable to hold their positions on the beaches) allowed to be killed, these islands and coasts would be again populous with seal life. As Norwegians, they were well trained in the use of skis. After stopping at Deception Island’s whaling station, where Charcot saved a man from a hideous death by amputating his gangrenous hand, Pourquoi Pas? Wilkins returned to the Antarctic the next summer, making more flights and discoveries. He also planned meticulously, took three or four backups of every critical item, and the previous summer had laid 10 extremely well-marked depots as far as 82°S, which together contained 3400kg of stores and food. Byrd’s United States Antarctic Expedition (USAE) was the best-funded private expedition to Antarctica in history. Pushing south again in January 1904, Bruce was able to penetrate the Weddell Sea to 74°S. So Wilkins and his men – aided by crews from the nearby whaling station – cleared a runway on shore. English merchant Captain William Smith (1790–1847), sailing in the British ship Williams in early 1819, set a course well south of Cape Horn while bound for Valparaiso, Chile, probably to avoid difficult winds. The push for research had itself contributed to the polar party’s destruction, since the men dragged a sledge that carried, among other items, 16kg of geological samples. Although Bruce later became a world authority on Spitsbergen in the trackless white wasteland of snow-covered Sea ice with equipment. Having been ordered to remain at camp that morning to look after the war the cost of mounting major... Might return same voyage that year, this side of the Northwest Passage, a young named! Have extremely open-minded bosses by eating fresh seal and penguin meat, which he named for (... Southernmost continent, but the sealers found ‘ Sea elephants ’ easy prey claimed. 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