Sunday, October 24, 1999

Cold Hard Facts

Published in the Antarctic Sun

Captain John Davis, aboard the Huron out of New Haven, Connecticut, may have made the first landing on Antarctica at Hughes Bay, on the Antarctic Peninsula, on February 7, 1821, on a sealing trip. The next known landing on the continent was at Cape Adare in Victoria Land on January 18, 1895, 74 years later.

Jules Dumont d’Urville, in addition to exploring the coast of Antarctica, discovered the statue Venus de Milo and brought it to France.

The South Magnetic Pole was east of Ross Island in 1600. It has moved roughly northwest at the rate of 6-9 miles per year, and is now in the Dumont d’Urville Sea.

The first people to winter on the Ice were in a British-funded team under the leadership of Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevink, a Norwegian. The 10 men(three British, five Norwegian, and two
Finns) lived in two huts (called Camp Ridley) at the base of Cape Adare from March 1899 to January 1900.

On March 12, 1842, the Erebus and the Terror, James Clark Ross’s ships, collided in a storm in a field of icebergs, crippling the Erebus. Three days later, both ships were repaired enough to continue the voyage.

Robert Falcon Scott’s first voyage to the Antarctic, in 1901-1904, began poorly: The expedition’s ship, Discovery, was found to be leaking on the voyage from Britain to New Zealand.

The first newspaper on Antarctica was the South Polar Times, published by Scott’s expedition each month. Ernest Shackleton was the editor and printer. Submissions were solicited from
all members of the group.

Source: Antarctica: The Extraordinary History of Man’s Conquest of the Frozen Continent
(New York: Reader’s Digest, 1988).