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In November , The Vessel Terra Nova Left New Zealand Carrying An International Team Of Explorers Led By Robert Falcon Scott, An Englishman Determined To Be The First Man To Reach The South Pole Scott Kept A Detailed Journal Of His Adventures Until March When He And The Few Remaining Members Of His Team Met Their Ends In A Brutal Blizzard The Daily Progress Of The Expedition Toward The Pole Is Recorded In An Immensely Vivid And Personal Narrative, Depicting The Beauty Of The Antarctic Tundra, The Harsh Living Conditions, And Scott S Own Desperation To Beat Rival Explorers To The Pole I couldn t get enough of Captain Scott s final journey as a kid, being introduced to it by the BBC sExplorersseries in the 1970s So, it was high time that I turned to the journals of Scott himself, a priceless artefact and account of an unimaginable journey that culminated in death New thinking on colonialism now leads us to be sceptical of stiff upper lip derring do, so the fact that Antarctica was uninhabited makes Scott one of the last of the former heroes it is still OK to like and this is reinforced by the strong scientific element to the expedition Preparation was meticulous and one certainly comes away from reading this feeling sympathetic and indignant that Scott has been painted in some quarters as a blunderer in comparison to Roald Amundsen, the man who beat him to the South Pole There s no doubt that the weather did not work in his favour and the number of unpredictable elements the party came across was incredible The final entries to the diary are unbearably poignant, especially the famous departure of Captain Oates Antarctica remains a shockingly unforgiving environment this is a fascinating study of attempts to come to terms of it from over a hundred years ago. A fascinating account of the Terra Nova and it s account to Antarctica from New Zealand.It was the first and only account to use both ponies and dogs If course ponies could not survive and were eaten He also spent an incredible amount on road vehicles.The race was on to the South Pole.Nanson, came in with a specific plan His men immediately dug an underground bunker with rooms for work and storage His food was of much higher quality He chose his men most carefully Finally, he reached the pole first.Robert Falcon Scott was found dead in a tent with his companions They died of exposure and starvation Beaten by Nanson, who was so much better prepared A sad take of the expedition of Antarctica.Highly recommended and a MUST READ Well, I didn t know what it would be like I m Australian, I ve never seen fucken snow before So I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and here I am, in Geneva in the snow and I have to say I have a pretty good idea of how Scott felt now.My knitting group meets about an eight minute walk away, I set out way way early and I d done my research, but like Scott, mistakes were made.For a start I brought the wrong dogs They were rubbish sled pullers And when I decided en route that I had to kill one of them for food, I should have noticed that the Manor Food store was just across the street from me Sushi or pizza would have been so much simpler.I ll bet Scott had a conversation something like this when he was setting out Scott s mother Walter Raleigh Scott, you come back here right now Right now Scott hops off the sled, goes to front door.Scott s mother What have you forgotten to say before you go Scott thinks about this Ummm Thanks for the sandwiches Scott s mother Exactly It s a mom s job isn t it You boys just go out galavanting in the snow, having fun while moms are home making the sandwiches and endlessly hoovering And don t you forget it.Scott can see his fellow explorers in the sled, possibly laughing at him Ummm Gotta go now Mom.Scott s mother Not yet young man And what have you forgotten The same thing as last time and the time before Scott looks at the sled which is just full of stuff and shrugs I dunno, Mom What Scott s mother Your jumper, you big wally Honestly What would you all do without Mom Scott finally escapes as Mom yells her parting words And don t you be two years late for dinner like last time It s the last meal I ll be cooking for you, I m just telling you that right now.Well nobody said that to me and I was halfway down the street before I noticed I didn t have a jumper on The dogs refused to turn around, like it was their problem I should have eaten the lot of them.But finally I do arrive So I m at Starbucks, get out of my sled and start tying it up to a tree when somebody in a uniform says What are you doing I say Going to my knitting group and he says No, that s not what I mean, I mean there, what s that I don t speak French It s possible he said What the fuck s that He looked a bit like that s what he meant to say Is this guy a complete idiot, I ask myself H e lllooo It s my sled Snow Sled Even in Australia we get the snow sled thing I start wondering if maybe he s Austrian or something Little joke to solicit votes from any Swiss goodreaders looking at this At this point I handed him my parking permit for sled and eight dogs ahem, albeit seven at this point My pre trip research indicated that Swiss love documentation Indeed, he looked a bit surprised, as well he might I bought it for five bucks at a fakeIDonline site But still, he was happy now He even tried patting the dogs, which was a mistake on his part.Damn I m not feeling all that great, I ve just been checking wiki and it transpires I completely got the eating dog thing arse about I thought the part you had to eat was the liver It turns out that s the only bit you mustn t eat Fuck The ambulance is on its way I ll When I started reading this book at the end of January, it was cold out I d stand outside waiting for my bus in the morning, shifting from one foot to another, hoping to see the bus turn the corner down the street I tend to read while I wait because it takes my mind off of things like obsessing over how many minutes late the bus is, or will it be one of the really long bendy kinds or one of the shorter, older buses in which case the heat might not work , or could I run back to my place to grab my Carmex without missing the bus This is one of the books I read routinely during those waits, and it helped me find perspective.Scott s journals were written during the fateful expedition to Antarctica in 1910 1912 He wrote extensively about their purpose in the region, what they hoped to accomplish, what they found, the animals in the region, the geography, the climate and that s when I realized that I m a fucking pansy Standing out there waiting for my bus sometimes up to ten minutes, pouting to myself about how cold it is And I even like the cold I thrive in the winter I wilt in the summer, but the winter is mine I own that bitch.But, yes, sometimes I even whine about the cold.The expedition spent a considerable amount of time in the Antarctic, living in often 40 below 0 conditions That s freaking cold The 10 degrees that I was experiencing in the morning Pshaw That s nothing These guys felt some real cold I was ashamed of myself.Even knowing the outcome of the expedition, I couldn t help cheering them on throughout I wanted all of the sledge dogs and the ponies to be okay, though, again, knowing the outcome led me to believe that the animals were not going to be okay and that made me cry a bit inside because animals don t deserve that shit They didn t get to sign up for those conditions They d get a biscuit a day for the work they did, not that the men got much than that themselves at times, but still.I was pleasantly surprised at the way Scott wrote about the animals In the beginning there were some sicknesses and some accidents, and Scott treated them as equals, showing concern for their well being, making sure that despite where they were they had the best possible circumstances I m not sure why this was surprising to me maybe because I figured that men in an expedition of this nature conquest wouldn t care about the little people along the way, or the little animals But Scott seemingly did care And that was touching.He also cared about each of the men in his expedition, though I wonder if that s to be expected considering how they lived, what they lived through, that whole live together, die alone thing that Jack preached about in LOST At the end of the journal are pages of letters Scott wrote to various wives or family members of some of his men, letting them know that they were on so and so s mind as the end came He took time to do that, which I also find touching It s almost 45 degrees out, and here s this guy, the leader of his expedition, writing thoughtful letters home, knowing that he would never see his own family, yet putting them before himself.This isn t a quick read by any stretch of the imagination There are appendices out the ass here, lists of animals names and which school donated them, there are letters, some photographs, a couple Indexes, Explanatory Note after Explanatory Note, and on and on and on I didn t think it would ever end But I trucked along because these men weren t able to end their expedition, and the least I could do is sit on poorly heated buses and read Scott s words so as to keep that memory alive.This shit is real, yo.