Pups

Tom Crean and puppies on the Endurance, 1915

Tom Crean and puppies on the Endurance, 1915

“Crean had started to take the pups out for runs, and it was very amusing to see them with their rolling canter just managing to keep abreast by the sledge and occasionally cocking an eye with an appealing look in the hope of being taken aboard for a ride. As an addition to their foster-father, Crean, the pups had adopted Amundsen.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

“They tyrannise him most unmercifully. It is a common sight to see him, the biggest dog in the pack, sitting out in the cold with an air of philosophic resignation, while a corpulent pup occupies the entrance to his igloo. At ‘Hoosh Time’ Crean has to stand by Am’s food otherwise these villainous young scoundrels will eat the big dog’s whack, while he stands back to give them fair play…”

— Frank Worsley

“The intruder was generally the pup Nelson, who just showed his forepaws and face, and one was fairly sure to find Nelly, Roger, and Toby coiled up comfortably behind him. Sometimes their consciences would smite them and they would drag round a seal’s head, half a penguin, or a large lump of frozen meat or blubber to Amundsen’s kennel for rent.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

“It is a fine sight to see the big dog play with them, seizing them by the throat, beck or ‘whatnot’ in what looks like a fierce fashion while really quite gentle with them, & all the time teaching them how to hold their own & putting them up to all ‘the tricks of the trade.'”

— Frank Worsley

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Bright moonlight throughout

[George Marston, illustration of the Antarctic midnight sun from the Nimrod Expedition, 1907-09]

“Brilliantly fine clear weather with bright moonlight throughout. The moon’s rays are wonderfully strong, making midnight seem as light as an ordinary overcast midday in temperate climes. The great clearness of the atmosphere probably accounts for our having eight hours of twilight with a beautiful soft golden glow to the northward. A little rime and glazed frost are found aloft. The temperature is —20° Fahr. A few wisps of cirrus-cloud are seen and a little frost-smoke shows in one or two directions, but the cracks and leads near the ship appear to have frozen over again.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

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Delightful run

Dog teams returning after exercise

Dog teams returning after exercise

“Had delightful run with team during the morning. The faint daylight mingling with the brilliant moonlight lent a peculiar enchantment to the frozen sea. The northern sky was aflame with the golden glow of the departing sun. The southern sky was more sombre, being delicately prismatic, with a faint blue horizon blending into a pink tint in which stood a silver moon glowing like a halo. One felt quite elated riding on the sledge and driving into the moon’s face. Winter, although hoary and blizzard-bowed, is the most beautiful and charming part of the year…”

— Frank Hurley

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Recipe

Green skinning an Emperor aboard the Endurance

Green skinning an Emperor aboard the Endurance

Escallops of Penguin Breasts

Ingredients:

Penguin Breasts as required
Reconstituted onion
Some fairly thick batter
Flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the breasts into thin slices and soak in milk for about 2 hours. Dry, season and flour them well on both sides. Have ready some deep frying fat. When just smoking hot dip the pieces in the batter with the onion mixed into it and fry each piece to a nice golden brown. For a sauce turn the contents of a tin of mushroom soup into a saucepan and heat but do not boil. When hot pour over the meat and serve with fried potatoes and peas.

From Gerald T. Cutland’s Fit for a fid, or, How to Keep a Fat Explorer in Prime ConditionBritish Antarctic Survey)

fit_for_a_fid_scan

More on Antarctic food:

Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day, and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine (At Table), by Jason C. Anthony [link]

Train Oil and Snotters: Eating Antarctic Wild Foods, by Jeff Rubin, in Gastronomica, Winter 2003 [PDF]

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Mid-winter madness

shackleton-haircut

“A form of mid-winter madness has manifested itself, all hands being seized with the desire to have their hair removed. It caused much amusement, and luxuriant curls, bald pates and parted crowns soon became akin. We are likely to be coolheaded in the future, if not neuralgic. We resemble a cargo of convicts, and I did not let the opportunity pass of perpetuating photographically this humorous happening.”

— Frank Hurley

“We have had side-splitting fun this evening. Everyone submitted to having their hair cropped close with shears. Rickinson our chief engineer really has very handsome dark wavy hair and was not at all anxious to have it off, so in fun he told Sir Ernest that he would let him cut it if Sir Ernest would afterwards permit him to cut his.”

“This Sir Ernest agreed to, so now we are all practically bald, leader and all. Hurley, whose hair runs to black wool, was also reluctant to part with it, but finally submitted and really he looks the better for it. Later he took a flashlight group of us all.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

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Pressure

endurance_night_pressure

“The blizzard has ceased. There are new lines of pressure along the edge of the great frozen lead to the north (astern of the ship). The ice of the frozen lead, about a foot thick only, has cracked along an almost straight line for a mile or two and the edges have ridden over each other for a distance of about 10yds, forming a long low bank of piled-up ice blocks and fragments. It is these banks that are called ‘pressure ridges’, or often simply ‘pressure’.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

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The Night Watch

nightwatch_many

“We take night watchman in rotation and thus one’s turn comes once every 28 days. Duties consist of keeping alight the fires in the ward room, the upper deck ward room, Sir Ernest’s cabin and the fo’csle. As they all want attention about once an hour, there is plenty to do.

“On all polar expeditions it has been the time-honored tradition that each member should have a hot tub on his night on, and we are in the main no exception to the rule. Now and again a night watchman may be so busy that he actually has not the time to indulge in his long-deferred ablution. Owing to the frequent necessity of keeping a watchful eye on the stoves, of which the one in Sir Ernest’s cabin requires attention every half-hour, it is not too easy to fit in the time.

“If one should miss a bath for any reason it follows that a period of four weeks must elapse between one bath and the next, which is too long for most of us even in these latitudes.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

Clark on Night Watch

Clark on Night Watch

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