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Antarctica Reads

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Offhand, would you know if this sailor(s) remains who was tested, was he from the group that died in the first year (like Franklin) or was he one of the long suffering survivors?

Do you know if they have ever tested any of the food supplies found to see if there was spoilage evident as well as excesses of lead?

I don't have answer on either count.
 
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(Sorry to be so off-topic)


I don't have answer on either count.

Thanks. I remember scurvy being an issue too and then as food really ran out, there was more than a bit of 'creative consumption'* of dead sailors, evidenced by saw and cut marks on bones that were later found by other explorers and Inuit.

As far as the spoilage of the food, there was a note somewhere about the same supplier's products being dumped en masse the same year or later by the Royal Navy back in merry olde England, as being unfit for consumption.

Given the officers mess was a level of food and drink way better than the enlisted and marines...this says alot, all bad. Lead solder, spoilage, who knows what else though...

It continues to fascinate as a story and with the modern discovery of both of Franklin's ship...enduring.

*that was a Victorian age taboo of the highest order, it sent shock waves through the populace and enraged John Franklin's widow who was the driving force behind getting search parties out for years and years.
 
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Not a book, still a very interesting read on a remote glacier in Antarctica that, should it surge suddenly with the warming going on, could make things difficult for coastal cities. Antarctica holds a great deal of frozen water... if it all melted, sea levels would rise over two hundred feet.

Few places in Antarctica are more difficult to reach than Thwaites Glacier, a Florida-sized hunk of frozen water that meets the Amundsen Sea about 800 miles west of McMurdo. Until a decade ago, barely any scientists had ever set foot there, and the glacier’s remoteness, along with its reputation for bad weather, ensured that it remained poorly understood. Yet within the small community of people who study ice for a living, Thwaites has long been the subject of dark speculation. If this mysterious glacier were to “go bad”—glaciologist-*speak for the process by which a glacier breaks down into icebergs and eventually collapses into the ocean—it might be more than a scientific curiosity. Indeed, it might be the kind of event that changes the course of civilization.

https://www.wired.com/story/antarcti...reaking-point/
 
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I picked this off the library shelves today and it awaits on the bedside table.

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time

https://www.amazon.com/Erebus-Voyag...ocphy=9007844&hvtargid=pla-560776766132&psc=1

I need to finish the last couple chapters of World War II at Sea, A Global History. One of the better comprehensive tomes, covering naval action in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific and elsewhere.

https://www.amazon.com/World-War-II...words=world+war+ii+at+sea+by+craig+l.+symonds
 
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That should be a good read, got some really good reviews. And the author, heck, who is that guy?!

Sir John might well be quite happy up in that place where old sailors pass on to; realizing that folks are still fascinated with his trials and tribulations up in the Arctic some 170+ years later. He got the notoriety that he was so desperately seeking after all!

Wonder if anyone saw on A&E (?) "The Terror" this year, a serial drama, which had some interesting historical elements from the Franklin expedition? More than a few times while watching the epsisodes I had to say, "WTH", who wrote that scene!
 
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That should be a good read, got some really good reviews. And the author, heck, who is that guy?!

Definitely a worthy read if you are an aficionado of Arctic and Antarctic exploration. The Franklin Arctic expedition with the Erebus and Terror was largely familiar territory, but the James Clark Ross Antarctic expedition with those two ships was lesser known to me, aside from a chapter here and there in Antarctic compilations.

Lots of familiar names involved with that expedition; Ross, Crozier, Hooker, Fitzjames and others. The route of voyage alone is astounding; London to St Helen to Cape Town to Prince Edward, Crozet and Kerguelen islands (for magnetic observations) to Hobart.

Hobart to Campbell Island and finally, but not lastly, through the ice and along the (now Ross) Ice shelf and back to Hobart.

But not lastly. Then from Hobart to Sydney to New Zealand and back to the ice shelf. Followed by the scenic route home, via Cape Horn, the Falklands, Elephant Island (more familiarity), a couple more dashes into Antarctic Circle via the Weddell Sea and back to London by way of Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro.

Those were some stoutly build ships, and Franklin’s men would have done better to have stayed aboard.
 
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A new one - Antarctica’s Lost Aviator, the Epic Adventure to Explore the Last Frontier on Earth (Jeff Maynard, 2019)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40554535-antarctica-s-lost-aviator

Lincoln Ellsworth, scion of a wealthy family, funded and participated in expeditions at the end of the golden age of polar exploration. He was essentially a deep pockets passenger during Amundsen’s unsuccessful 1925 attempt to fly to the north pole, a passenger Amundsen and Nobile’s successful dirigible flight over the north pole in 1926, funded a failed scheme to take a submarine under the north pole and, in the 1930’s, made four attempts to fly (er, sit in a plane) on a flight across Antarctica over the South Pole.

As the flyleaf notes “The main obstacles to Ellsworth’s ambitions were numerous; he didn’t like the cold, he avoided physical work, and he couldn’t navigate”

How that last attempt was successful makes for a marvelous if inept tale. Ellsworth, as “navigator” had no idea where they were. They lost radio contact after only a few hours. A flight planned to make less than 20 hours took 12 days. Ellsworth had elected to wear moccasins because he had found them comfortable on visits to the Grand Canyon and Death Valley.

The plane ran out of gas short of their intended destination at Byrd’s old Little America base. No problem, they had a sledge and provisions and tried several times to walk there. But did not think bring the tent, or binoculars, or Ellsworth’s glasses or the sextant. It took three attempts and nearly a week to make it to Little America, a trek that later took a rescue party 6 hours.

Still, a good read.
 
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A new one - Antarctica’s Lost Aviator, the Epic Adventure to Explore the Last Frontier on Earth (Jeff Maynard, 2019)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40554535-antarctica-s-lost-aviator

Lincoln Ellsworth, scion of a wealthy family, funded and participated in expeditions at the end of the golden age of polar exploration. He was essentially a deep pockets passenger during Amundsen’s unsuccessful 1925 attempt to fly to the north pole, a passenger Amundsen and Nobile’s successful dirigible flight over the north pole in 1926, funded a failed scheme to take a submarine under the north pole and, in the 1930’s, made four attempts to fly (er, sit in a plane) on a flight across Antarctica over the South Pole.

As the flyleaf notes “The main obstacles to Ellsworth’s ambitions were numerous; he didn’t like the cold, he avoided physical work, and he couldn’t navigate”

How that last attempt was successful makes for a marvelous if inept tale. Ellsworth, as “navigator” had no idea where they were. They lost radio contact after only a few hours. A flight planned to make less than 20 hours took 12 days. Ellsworth had elected to wear moccasins because he had found them comfortable on visits to the Grand Canyon and Death Valley.

The plane ran out of gas short of their intended destination at Byrd’s old Little America base. No problem, they had a sledge and provisions and tried several times to walk there. But did not think bring the tent, or binoculars, or Ellsworth’s glasses or the sextant. It took three attempts and nearly a week to make it to Little America, a trek that later took a rescue party 6 hours.

Still, a good read.

Sounds like Captain Peter "Wrong Way" Peachfuzz from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle show.
 
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By the age of 11, I was reading everything I could find about Arctic exploreres. Admunsen was my favorite because he emulated the ways of the native Inuit. Shackleton has to be one of the great expedition leaders since Lewis and Clark.

When I was in high school we played basketball against the Robert E Peary Huskies.
I am a third generation Washington Husky. Now our mascot is a Malamute. Go Malamutes.
I have used big dogs to pull small sleds for winter x-c trips and it worked reallly well. I love dogs.
 
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When I was a college sophmore I applied for a job as a Meteorological Assistant at McMurdo Station. The gig was for 6 months. Did not get the job.
 
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When I was a college sophmore I applied for a job as a Meteorological Assistant at McMurdo Station. The gig was for 6 months. Did not get the job.

Ppine, that gig I would have taken without many misgivings.

In 1988 I had an opportunity with the University to spend several months in the Amazon with the Yanomami. I was all in, to the point of getting sundry vaccines in preparation. And doing some reading.

The more I read about the Yanomami controversies; ie Napoleon Chagon, medical researchers and the increasing introduction of white-men investigators, the less comfortable I became. It seemed to me that the last thing they needed was more outsiders like me.

What pushed me over the edge was seeing photos of heretofore untouched Yanomami proudly wearing ratty tee shirts emblazoned with advertising slogans or catch phrases. A Yanomami elder wearing a tee shirt proclaiming “Don’t have a cow” or “Bodacious” was more than I could take, and I wanted no part of that.

Kinda the same with taking a trip to the Galápagos; while it would be the natural history trip of a lifetime I would just be another unnecessary tourist burdening a fragile place.
 
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Back to the Arctic and Antarctic exploration genre, a 2021 publication – Icebound, Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World (Andrea Pitzer)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...oJyVUNy&rank=1

I was far more familiar with the (many) attempts at finding a Northwest passage, didn’t know anything about the William Barents and Dutch attempts in the 1590’s at discovering a Northeast passage.

Not a long read, less than 300 pages.
 
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Another 2021 Polar Exploration Book, Madhouse at the End of the Earth (Julian Sancton)



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show...h?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=QOf4xY3T2P&rank=1



An enjoyable and fast paced read. I won’t ruin it, but think Frederick Cook and Roald Amundsen, overwintering together on the Belgica amongst a falling-apart expedition leader, ship’s Captain and crew.



The diagram of Cook’s geometric solution to laboriously sawing an escape channel through the ice was genius. He may have been (or become) a charlatan and con man, but he was smart.
 
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Our son divides his time between the Antarctic and a base on the Falklands, making the 6 hr flight between in an aircraft he maintains.
dash7.jpg

On breaks from work to kill the monotony of downtime he goes for day hikes, sending us pics.
One of his young nephews is convinced his uncle is merely using aircraft maintenance as a cover for what he's really doing down there...taking part in the shooting of a new Penguins movie.
falkland beach.jpg
king pen.jpg
 
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Although dog teams and a race to the pole has long since been retired to the annals of history Antarctic exploration continues.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_stations_in_Antarctica
This is what our son's "office" looks like. Working on Twin Otters and Bombardier Dash aircraft.
otter hanger.jpg
dash hanger.jpg
 
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