Friday, December 17, 2010

Yacht Crashes on Return from Antarctica

Seems this month has been extra wild in the Southern Ocean or at least the news coverage has been more extensive with there not being major whale wars news this season (or at least little coverage of it). First there was the tourist ship that had to limp pack to Ushuaia. Then earlier this week there was the sinking of a fishing vessel. Now there is an article about a yacht crashing earlier this week as well.

The yacht was on its way back from the Antarctic when the yacht lost power on Monday, December 13, 2010. The yacht was able to get to an Argentine bay, but the mast was broke here along with their line snapping. This caused the captain and his brother to be tossed overboard where they died in the cold water. The rest of the crew of 5 made it to shore and were rescued on Tuesday.

Fastest Vehicle Crossing of Antarctica

Recently the fastest crossing of Antarctica with a vehicle record was made. The crossing took 303 hours and covered about 1,950 kilometers. The Moon Reagan Transantarctic expedition went from Union Glacier to the Ross Ice Shelf via the South Pole. They reached the Ross Ice Shelf on December 9, 2010. The expedition then turned around to return to the Union Glacier starting point. The return journey is expected to take nine days and if successful it will be the first time that a vehicle expedition did a there and back crossing of the Antarctic continent. To make it even more historically significant the expedition is using a bio-fuel vehicle.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Video Game to Feature Antarctica: SSX Deadly Descents

Just read this article about a new SSX snowboarding game coming out next winter. Not much info on it, yet, as it is a while before it is coming out and it seems the game being made is relatively new news. One of the few details, though, is that it will include some extreme locations to snowboard through in the game including Antarctica.

I sometimes like snowboarding games, so this might be interesting, but I doubt I will try it because I do not appreciate it being only for Xbox 360 and PS3 and not at all for the Wii. Only snowboarding game I liked recently was the Shaun White one for the Wii that lets you use the balance board, so not likely to want to put up with the learning curve I cannot handle despite many attempts of trying to play video games with the damn complicated PS3 or Xbox 360 controllers.

22 Fishermen Died When South Korean Fishing Boat Sank Monday

This Monday, December 13, 2010, 22 fishermen died when the South Korean fishing vessel they were on sank off of Antarctica. I did not realize fishing was allowed off of Antarctica other than for research, but it seems that there is a period that began on December 1 that allows for fishing. Although, it is possible they were fishing illegally still, as some species are still protected and illegally fished for poaching profit reasons. Totally unclear about what they were doing and even what happened to cause the boat to sink, as there was not even time for them to send out a distress signal. Luckily, though, there were other nearby fishing vessels and some of the crew (20) was picked up and survived. 5 were found dead and 17 are presumed dead after a search went on for them, as there is little likelihood of them being able to survive more than 10 minutes in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean.

Further Reading on this in this article.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Antarctic Cruise Safely Returns to Ushuaia After Wave Damage

Seems every year there is some news about a cruise ship that reaffirms that the seas are rough and the Antarctic is still as adventurous and unpredictable an environment as ever. This week it has been about an Antarctic cruise ship damaged by a large wave that broke the window to the bridge and caused water damage to communications and radar. The cruise was on its way to Antarctica and had to turn around and limp (or whatever ships do) back because it could not use all its engines. Everyone onboard is safe other than some bruises and black eyes caused when the ship moved unexpectedly in the rough seas, although I imagine that happens to at least a few on almost every Antarctic voyage.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Suite Life on Deck "Frozen" Episode Review

I had been looking forward to the "Frozen" episode of Suite Life on Deck ever since I heard about it in October. Short version: It was a big disappointment. Long version: The episode does have parts with the twins and Woody in Antarctica, but it is so vague and lame. It is pretty much just them stuck in a blizzard in this one little remote research camp room and thinking that the researcher stole their snow mobile and they are stuck there with no food. Turns out the researcher just went to get them bagels from a nearby base. It is pretty much just the teens freaking out and nothing happening. Total disappointment and not even any penguins and barely even mention of actual Antarctic style research. At least there is not polar bears, but there is a silly thing about a possible yeti kind of monster.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Most Expensive Beer Made from Antarctic Ice

This is an interesting article about beer being sold for $800 a bottle at auction recently. This is a limited batch of beer made from melted ice that the Sea Shepherd harvested from Antarctica during their whale wars expedition last year. All proceeds from the beer benefit the society.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Turn Your Antarctic Photos into Art for Home

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

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Chris Foot's historic solo South Pole expedition

Just learned about Christ Foot's historic solo South Pole expedition from this article about deVere Group being the lead sponsor. Chris Foot is going to attempt to do a solo and unsupported expedition to the South Pole and back to the Hercules Inlet, which is something that no explorer has ever done successfully. Sounds like it could be fun to follow this expedition on the website here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger - Great Holiday Gift for Adventurers

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of SPOT. All opinions are 100% mine.

The SPOT Satellite GPS messenger is a great holiday gift for adventurers that like to go off the beaten path.  SPOT allows adventurers to call for help from almost anywhere, which comes in handy when accidents happen outside of cell phone range.  It can also be used to send messages to family friends that say your still alive.  The coverage area for the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger includes most of North America, Europe, Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, Australia, and yes even a small part of Antarctica nearest to Australia.  Besides most of Antarctica the major areas of no coverage include India and the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa.  Sure it might not work everywhere, but it sure works in more places than cell phones and is particularly useful for those doing off the beaten path activities in North America and Europe.

Order it as a 2010 Holiday gift and take advantage of their special 2010 Holiday Offer.  This offer includes a bonus adventure kit.  The kit includes a code that gives you 15% off one Basic Service activation, a floatation case for the SPOT that is rust and salt water resistant, a micro LED flashlight, a safety whistle, a carabiner keychain, a lanyard to attach to the SPOT, and a safety tips bandana.  The kit is a $50 value of bonus stuff to make your adventuring safer beyond just having the SPOT device to use for calling for help when you need it.  The floatation case and lanyard will also help keep the SPOT safe.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Union Glacier Blue-Ice Runway Opens in Antarctica

The newest blue-ice runway has opened in Antarctica after over 4 years of planning and research to select the spot and make it happen. The new Union Glacier runway will be used by Adventure Network International to land passenger planes from South America. The Union Glacier also has a base camp from which to they will operate various adventurous itineraries. They have been doing similar things from the Patriot Hills runway about 70 kilometers away from the new runway. The new runway will help improve flight reliability due to its location. The new runway also has a heated terminal for passengers to wait for shuttle service to the base camp.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Deadly Helicopter Crash in Antarctica

This week a helicopter went missing with 4 on board and later was found to have crashed. There were 4 French nationals on board the helicopter and there were no survivors. The helicopter had taken off from the polar ship Astrolabe The Australians and Americans are assisting with the recovery using a C-130 Hercules airplane, but the French will take over entirely once the recovery is complete.

Some Articles about this incident:
French choppers debris spotted in Antarctica
No Survivors After Antarctic Chopper Crash
Antarctic Helicopter Crash Kills four French Nationals

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ancient Turtle Bones Found in Antarctica

Two pieces of an ancient turtle shell dating back to about 45 million years ago were discoverd by an Antarctic Institute of Argentina expedition on Seymour Island. The exact species the bone fragments are from have not yet been identified, as they are different from any previously found in the area. The fact that it is a different species than those found before hints that turtle diversity was larger than originally thought back when Antarctica was a rainforest.

Read more about this Antarctic news here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Suite Life on Deck Antarctic Episode Coming November 19, 2010

I am excited that one of my favorite shows, Suite Life on Deck, is going to have an episode set in Antarctica. The episode is called "Frozen" and it premieres on the Disney Channel on November 19, 2010. In the episode Cody visits a remote base in Antarctica along with Woody and Zack who visit to snowmobile. The three end up alone at the base when the scientist leaves on a snowmobile for supplies and gets stuck in a snowstorm.

Monday, October 4, 2010

OktoKopter to be Used to Study Climate Change in Antarctica

The OctoKopter may look somewhat like a kids toy or maybe a fancy hobbyist remote control flying thing, but it is actually going to be used for monitoring climate change. The OctoKopter has eight rotors, hence the Octo name. It is equipped with cameras and sensors. It can not only be remote controlled, but it even has auto pilot to fly to set GPS waypoints.

The OctoKopter will be used to monitor the moss beds at Casey Station to see how they are being affected by climate change. It will be able to monitor changes in temperature, wind speed, and UV-B radiation.

Check out this article for more info on the OctoKopter including a picture of it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Giant Laser to be Used in Antarctica to Research Climate Change

The Australian Antarctic Division researchers are using a giant laser in Antarctica to research climate change in the atmosphere. The laser is being used to measure temperature of clouds in the mesophere level of the atmosphere (1,000km above the earth's surface). They think that the brighter and colder the clouds at this level hotter the temperature on earth's surface. Interesting to think that atmosphere cooling means warming on the surface. This type of research has already been done in the northern hemisphere and the research in Antarctica will help give a wider look at the atmosphere's temperature globally.

Read more about this research in this article.

China to Build 4th Antarctic Base

Last year the Chinese finished their third Antarctic base. China is planning to add a fourth base in the Antarctic sometime in the next 5 to 15 years. Part of their Antarctic research plans also includes a five year plan for constructing a new ship.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Second Orion Med Evac Successfully Gets Patient

The second attempt for the Orion to reach the Antarctic base, McMurdo, was successful and the plane has taken off to return to Christchurch, New Zealand, with the American in serious, but stable condition from an illness.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Medical Evacuation Second Attempt Underway

The Orion plane has again left New Zealand to try to reach McMurdo and evacuate the American. There weather appears to be okay for now, although of course as happened with the first failed attempt it can change quickly.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Orion Medical Evacuation Turns Back Due to Blizzard

I recently posted about an Orion making a medical evacuation from Antarctica today (September 12, 2010). The medical evac did not happen, though, as the Orion was forced to turn back due to blizzard conditions at McMurdo. They will try again tomorrow if the weather conditions improve. The American waiting for evac is said to be in serious, but stable condition.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Zealand Orion Making First Medical Evacuation

On September 12, 2010, the New Zealand Orion is making its first Orion P3 medical evacuation from Antartica. They usually use the larger Hercules aircraft. The Antarctic temperatures of minus 35 degrees Celcius is also the coldest conditions an Orion has landed in. The Orion P3 is already en route and expected to bring the critically ill American back to New Zealand by the end of the day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale Lot 56: Erich Dagobert Von Drygalski

Lot 56: Erich Dagobert Von Drygalski
is the complete series of official reports from Drygalski's German Antarctic expedition of 1901-1903. This is a very rare complete set. The volumes about the expedition were put together and published by Drygalski between the years of 1905 and 1931.

The expedition the volumes discuss is often referred to as the Gauss Expedition, which is the name of the expedition's ship. This was the first German expedition to the Antarctic. The expedition's goal was to explore the Antarctic south of the Kerguelen Islands. The expedition discovered Kaiser Wilhelm II Land and a volcano they called Gaussberg. The expedition is also credited with being the first to use a gas balloon in Antarctica.

This lot is being auction off on September 22, 2010 as part of Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale. The estimated value is £5,000 - £8,000 ($7,715 - $12,344).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale Lot 55: Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker

Lot 55: Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
includes five signed letters from Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker to Dr. James Croll and a photograph signed by Hooker. These letters date from November 25, 1883 to April 6, 1884. The letters is a part of series of questions and answers that begin with Hooker commenting on articles written by Croll.

The letters are an interesting capture of correspondence about Antarctica when the knowledge of the continent was still very minimal. This includes Hooker mentioning that they cannot even really call it a continent because as to their current knowledge they had only encountered the ice sheets and small islands. Hooker's comments were drawn from his personal experience in the Antarctic as a botanist on Sir James Clark Ross's Erebus expedition of 1839-1843.

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker is not exactly a key figure in Antarctic history, but the expedition he was on was. The Erebus expedition is credited with being the first expedition to really prove the Southern continent existed and chart part of the coastline.

This lot is being auction off on September 22, 2010 as part of Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale. The estimated value is £2,500 - £3,500 ($3,875 - $5,425).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale Lot 54: Lloyd Howland

Lot 54: Lloyd Howland (fl.1815-1826) includes Some of the South Shetland Islands From actual observations by L. Howland Year 1819 and Journal of a Voyage From Canton to Chili Kept on board of the Osprey by Loyd Howland. These items relate to time period around the discovery of the actual Antarctic continent in 1820. While they are not about the Antarctic mainland, the South Shetland Islands are Antarctic islands.

Lloyd Howland's drawings of the South Shetland Islands are some of the earliest depictions (if not first!) of Antarctic land, as the drawings are dated 1819 around when the islands were discovered. The drawings have the date of 1819 on them, but are actually probably from 1820-1822 when Lloyd Howland is known to have been in the area.

The drawings are being sold with a Journal of a Voyage From Canton to Chili Kept on board of the Osprey by Loyd Howland, which chronicles the whaling voyage of 1820-1822 during which the drawings were probably done. The book also chronicles other whaling voyages including ones from 1824-1826 and an earlier 1815 expedition.

This lot is being auction off on September 22, 2010 as part of Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale. The estimated value is £4,000 - £6,000 ($6,200 - $9,300).

Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale Lot 30: Captain James Cook (1728-1779)

Lot 30: Captain James Cook (1728-1779) is a complete set of First Editions of Cook's Voyages. This is a ten volume set of books about Cook's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd voyages. This lot is only sort of related to Antarctica, as Cook never did make it to Antarctica. In fact Antarctica was not even discovered until over 40 years after his death. However, his first two voyages had the main goal of trying to find Terra Australis Incognita (i.e. the southern continent that Aristotle hypothesized about in the 1st century).

The volumes on the 1st voyage are called An Account of the Voyages undertaken ... for making discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a three volume set by John Hawkesworth. The set is a First Edition Early Release.

The 2nd voyage volumes are called A Voyage towards the South Pole, and round the world ... in the years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775. This is also a three volume set, although only two are text and one is an atlas volume. This set is by James Cook and is First Edition.

The 3rd voyage volumes are called A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean ... for making discoveries in the northern hemisphere (this voyage does not related to looking for Terra Australis Incognita, but rather a Northwest Passage). This is a four volume set (3 text, 1 atlas) by James Cook and Captain James King. It is also a First Edition.

The complete set of Cook's Voyages is being auction off on September 22, 2010 as part of Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale. The estimated value is £15,000 - £25,000 ($23,250 - $38,750).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale Lot 29: Sydney Parkinson

Lot 69: Sydney Parkinson (1745-1771) is for a second edition copy of A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, In His Majesty's Ship The Endeavour. This one is kind of a stretch to say it is Antarctic related, but I think it has kind of an interesting connection to Antarctic history despite having no real connection to Antarctica. The journal was published based on Sydney Parkinson's papers from his time with James Cook's Endeavour Expedition (he died in 1771 before the expedition returned to England).

While Sydney Parkinson and the Endeavour never made it to Antarctica, part of the expedition's goal was to find Terra Australis Incognita. Ever since the 1st century there had been an idea that there was a big southern landmass, but no one had ever been to it. The Endeavour expedition did at points go into the Antarctic circle, but it happened to go farthest south where the continent did not come up as far. In fact by the time Antarctica was discovered in 1820 the whole idea of Terra Australis Incognita had been widely abandoned and Australia got its name as being the closest thing to the mythical southern continent.

The copy of the journal going up for auction on September 22, 2010 as part of Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale is part of the Second Edition run of the book. The second edition is actually rarer than the first and also has much more in it. This edition includes early summaries of Cook's second (also involved looking for Terra Australis Incognita) and third voyages (involved looking for Northwest Passage). This copy is valued at £3,000 - £5,000 ($4,650 - $7,750).

Part of the journal is available to read on WikiSource here, but only the early sections.

Christie's Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale Set for September 22, 2010

The other day I posted about some items from Scott's final expedition being sold at auction in September 2010. Since then I have been looking at the auction house's website and realized it is just part of a larger themed sale called Exploration and Travel with the Polar Sale (Sale #7869). The sale is full of some interesting items related to polar travel and exploration. Part of it is not related to Antarctica, as the Arctic is represented, but the majority is Antarctica related things.

I have been bored lately, so for something interesting to do I plan to do a series of posts about the people and items that are part of the sale. Below is an outline of the lots related to Antarctica. I will turn them into links to my posts related to the lots as I do them.

Lot 29: Sydney Parkinson (1745-1771) - A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, In His Majesty's Ship The Endeavour

Lot 30: Captain James Cook (1728-1779) - A Complete Set of First Editions of Cook's Voyages

Lot 54: Lloyd Howland (fl. 1815-1826) - Some of the South Shetland Islands From actual observations by L. Howland Year 1819

Lot 55: Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) - Five autograph letters signed to Dr James Croll 25 November 1883 - 6 April 1884 about the Arctic and Antarctic

Lot 56: Erich Dagobert Von Drygalski (1865-1949, Editor) - Complete Series of Official Reports from 1901 to 1903 German Government Sponsored Expedition to Antarctica

Lot 57: William Speirs Bruce (1867-1921) - Report on the Work of the Scottish National Expedition, A Naturalist at the Poles by Robert Neal Rudmose Brown, and 5 Volumes out of 8 of Scottish National Antarctic Expedition's Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of S.Y. 'Scotia'

Lot 58: Charles William Rawson Royds (1876-1931) - Autograph manuscript logs of Royds' service on H.M.S. Victory, Immortalité, Australia, Anson, Barfleur, Cruiser, Victory (a second time) and Martin, 1 August 1892 - 14 September 1896

Lot 59: Charles William Rawson Royds (1876-1931) - Three "Notices" from Discovery expedition, two portraits of Royds in uniform, and various letters to Royds

Lot 60: Charles William Rawson Royds (1876-1931) - Drawings Tilted Berg seen off the Ice Barrier, Jan. 25th, 1902 and Tabular Berg, Feb 7 1902

Lot 61: Charles William Rawson Royds (1876-1931) - Drawings Tilted Bergs off the Barrier, Jan. 25th 1902, Grooved & Muddy Berg off the Eastern end of Barrier Lat 78°-18's Long 162°-26'W Jan 29th 1902

Lot 62: George Robert Milne Murray (1858-1911, editor) - First Edition of The Antarctic Manual for the use of the expedition of 1901 edited by... Murray... with a preface by Sir Clements R. Markham... Presented to the Expedition and issued by the Royal Geographical Society

Lot 63: Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912) - Watercolor of False Bay, South Africa, Oct. 1901. (done as part of Antarctic expedition)

Lot 64: National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 - An early-20th century diorama of Discovery in winter quarters at Hut Point, Ross Island, McMurdo Sound

Lot 65: Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912) - Watercolor of The Emperor Penguin Rookery, Cape Crozier

Lot 66: British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 - Scientific Results Volumes III, IV, and VI out of 11

Lot 67: British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 - A complete set of Scientific Results from the first Scott Expedition

Lot 68: Discovery Committee and Others, Publishers - Discovery Reports Issued by the Discovery Committee, Volumes 1 to 27

Lot 69: Lady Shackleton (1868-1936) - Emily Shackleton's Scrapbook

Lot 70: Frank Hurley (1885-1962) - A collection of ten monochrome photographic prints after Hurley of The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917, c. 1916

Lot 71: George Edward Marston (1882-1940) - Watercolor of New Coastline West of Cape North, taken from the Nimrod, 8 March 1909

Lot 72: George Edward Marston (1882-1940) - Painting of Sledging camp in a blizzard

Lot 73: British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 - Eric Stewart Marshall's High Speed camera no. HS1750 by Newman and Guardia

Lot 74: After Kite - "The South Pole": Lieutenant Shackleton (Vanity Fair Supplement)

Lot 75: Ernest Henry Sheckleton (1874-1922) - Six items related to the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909

Lot 76: Ernest Henry Sheckleton (1874-1922) - An address of welcome to Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton C.V.O., Commander of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907 from the Inhabitants of the Urban District of Ilford, Essex, 10 March 1910

Lot 77: British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-09 - Douglas Mawson's specimen box

Lot 78: James Murray (1865-1914) and George Edward Marston (1882-1940) - Antarctic Days. Sketches of the homely side of Polar life

Lot 79: A.W. Sarjeant (photographer) - 'S/S Terra Nova Leaving Cardiff for the South Pole' [15 June 1910] and '"Terra Nova" Arriving at Cardiff from South Antarctic Expedition Captained by Commander Evans' [June 14, 1913]

Lot 81: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Album with expedition member's signatures

Lot 82: Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912) - Autograph letter signed to Sir Archibald, Terra Nova, Madeira, 27 June 1910

Lot 83: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Captain Oates and some of the Siberian Ponies in the "Terra Nova" (December 1910)

Lot 84: Lawrence Edward Grace Oates (1880-1912) - 1898 Autograph letter signed to his brother Bryan

Lot 85: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of The Terra Nova at the Ice Foot; Breaking Waves at Cape Evans

Lot 86: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Petty Officers Crean, Forde and Evans

Lot 87: Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) - Drawing and Watercolor of Mount Erebus

Lot 88: Frank Debenham (1883-1965) - 8 photographs from British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 89: Bernard C. Day (1884-1934) - Watercolor A view of White Island

Lot 90: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photographs of Sitting Penguins Snowed up

Lot 91: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Summertime, the opening up of the ice

Lot 92: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Wolk

Lot 93: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Terra Nova in a gale. March 1912

Lot 94: British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913 Fry's Chocolates - Letters about the expedition's supply of cocoa and chocolate

Lot 95: Patrick Keohane (1879-1950) - Keohane's sledging flag from British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 96: Patrick Keohane (1879-1950) - Keohane's chart of the Southern Journey, 1911-12 from British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 97: Patrick Keohane (1879-1950) - A scale model of a loaded sledge with trace and two harnesses

Lot 98: Patrick Keohane (1879-1950) - Keohane's black silk cap ribbon with 'TERRA NOVA' woven in gilt thread from British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 99: Patrick Keohane (1879-1950) - Keohane's eiderdown inner sleeping bag from British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 100: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Sailing Ships book from Terra Nova Library

Lot 101: Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) - Scott's Last Expedition ... the Journals of Captain R.F. Scott ... the Reports of the Journeys & the Scientific Work undertaken by Dr. E.A. Wilson ... arranged by Leonard Huxley, 2 volumes

Lot 102: Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) - Hand coloured photograph of Captain Scott and printed leaf 'In Memory of Robert Falcon Scott Captain Royal Navy C.V.O. Born June 6th, 1868 Died 29th March, 1912.

Lot 103: Gregory Robinson (1876-1967) - Painting of Captain Oates

Lot 104: British Polar Exhibition, 1930 - The Polar Book and three other items related to the exhibition

Lot 105: Sir Gerald Festus Kelly, P.R.A. (1879-1972) - Portrait of Captain Evans

Lot 106: Frank Wilbert Stokes (1858-1955) - Painting of Weddell Sea

Lot 107: Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912) - Letters to to Charles Seymour Wright in preparation for Final Scott Expedition

Lot 108: Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) - Letter to Charles Seymour Wright

Lot 109: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Wright's electrometer

Lot 110: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Wright's Brass Clinometer

Lot 111: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Wright's wood and brass table rule

Lot 112: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Wright's Polar Thermometers

Lot 113: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of C.S. Wright working at night with the transit, August 8, 1911

Lot 114: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Terra Nova at the ice foot, January 16, 1911

Lot 115: Dennis G. Lillie (1884-1963) - Sketches of Silas taking observations ('Nine-teen Twen-ty', 'Damn that cloud to hell!!')

Lot 116: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Grotto in a berg. Terra Nova in distance. Taylor and Wright (Interior), January 5, 1911

Lot 117: Dennis G. Lillie (1884-1963) - Caricature 3.30am - Griffith Taylor, "Birdie" Bowers and "Silas" Wright (Snotties of the Watch)

Lot 118: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Meares and Oates at the blubber stove, 26 May 1911

Lot 119: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Captain Scott in his den, 7 October 1911

Lot 120: Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912) - Painting of Mount Erebus and Castle Rock

Lot 121: Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - Drawing of Mount Erebus from the south east

Lot 122: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Two "Pyrsos"-Stove boxes (empty)

Lot 123: Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) - Instructions for stables at Hut Point

Lot 124: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Wright's theodolite

Lot 125: Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - Chart of Cape Evans, Ross Island

Lot 126: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Charles Wright's Airy's Altitude Scale

Lot 127: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Sledging Tables used by Charles Seymour Wright on Terra Nova expedition

Lot 128: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - A sun compass made by Bernard Day in the hut at Cape Evans

Lot 129: L.H. Hagen & CO., Christiania (Manufacturers) - Charles Wright's pair of skis and poles from Scott's British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 130: Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - Charles Wright's map of the Southern Journey, 1911

Lot 131: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Charles Wright's quarter-plate box camera, no. 13676 by W. Watson & Sons, London

Lot 132: Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13: Wright's photographs

Lot 133: Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - Photographs from British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 134: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935), Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) and others - Charles Wright's lecture slides of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 135: Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) and Henry Robertson Bowers (1883-1912) - British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 the Southern Journey Photographs

Lot 136: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photographs of British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 137: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13: 32 contact prints, all studies of ice formations at Cape Evans and environs

Lot 138: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photograph of Vaida

Lot 139: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13 album compiled by Edith Mary Priestley

Lot 140: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13: 34 contact prints of Cape Evans and environs, the majority studies of ice formations

Lot 141: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935), Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975), Henry Robertson Bowers (1883-1912) and Raymond Edward Priestley (1886-1972) - photograph of British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 142: Edward Leicester Atkinson (1881-1929) - Letter to Charles Seymour Wright while on Terra Nova expedition

Lot 143: Edward Leicester Atkinson (1881-1929) - Letter to Charles Seymour Wright while on Terra Nova expedition

Lot 144: Raymond Edward Priestley (1886-1974) - Letter to his wife while he was a Camp Royds

Lot 145: Edward William Nelson (1883-1923) - Light hearted letter to Charles Seymour Wright while on Terra Nova expedition

Lot 146: Patrick Keohane (1879-1950) - Note with names and addresses of colleagues on British Antarctic Expedition

Lot 147: Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - Collection of post expedition letters to Charles Seymour Wright

Lot 148: Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) and Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - A silver cigarette box with a watercolour of two penguins mounted on the lid, given by Cherry-Garrard to Wright on his wedding to Edith Priestley

Lot 149: Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) - Watercolor of Sunset

Lot 150: Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912) - Watercolor of Rainclouds, Fort Augustus (Inverness-shire)

Lot 151: Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922), Louis C. Bernachhi (1876-1940), And Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959), editors - The South Polar Times Volumes I, II, and III

Lot 152: Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959), EDITOR - Association copy of Volume III of The South Polar Times

Lot 153: Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922) and Louis C. Bernachhi (1876-1940), editors - The South Polar Times Volumes I Copy 122 of 250

Lot 154: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - An electroplated nickel silver fruit basket from the wardroom of the Terra Nova

Lot 155: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - A fossilised leaf collected by wright n the Beardmore Glacier

Lot 156: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - A silver plate serving spoon from the wardroom of the Terra Nova

Lot 157: Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - A Gold Repeater fob watch by Ryrie Bros

Lot 158: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Two books from the Terra Nova library

Lot 159: Ernest Henry Shackleton (1847-1922) - The Heart of the Antarctic: Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909, 2 volumes, number 4 of 300 copies signed by the entire shore party

Lot 160: Ernest Henry Shackleton (1847-1922) - 1914 Letter to Charles Seymour Wright about preparing for the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Lot 161: Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) - Scott's Last Expedition and 7 other Antarctic books from Charles Seymour Wright's library

Lot 162: George Murray Levick (1876-1956) - Antarctic Penguins First Edition and other Antarctic books

Lot 163: Ernest Henry Shackleton (1847-1922) - South the Story of Shackleton's Expedition 1914-1917, copy given to Charlie Seymour Wright's son and another 1919 copy of the same book

Lot 164: Charles Seymour Wright (1887-1975) - Charles Wright's medals and decorations

Lot 165: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13: Ponting's three master albums of contact prints

Lot 166: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Ponting's camera, camera case and accessories

Lot 168: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - Photographs of British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 169: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13: a collection of 28 photographs

Lot 170: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - George Murray Levick's autograph journal of the North Party of the Final Scott Expedition

Lot 171: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - George Murray Levick's drawing instruments

Lot 172: Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) - British Antarctic Expedition, 1901-13: 'Captain Scott Antarctic Expedition -- Transparencies T1-T296'

Lot 173: Henry Robertson Bowers (1883-1912) - Photograph of Forestalled. Amundsen's tent at the Pole

Lot 174: Lawrence Edward Grace Oates (1880-1912) - Captain Oates's sleeping bag case

Lot 175: Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912) - Captain Scott's Silk Union Jack taken on the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-03, and on the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13

Lot 176: British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - British Museum British Antarctic Expedition 1910 Natural History Reports (60 of 63 parts in 41 volumes)

Lot 177: Burroughs Wellcome & CO (Publishers) - 2 medical books

Lot 178: The British Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1968-69 - Wally Herbert's Pocket Sextant

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Items from Scott's Final Expedition to Antarctica to Be Auctioned in September 2010

Next month (September 2010) some items used by Charles Seymour Wright on Robert Falcon Scott's final expedition to Antarctica will be auctioned off in London. Wright was part of the support team of Scott's fatal South Pole journey. He was part of the search party that looked for Scott and the missing men when they failed to return from the pole. Wright was the one to find the tip of the tent and Scott and the two others frozen.

The items to be auctioned include a sledging kit, skis, scientific instruments, manuscripts, and photographs. The items will be auctioned off by Christie's on September 22, 2010.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Penguin Poo Tracked from Space

I just read a rather interesting article about penguin poo research. The Australian Antarctic Division is using a satellite to see penguin poo to find out more about Adelie penguin population numbers. Adelie penguins tend to breed in the same spots and on rocks, so the poo accumulates and is hard to tell differently from year to year on the ground.

Using satellites to see the poo researchers can give them a larger view of where the penguins live including sites that they cannot usually reach in person. The images can be compared year to year to see how the penguins are being affected by climate change. The satellites are also cheaper than doing the extensive in the field population counts, which cannot always even be carried out due to the harsh conditions of Antarctica.

Source: "Penguin poo gives clues from space" on

Australian Greens Put Antarctica as World Heritage Site on Political Agenda

In Australia the Greens are pushing for Antarctica to become a World Heritage Site. This is not an entirely new thing for an Australian political party to promise to work on this, as the Labor party made it last election. The Greens are disappointed in the lack of action towards to goal of World Heritage status for all of Antarctica and have encouraged the goal to be pushed for by both parties.

Source: "Greens want World Heritage Status for Antarctica" on

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Antarctic Octopi Venom Could Lead to New Drugs

Some of the more interesting news stories popping up in my Antarctic news Google alert the past week or so has been about octopus venom. It seems that venom that has been collected from octopi found in the waters around Antarctica could be useful in drug development. The research carried out by researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Norwegian University of Technology and Science, and the University of Hamburg collected Antarctic octopi venom as well as discovered four new species.

They have found that the octopi in Antarctica have adapted so that their venom works in sub zero temperatures. Now they are trying to figure out how exactly the venom works. They believe that some of the small proteins in the venom could be used in making drugs. Some of the conditions that could benefit from the understanding of the octopi venom being used in drug design include pain management, allergies, and cancer.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Video Game with Penguins: Madagascar Kartz for Nintendo Wii

I love kart racing games and penguins, so what better game then a kart racing game that lets you play as the Penguins from the Madagascar movies and show. As far as a kart racing game goes this is a pretty decent one. I will admit it is not quite as good as Mario Kart for Wii, but it is way better than many other kart racing games I have tried on the Wii and other systems and pretty close to as good as Mario Kartz with its main downfall not having the online aspect.

The penguins mostly appear in that you can race as them, but there are also in some of the images you can unlock in the gallery part of the game.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Antarctic Book Review: Surviving Antarctica by Andrea White

Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 by Andrea White sounded interesting to me when I added it to my Booksfree queue last month, but boy did it surprise me that I enjoyed it and read it so fast. The book was hard to put down the whole time I was reading it and I sure would have read it faster if I had not been working those three days. I actually did fit in most of the second half during some downtime on the third day reading it because it was so good.

The book is aimed at teens, but I think most age groups can enjoy it. Some young than their teens may find it too intense at parts, but it does turn out all good in the end.

Surviving Antarctica is set in the year 2083. The book is about five 14 year olds being selected to do a Historical Survivor TV series with the chance to win $100,000. The past seasons have proved to be quite dangerous for participants, but everyone hopes the kids will not be made to endure the worst.

Their goal is to reach the "South Pole" as a simulation of Scott's fatal quest in 1912. The kids soon find that the Secretary of Entertainment really makes their expedition go as bad as it did for Scott and they begin to fear they will not survive.

Overall I really enjoyed the book, but I have to admit the ending was kind of sappy and weak. Sure I was glad the kids all survived, but they were made to be tough characters and it would have been nice to read the scenes of the two that did go all the way to the pole. It seemed liked the author tried to quickly wrap up the story because it was getting long.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Penguins of Madagascar Toys at McDonalds

The current Happy Meal toys feature characters from Nickelodeon's Penguins of Madagscar. I do not eat meat and even McDonalds fries are not vegetarian, so I am not trying to collect the set, but my mom got one for me and my dad got me two when he took my brother to McDonalds last week. So I have ended up with three of the toys.

I am kind of iffy on whether I think they are cool or not. They definitely look cool and they are great Adelie penguins for my penguin display in my Antarctic bathroom. However, as toys they fail quality wise.

First off the Private Penguin Toy (#7 in the series) is supposed to shoot out water, but it barely gets on little stream out per refill.

Secondly, the Kowalski Flips toy (#5 in the series) does not fit on the thing to flip it and even once you finally get it balanced it does not really flip up much at all.

On the other hand the Rico Disc Launcher (#2 in the series) works great, as it does suction on very well and launches the discs surprisingly far across the room.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finally, a Shackleton Reached the South Pole

I am seriously considering February 2010 to be called Shackleton month, as it seems so many of my posts (3 of 4 so far) are related to Ernest Shackleton. This included my review of the movie Shackleton and the recovering of his whiskey.

Now I just read an article about the first Shackleton finally visiting the South Pole. The first Shackleton to the Pole is Navy Commander Scott Shackleton, who is part of this year's Operation Deep Freeze. He is a fifth cousin of Ernest Shackleton. Of course, Scott Shackleton had it easy in comparison flying into the pole and not attempting to trek across Antarctic to get there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Video of Shackleton's Whiskey Recovered

I posted about the whiskey being recovered a few days ago here. Today I found out about a YouTube video about the recent recovery of Shackleton's whiskey. The video is below.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Whale Wars 2010: Another Clash of Boats

Earlier this year one of the activists boats were sunk in a clash between the whalers and the activists. The most recent clash was the ramming of the activist's ship, the Bob Barker, with one of the Japanese whaling ships, the No. 3 Yushin Maru. As usual they blame each other and there really is not much of a way to say who was really at fault.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Shackleton's Whisky Salvaged

Back in November I posted about the mission to salvage some of Shackleton's whisky from his 1909 Nimrod expedition. The whisky has now successfully been recovered. The team was sent to recover some of the McKinlay and Co whisky, but they also ended up recovering two cases of Hunter Valley Distillery Limited brandy. The majority recovered (3 cases) was of the McKinlay and Co whisky. The current owners of McKinlay and Co (Whyte and Mackay company) hope to be able to get a sample of the whisky and recreate the rare long discontinued brand of whisky.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Antarctic Documentary: Shackleton

Shackleton is an amazing movie based on Shackleton's Endurance expedition. The title is slightly misleading making it seem like it is about all of Shackleton's life, but it is pretty exlusively about the Endurance expedition. It is, however, a well-done movie based on the diaries of the men on the expedition. I have read a lot about the expedition and seen other documentaries, but this one truly stands out.

The main thing that stands out is that this movie spends a good deal of time focusing on the preparations for the expedition and the struggle just to get the expedition together. Of course, the main struggle is on the ice and in the James Caird, but it is nice to see how just getting to the ice too a lot of work in terms of getting the funding.

The 3-DVD set is mostly the movie, but the third disc is also full of special features worth checking out (note: that if you rent it through Netflix like I did you have to manually go in and add the bonus disc, as it does not add it when you add the movie to your queue and I almost missed it entirely). The bonus materials include an interesting documentary on the making of the movie and the difficulties of getting the right conditions to recreate the scenes. There is also a documentary that really is about all of Shackleton's life, as well as a feature on the general history of Antarctic exploration and research.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Race to End of the World Exhibit Opens at American Museum of Natural History in May 2010

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is opening a new temporary exhibit on May 29, 2010. The exhibit is about the race to the South Pole in 1911-1912. The exhibit is mostly about the final competition between Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott. Perhaps it will have a little on the earlier attempts, too. The exhibit is going to have interactive parts. The exhibit is expected to be on display until January 2, 2011.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Whale Wars 2010: Japanese Sink Protest Boat

This article is one of many floating around right now about the Japanese being "accused" of sinking a protest boat. To me the word accused makes it seem like maybe they did not do it or they are not admitting it and thus is misleading. Anyways there is as expected dispute over the incident and the Japanese doing it intentionally or could not prevent the collision, but there is not denying they caused the boat to be destroyed and sunk.

The incident involved the Japanese Shonan Maru No. 2 colliding with the protester's Ady Gil. The Ady Gil was cut in half by the collision, but fortunately all 6 on board were rescued, although one ended up with broken ribs.

From what I have seen of the show it would seem that they might have purposely been in front of the ship and challenged it. Sure the Japanese should have turned and they very well probably tried, but the activists are probably just as much at fault. Of course, I really have not a clue about what really happened and the news at this time does not shed much light with it being so much on the activists side. By the way I am on their side as far as their views on the Japanese not killing the whales, but it seems the Japanese side is at least not published in English much.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Whaling Research without Killing to be Carried Out in Antarctic Region

The past few years the Japanese whaling program has been one of the hot news topics about the Antarctic region. The Japanese go down every year to kill whales supposedly for scientific research. This year the Australia and New Zealand governments are funding a scientific whaling expedition that does not involve killing the whales. It the newest way to challenge the Japanese way of carrying out whaling research.

The success of this expedition should be a great way of convincing those in the middle that the whales do not need to be killed to carry out the research. In fact I imagine not killing them will allow for more observation of their actual behavior and such, which will allow for more research results. I can understand there might be a few things hard or impossible to research without a dead whale, but at the same time it does not seem that the Japanese are really about the scientific value of killing the whales.

However, at the same time I have not looked at the Japanese side of it to know whether they have any research and would not be surprised if the news is exaggerating the lack of scientific research from the Japanese program. Although, it does still seem that whale meat is almost as important to the Japanese as the research purpose if not more important.

Read more about the Australia and New Zealand expedition here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mawson's Plane Found in Antarctica

I thought this article about finding the first plane in Antarctica sounded familiar. I searched through my posts and found that almost a year ago I posted about the search for Mawson's plane left behind in Antarctica. I think that is what I was remembering, as there is no way I read about it being found before today, since it was only found yesterday (January 1, 2010) and I did not read my Antarctic news alerts for the past few days until today.

The plane has quite an interesting story with it never making it to Antarctica in tact to even be flown, although technically it still was the first airplane in Antarctica when it was brought in 1911 without wings to be used as a tractor. It never was really successful for that purpose either, but nonetheless it is still a wonderful artifact of Antarctic history to have been rediscovered finally.

First Meteorite Found by China's 26th Antarctic Expedition Team

On Wednesday, December 30, 2009, China's 26th Antarctic Expedition Team found their first meteorite in Antarctica. It is believed to be made of Chondrite. The meteorite was found near the southern foot of the Glove Mountain peak. I knew about meteorites being easier to find in Antarctica, but I found this article about them finding it interesting because I learned about how they are mostly found around mountains and why that is so. The Glove Mountain area is actually one of the best places discovered so far for meteorite finds.