Tottan and Endurance voyages compared

Geoff Lovegrove sent me the document below, which shows part of Frank Worsley's chart of the voyage of Shackleton's ship Endurance south along the Caird Coast in January 1915, past the future site of Halley Bay. He has annotated the chart. The chart is now out of copyright and may be copied freely.

Essentially the same route was taken by the Tottan 41 years later, to set up the base for the Royal Society as part of the International Geophysical Year. The story is told here by George Hemmen.

The Tottan sailed south heading for Vahsel Bay to set up the research station but encountered heavy pack at about 76.5S, roughly where the Endurance was beset. Fortunately they did not get beset; they turned back and set up the base in 75.5S at a place they named after Edmond Halley, where a slope enabled them to access the top of the ice shelf to set up the base.

The interesting thing is that Worsley spotted this bay and noted "Gentle Slope onto the Barrier". The heavily crevassed area a little to the east later became known as the MacDonald Ice Rumples, where the ice shelf is grounded. It is remarkable how similar the coastline was to that found 41 years later.

Click on the picture for a full size version. Note that south is at the top!

Endurance chart
Source: Crown Copyright

[23 August 2023]

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