Tag Archives: Arctic

The Last Words of Antarctic Explorer Robert Falcon Scott

Robert Falcon Scott was a royal naval officer and antarctic explorer whose last and disastrous expedition was recorded in detail in his working diary. 100 years ago (on March 29), he scrawled his last words into his diary:

“We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.

It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.

R. SCOTT.

For God’s sake look after our people.”

Scott and his men January 17, 1912 courtesy of Wikipedia

The entry came two weeks after several weeks of heart-wrenching and disastrous accounts of the weather, the status of food, and the conditions of himself and his companions. In November 1912 (8 months after this), a search party found Scott and two of his companions frozen in their sleeping bags. To learn more about the failed expedition, see the article by Andrew Mustain at MSNBC’s “Antarctic explorer’s last words: 100 years ago.”

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The Saga of the Northwest Passage

The quest to discover and navigate the Northwest Passage long enticed explorers and politicians throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The Northwest Passage is a treacherous sea-route through the Arctic Ocean. It was seen as a potential trade route and not successfully navigated until the early 20th century.

The Northwest Passage

This month’s Archaeology Magazine highlights the dangers of the sea journey and the ill-fated voyage by the HMS Investigator, an expedition led by Robert McClure that was abandoned in 1853 after it was irretrievably trapped in the ice. The ship was rediscovered in 2010 and is subject to investigation and excavation by nautical archaeologists.

Due to the environment and frigid waters, the dangers posed to archaeologists are unique. You can read more about their endeavors and what they have discovered int he 2011 field season in this article: “The Saga of the Northwest Passage.”

HMS Investigator Today