While the new hut on Cape Evans was being built, Scott took the rest day - 15 January 1911 - to cross the cape in order to examine "Hut Point" and the residue of Shackleton's 1902 Discovery expedition. Scott's tension with Shackleton is apparent in the day's journal entry, in which he decries Shackleton's recklessness in leaving the hut exposed: "...he went away and left the window open; as a result , nearly the whole of the interior of the hut is filled with hard icy snow, and it is now impossible to find shelter inside." (Journals, p. 91, Carrol & Graf ).
On 17 January 1911 - Scott could celebrate the completion of the new wintering hut at Cape Evans. "We took up our abode in the hut today," Scott exclaimed, "and are simply overwhelmed with its comfort." (Journals, p. 93, Carrol & Graf ). It is much remarked by those who would divine general leadership principles from Scott's work, that he ordered that the hut be divided into separate quarters for the officers and the "men." But Beryl Bainbridge defended him: "...it was not that he considered the men inferior, rather that he felt both groups would be more comfortable with such an arrangement." (Bainbridge, "Foreword," Journals, p. xvi-xvii, Carrol & Graf ). In any case, considering the narrow confines and the crowd that would occupy the place, Scott exuded his early optimism in summing up things. "In a day or two the hut will become the most comfortable of houses." (Journals, p. 95, Carrol & Graf ).
You can learn about efforts to preserve both huts at the "Save the Huts" website.
Commander John Bortniak
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