On 9 January 1911, there is just more off-loading and sledging the stores to Cape Evans. But the company will soon be leaving the Terra Nova behind. A more appropriately named vessel there never has been - "New Land" - indeed! This retrofitted whaler had already earned her place in polar legend, as the ice-breaker that fought and blasted its way to relieve Shakelton's ice-bound Discovery in 1904. On that occasion it was decided that other ships were "too weak for the work." (Roland Huntford, The Last Place on Earth, p. 178, The Modern Library New York ). Scott's objection to that rescue mission must be the subject of other discussions, but "he had not forgotten how well she had handled the ice so he made an offer to her owners" for his 1910-1913 expedition. (Ranulph Fiennes, Race to the Pole, p. 150, Hyperion ). The man who would helm the ship for Scott, Teddy Evans, called her "the largest and strongest of the old Scotch whalers." He went on:
In spite of her age she had considerable power . . . I shall never forget
the day I first visited the Terra Nova in the West India Docks: . . .
. I loved her from the day I say her, because she was my first
command. Poor little ship, she looked so dirty and uncared for and yet her
name will be remembered for ever in the story of the sea, . . . (Ranulph
Fiennes, Race to the Pole, p. 150-51, Hyperion ).
Having outlived so many among her crew from those years in the last century's first decade, it is almost a shame to note that the Terra Nova went down to the sea's dark mysteries in 1943 while performing service for the Newfoundland Base Contractors off Greenland. It is said that her salvaged bell still rings at the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University to signal tea, just as Scott would have had it. If this is true - I would cut through Antarctic ice to have a sound file made to upload here and share with the world - especialy this year?