The ice was here, the ice was there, 
  The ice was all around: 
  It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, 
  Like noises in a swound. 

No sooner was it known that Scott intended to lead another Antarctic expedition than he was besieged by men anxious to go with him. The selection of a small company from some eight thousand volunteers was both a difficult and a delicate task, but the fact that the applications were so numerous was at once a convincing proof of the interest shown in the expedition, and a decisive answer to the dismal cry that the spirit of romance and adventure no longer exists in the British race.

On June 15, 1910, the Terra Nova left Cardiff upon her great mission, and after a successful voyage arrived, on October 28, at Lyttelton. There an enormous amount of work had to be done before she could be ready to leave civilization, but as usual the kindness received in New Zealand was 'beyond words.'

A month of strenuous labor followed, and then, on November 26, they said farewell to Lyttelton, and after calling at Port Chalmers set out on Tuesday, the 29th, upon the last stage of their voyage. Two days later they encountered a stiff wind from the N. W. and a confused sea.

'The ship a queer and not altogether cheerful sight under the circumstances.

'Below one knows all space is packed as tight as human skill can devise - and on deck! Under the forecastle fifteen ponies close side by side, seven one side, eight the other, heads together and groom between - swaying, swaying continually to the plunging, irregular motion.'

Outside the forecastle and to leeward of the fore hatch were four more ponies, and on either side of the main hatch were two very large packing-cases containing motor sledges, each 16 X 5 X 4. A third sledge stood across the break of the poop in the space hitherto occupied by the after winch, and all these cases were so heavily lashed with heavy chain and rope lashings that they were thought to be quite secure. The petrol for the sledges was contained in tins and drums protected in stout wooden packing-cases, which were ranged across the deck immediately in front of the poop and abreast the motor sledges.

Round and about these packing-cases, stretching from the galley forward to the wheel aft, coal bags containing the deck cargo of coal were stacked; and upon the coal sacks, and upon and between the motor sledges, and upon the ice-house were the thirty-three dogs. Perforce they had to be chained up, and although they were given as much protection as possible, their position was far from pleasant. 'The group formed,' in Scott's opinion, 'a picture of wretched dejection: such a life is truly hard for these poor creatures.'

The wind freshened with great rapidity on Thursday evening, and very soon the ship was plunging heavily and taking much water over the lee rail. Cases of all descriptions began to break loose on the upper deck, the principal trouble being caused by the loose coal bags, which were lifted bodily by the seas and swung against the lashed cases. These bags acted like battering rams, no lashings could possibly have withstood them, and so the only remedy was to set to work and heave coal sacks overboard and re-lash the cases. During this difficult and dangerous task seas continually broke over the men, and at such times they had to cling for dear life to some fixture to prevent themselves from being washed overboard. No sooner was some appearance of order restored than another unusually heavy wave tore away the lashings, and the work had to be done allover again.

As the night wore on the sea and wind continued to rise, and the ship to plunge more and more. 'We shortened sail to main topsail and staysail, stopped engines and hove to, but to little purpose.'

From Oates and Atkinson, who worked through the entire night, reports came that it was impossible to keep the ponies on their legs. But worse news was to follow, for in the early morning news came from the engine-room that the pumps had choked, and that the water had risen over the gratings.

From that moment, about 4 A.M., the engine-room became the center of interest, but in spite of every effort the water still gained. Lashly and Williams, up to their necks in rushing water, stuck gamely to the work of clearing suctions, and for a time, with donkey engine and bilge pump sucking, it looked as if the water might be got under. But the hope was short-lived; five minutes of pumping invariably led to the same result - a general choking of the pumps.

The ship was very deeply-laden and was in considerable danger of becoming waterlogged, in which condition anything might have happened. The hand pump produced nothing more than a dribble and its suction could not be reached, for as the water crept higher it got in contact with the boiler and eventually became so hot that no one could work at the suctions. A great struggle to conquer these misfortunes followed, but Williams had at last to confess that he was beaten and must draw fires.

'What was to be done? Things for the moment appeared very black. The sea seemed higher than ever; it came over lee rail and poop, a rush of green water; the ship wallowed in it; a great piece of the bulwark carried clean away. The bilge pump is dependent on the main engine. To use the pump it was necessary to go ahead. It was at such times that the heaviest seas swept in over the lee rail; over and over again the rail, from the forerigging to the main, was covered by a solid sheet of curling water which swept aft and high on the poop. On one occasion I was waist deep when standing on the rail of the poop.'

All that could be done for the time being was to organize the afterguard to work buckets, and to keep the men steadily going on the choked hand-pumps, which practically amounted to an attempt to bale out the ship! For a day and a night the string of buckets was passed up a line from the engine-room; and while this arduous work was going on the officers and men sang chanteys, and never for a moment lost their good spirits.

In the meantime an effort was made to get at the suction of the pumps; and by 10 P.M. on Friday evening a hole in the engine-room bulkhead had been completed. Then E. R. Evans, wriggling over the coal, found his way to the pump shaft and down it, and cleared the suction of the coal balls (a mixture of coal and oil) which were choking it. Soon afterwards a good stream of water came from the pump, and it was evident that the main difficulty had been overcome. Slowly the water began to decrease in the engine-room, and by 4 A.M. on Saturday morning the bucket-parties were able to stop their labors.

The losses caused by this gale were serious enough, but they might easily have been worse. Besides the damage to the bulwarks of the ship, two ponies, one dog, ten tons of coal, sixty-five gallons of petrol, and a case of biologists' spirit were lost. Another dog was washed away with such force that his chain broke and he disappeared, but the next wave miraculously washed him back on board. In a few hours everyone was hopeful again, but anxiety on account of the ponies remained. With the ship pitching heavily to a south-westerly swell, at least two of these long-suffering animals looked sadly in need of a spell of rest, and Scott's earnest prayer was that there might be no more gales. 'December ought to be a fine month in the Ross Sea; it always has been, and just now conditions point to fine weather. Well, we must be prepared for anything, but I'm anxious, anxious about these animals of ours.'

Meanwhile Bowers and Campbell had worked untiringly to put things straight on deck, and with the coal removed from the upper deck and the petrol re-stored, the ship was in much better condition to fight the gales. 'Another day,' Scott wrote on Tuesday, December 6, 'ought to put us beyond the reach of westerly gales'; but two days later the ship was once more plunging against a stiff breeze and moderate sea, and his anxiety about the ponies was greater than ever. The dogs, however, had recovered wonderfully from the effects of the great gale, their greatest discomfort being that they were almost constantly wet.

During Friday, December 9, some very beautiful bergs were passed, the heights of which varied from sixty to eighty feet. Good progress was made during this day, but the ice streams thickened as they advanced, and on either side of them fields of pack began to appear. Yet, after the rough weather they had been having, the calm sea was a blessing even if the ice had arrived before it was expected. 'One can only imagine the relief and comfort afforded to the ponies, but the dogs are visibly cheered and the human element is full of gaiety. The voyage seems full of promise in spite of the imminence of delay.'

Already Scott was being worried by the pace at which the coal was going, and he determined if the pack became thick to put out the fires and wait for the ice to open. Very carefully all the evidence of former voyages had been examined so that the best meridian to go south on might be chosen, and the conclusion arrived at was that the 178 W. was the best. They entered the pack more or less on this meridian, and were rewarded by meeting worse conditions than any ship had ever experienced - worse, indeed, than Scott imagined to be possible on any meridian which they might have chosen. But as very little was known about the movements of the pack the difficulties of making a choice may very easily be imagined, and, in spite of disappointments, Scott's opinion that the 178 W. was the best meridian did not change. 'The situation of the main bodies of pack,' he says, 'and the closeness with which the floes are packed depend almost entirely on the prevailing winds. One cannot tell what winds have prevailed before one's arrival; therefore one cannot know much about the situation or density. Within limits the density is changing from day to day and even from hour to hour; such changes depend on the wind, but it may not necessarily be a local wind, so that at times they seem almost mysterious. One sees the floes pressing closely against one another at a given time, and an hour or two afterwards a gap of a foot or more may be seen between each. When the floes are pressed together it is difficult and sometimes impossible to force a way through, but when there is release of pressure the sum of many little gaps allows one to take a zigzag path.'

During Sunday they lay tight in the pack, and after service at 10 A.M. all hands exercised themselves on ski over the floes and got some delightful exercise. 'I have never thought of anything as good as this life. The novelty, interest, color, animal life, and good fellowship go to make up an almost ideal picnic just at present,' one of the company wrote on that same day - an abundant proof that if delays came they brought their compensations with them.

With rapid and complete changes of prospect they managed to progress - on the Monday - with much bumping and occasional stoppages, but on the following day they were again firmly and tightly wedged in the pack. To most of them, however, the novelty of the experience prevented any sense of impatience, though to Scott the strain of waiting and wondering what he ought to do as regards the question of coal was bound to be heavy.

This time of waiting was by no means wasted, for Gran gave hours of instruction in the use of ski, and Meares took out some of the fattest dogs and exercised them with a sledge. Observations were also constantly taken, while Wilson painted some delightful pictures and Ponting took a number of beautiful photographs of the pack and bergs. But as day followed day and hopes of progress were not realized, Scott, anxious to be free, decided on Monday, December 19, to push west. 'Anything to get out of these terribly heavy floes. Great patience is the only panacea for our ill case. It is bad luck.'

Over and over again when the end of their troubles seemed to be reached, they found that the thick pack was once more around them. And what to do under the circumstances called for most difficult decisions. If the fires were let out it meant a dead loss of two tons of coal when the boilers were again heated. But these two tons only covered a day under banked fires, so that for anything longer than twenty-four hours it was a saving to put out the fires. Thus at each stoppage Scott was called upon to decide how long it was likely to last.

Christmas Day came with the ice still surrounding the ship, but although the scene was 'altogether too Christmassy,' a most merry evening was spent. For five hours the officers sat round the table and sang lustily, each one of them having to contribute two songs to the entertainment. 'It is rather a surprising circumstance,' Scott remarks, 'that such an unmusical party should be so keen on singing.'

Christmas, however, came and went without any immediate prospect of release, the only bright side of this exasperating delay being that everyone was prepared to exert himself to the utmost, quite regardless of the results of his labors. But on Wednesday, December 28, the ponies, despite the unremitting care and attention that Oates gave to them, were the cause of the gravest anxiety. 'These animals are now the great consideration, balanced as they are against the coal expenditure.'

By this time, although the ice was still all around them, many of the floes were quite thin, and even the heavier ice appeared to be breakable. So, after a consultation with Wilson, Scott decided to raise steam, and two days later the ship was once more in the open sea.

From the 9th to the 30th they had been in the pack, and during this time 370 miles had been covered in a direct line. Sixty-one tons [Footnote: When the Terra Nova left Lyttelton she had 460 tons of coal on board.] of coal had been used, an average of six miles to the ton, and although these were not pleasant figures to contemplate, Scott considered that under the exceptional conditions they might easily have been worse. For the ship herself he had nothing but praise to give. 'No other ship, not even the Discovery, would have come through so well.... As a result I have grown strangely attached to the Terra Nova. As she bumped the floes with mighty shocks, crushing and grinding her way through some, twisting and turning to avoid others, she seemed like a living thing fighting a great fight. If only she had more economical engines she would be suitable in all respects.'

Scientifically as much as was possible had been done, but many of the experts had of necessity been idle in regard to their own specialties, though none of them were really idle; for those who had no special work to do were magnificently eager to find any kind of work that required to be done. 'Everyone strives to help everyone else, and not a word of complaint or anger has been heard on board. The inner life of our small community is very pleasant to think upon, and very wonderful considering the extremely small space in which we are confined. The attitude of the men is equally worthy of admiration. In the forecastle as in the wardroom there is a rush to be first when work is to be done, and the same desire to sacrifice selfish consideration to the success of the expedition. It is very good to be able to write in such high praise of one's companions, and I feel that the possession of such support ought to ensure success. Fortune would be in a hard mood indeed if it allowed such a combination of knowledge, experience, ability, and enthusiasm to achieve nothing.'

Fortune's wheel, however, was not yet prepared to turn in their favor, for after a very few hours of the open sea a southern blizzard met them. In the morning watch of December 31, the wind and sea increased and the outlook was very distressing, but at 6 A.M. ice was sighted ahead. Under ordinary conditions the safe course would have been to go about and stand to the east, but on this occasion Scott was prepared to run the risk of trouble if he could get the ponies into smoother water. Soon they passed a stream of ice over which the sea was breaking heavily, and the danger of being among loose floes in such a sea was acutely realized. But presently they came to a more compact body of floes, and running behind this they were agreeably surprised to find themselves in comparatively smooth water. There they lay to in a sort of ice bay, and from a dangerous position had achieved one that was safe as long as their temporary shelter lasted.

As the day passed their protection, though still saving them from the heavy swell, gradually diminished, but 1910 did not mean to depart without giving them an Old Year's gift and surprise. 'At 10 P.M. to-night as the clouds lifted to the west a distant but splendid view of the great mountains was obtained. All were in sunshine; Sabine and Whewell were most conspicuous - the latter from this view is a beautiful sharp peak, as remarkable a landmark as Sabine itself. Mount Sabine was 110 miles away when we saw it. I believe we could have seen it at a distance of thirty or forty miles farther - such is the wonderful clearness of the atmosphere.'

The New Year brought better weather with it, and such good progress was made that by mid-day on Tuesday, January 3, the ship reached the Barrier five miles east of Cape Crozier. During the voyage they had often discussed the idea of making their winter station at this Cape, and the prospect had seemed to become increasingly fascinating the more they talked of it.

But a great disappointment awaited them, for after one of the whale boats had been lowered and Scott, Wilson, Griffith Taylor, Priestley, and E. R. Evans had been pulled towards the shore, they discovered that the swell made it impossible for them to land.

'No good!! Alas! Cape Crozier with all its attractions is denied us.'

On the top of a floe they could see an old Emperor penguin molting and a young one shedding its down. This was an age and stage of development of the Emperor chick of which they were ignorant, but fortune decreed that this chick should be undisturbed. Of this incident Wilson wrote in his Journal: 'A landing was out of the question.... But I assure you it was tantalizing to me, for there, about 6 feet above us on a small dirty piece of the old bay ice about ten feet square, one living Emperor penguin chick was standing disconsolately stranded, and close by stood one faithful old Emperor parent asleep. This young Emperor was still in the down, a most interesting fact in the bird's life history at which we had rightly guessed, but which no one had actually observed before.... This bird would have been a treasure to me, but we could not risk life for it, so it had to remain where it was.'

Sadly and reluctantly they had to give up hopes of making their station at Cape Crozier, and this was all the harder to bear because every detail of the shore promised well for a wintering party. There were comfortable quarters for the hut, ice for water snow for the animals, good slopes for skiing, proximity to the Barrier and to the rookeries of two types of penguins, good ground for biological work, a fairly easy approach to the Southern Road with no chance of being cut off, and so forth. 'It is a thousand pities to have to abandon such a spot.'

The Discovery's post-office was still standing as erect as when it had been planted, and comparisons between what was before their eyes and old photographs showed that no change at all seemed to have occurred anywhere - a result that in the case of the Barrier caused very great surprise.

In the meantime all hands were employed in making a running survey, the program of which was:

  Bruce continually checking speed with hand log.

  Bowers taking altitudes of objects as they come abeam. 
  Nelson noting results.

  Pennell taking verge plate bearings on bow and quarter. 
  Cherry-Garrard noting results.

  Evans taking verge plate bearings abeam. 
  Atkinson noting results.

  Campbell taking distances abeam with range finder. 
  Wright noting results.

  Rennick sounding with Thomson machine. 
  Drake noting results.

We plotted the Barrier edge from the point at which we met it to the Crozier cliffs; to the eye it seems scarcely to have changed since Discovery days, and Wilson thinks it meets the cliff in the same place.'

Very early on Wednesday morning they rounded Cape Bird and came in sight of Mount Discovery and the Western Mountains. 'It was good to see them again, and perhaps after all we are better this side of the Island. It gives one a homely feeling to see such a familiar scene.' Scott's great wish now was to find a place for winter quarters that would not easily be cut off from the Barrier, and a cape, which in the, Discovery days had been called 'the Skuary,' was chosen. 'It was separated from old Discovery quarters by two deep bays on either side of the Glacier Tongue, and I thought that these bays would remain frozen until late in the season, and that when they froze over again the ice would soon become firm.'

There Scott, Wilson, and E. R. Evans landed, and at a glance saw, as they expected, that the place was ideal for their wintering station. A spot for the hut was chosen on a beach facing northwest and well protected behind by numerous small hills; but the most favorable circumstance of all in connection with this cape, which was re-christened Cape Evans, was the strong chance of communication being established at an early date with Cape Armitage. [Footnote: The extreme south point of the Island, 12 miles further, on one of whose minor headlands, Hut Point, stood the Discovery hut.]

Not a moment was wasted, and while Scott was on shore Campbell took the first steps towards landing the stores.

Fortunately the weather was gloriously calm and fine, and the landing began under the happiest conditions. Two of the motors were soon hoisted out, and in spite of all the bad weather and the tons of sea-water that had washed over them the sledges and all the accessories appeared to be in perfect condition. Then came the turn of the ponies, and although it was difficult to make some of them enter the horse box, Oates rose to the occasion and got most of them in by persuasion, while the ones which refused to be persuaded were simply lifted in by the sailors. 'Though all are thin and some few looked pulled down I was agreeably surprised at the evident vitality which they still possessed - some were even skittish. I cannot express the relief when the whole seventeen were safely picketed on the floe.'

Meares and the dogs were out early on the Wednesday morning, and ran to and fro during most of the day with light loads. The chief trouble with the dogs was due to the fatuous conduct of the penguins, the latter showing a devouring curiosity in the proceedings and a total disregard for their own safety, with the result that a number of them were killed in spite of innumerable efforts to teach the penguins to keep out of reach, they only squawked and ducked as much as to say, 'What's it got to do with you, you silly ass? Let us alone.' These incidents naturally demoralized the dogs and annoyed Meares, who while trying to stop one sledge, fell into the middle of the dogs and was carried along until they reached the penguins of their desire.

The motor sledges were running by the afternoon, Day managing one and Nelson the other. 'It is early to call them a success, but they are certainly extremely promising.' Before night the site for the hut was leveled, and the erecting party was encamped on shore in a large tent with a supply of food for eight days. Nearly all the timber, &c., for the hut and a supply of food for both ponies and dogs had also been landed.

Despite this most strenuous day's labor, all hands were up again at 5 A.M. on Thursday.

'Words cannot express the splendid way in which everyone works and gradually the work gets organized. I was a little late on the scene this morning, and thereby witnessed a most extraordinary scene. Some six or seven killer whales, old and young, were skirting the fast floe edge ahead of the ship; they seemed excited and dived rapidly, almost touching the floe. As we watched, they suddenly appeared astern, raising their snouts out of water. I had heard weird stories of these beasts, but had never associated serious danger with them. Close to the water's edge lay the wire stern rope of the ship, and our two Esquimaux dogs were tethered to this. I did not think of connecting the movements of the whales with this fact, and seeing them so close I shouted to Ponting, who was standing abreast of the ship. He seized his camera and ran towards the floe edge to get a close picture of the beasts, which had momentarily disappeared. The next moment the whole floe under him and the dogs heaved up and split into fragments. One could hear the "booming" noise as the whales rose under the ice and struck it with their backs. Whale after whale rose under the ice, setting it rocking fiercely; luckily Ponting kept his feet and was able to fly to security; by an extraordinary chance also, the splits had been made around and between the dogs, so that neither of them fell into the water. Then it was clear that the whales shared our astonishment, for one after another their huge hideous heads shot vertically into the air through the cracks which they had made... There cannot be a doubt that they looked up to see what had happened to Ponting and the dogs....

'Of course, we have known well that killer whales continually skirt the edge of the floes and that they would undoubtedly snap up anyone who was unfortunate enough to fall into the water; but the facts that they could display such deliberate cunning, that they were able to break ice of such thickness (at least 2-1/2 feet), and that they could act in unison, were a revelation to us. It is clear that they are endowed with singular intelligence, and in future we shall treat that intelligence with every respect.'

On Thursday the motor sledges did good work, and hopes that they might prove to be reliable began to increase. Infinite trouble had been taken to obtain the most suitable material for Polar work, and the three motor sledge tractors were the outcome of experiments made at Lantaret in France and at Lillehammer and Fefor in Norway, with sledges built by the Wolseley Motor Company from suggestions offered principally by B. T. Hamilton, R. W. Skelton, and Scott himself. With his rooted objection to cruelty in any shape or form, Scott had an intense, and almost pathetic, desire that these sledges should be successful; over and over again he expressed his hopes and fears of them.

With ponies, motor sledges, dogs, and men parties working hard, the transportation progressed rapidly on the next two days, the only drawback being that the ice was beginning to get thin in the cracks and on some of the floes. Under these circumstances the necessity for wasting no time was evident, and so on the Sunday the third motor was got out and placed on the ice, and Scott, leaving Campbell to find the best crossing for the motor, started for the shore with a single man load.

Soon after the motor had been brought out Campbell ordered that it should be towed on to the firm ice, because the ice near the ship was breaking up. And then, as they were trying to rush the machine over the weak place, Williamson suddenly went through; and while he was being hauled out the ice under the motor was seen to give, and slowly the machine went right through and disappeared. The men made strenuous efforts to keep hold of the rope, but it cut through the ice towards them with an increasing strain, and one after another they were obliged to let go. Half a minute later nothing remained but a big hole, and one of the two best motors was lying at the bottom of the sea.

The ice, too, was hourly becoming more dangerous, and it was clear that those who were on shore were practically cut off from the ship. So in the evening Scott went to the ice-edge farther to the north, and found a place where the ship could come and be near ice heavy enough for sledding. Then he semaphored directions to Pennell, and on the following morning the ship worked her way along the ice-edge to the spot that had been chosen.

A good solid road was formed right up to the ship, and again the work of transportation went on with the greatest energy. In this Bowers proved 'a perfect treasure,' there was not a single case he did not know nor a single article on which he could not at once place his hand, and every case as it came on shore was checked by him.

On Tuesday night, January 10, after six days in McMurdo Sound, the landing was almost completed, and early in the afternoon of Thursday a message was sent from the ship that nothing remained on board except mutton, books, pictures, and the pianola. 'So at last we really are a self-contained party ready for all emergencies. We are LANDED eight days after our arrival - a very good record.'