Passing the Winter 1911 main content.

Passing the Winter 1911

Part of the Race to the End of the Earth exhibition.

The British Keep Busy During Winter Of 1911

Scott Aims To Keep Crew Occupied

Once the depots were laid, life at Cape Evans became more routine. The scientists took their daily measurements, or conducted short fieldtrips for collecting or mapping purposes when conditions permitted. The seamen and animal handlers applied themselves to making or altering whatever was needed for the pole journey--ski boots, crampons, sledge parts, tents, and so forth.

The ponies needed special attention. Captain Oates built a stable out of provisions cases, hay bales, and other materials, with stalls and a blubber stove to keep the animals warm.

Scott was intent on keeping his crew mentally occupied and set up a heavy program of lectures, to be delivered by the scientists and officers. The subject matter of talks ranged widely, from parasitology through vulcanology to the proper management of horses.

Not everyone was thrilled to participate, but it had the effect of keeping the men's minds engaged through the otherwise little-varied days of winter.

Antarctica's Very Own Newspaper -- The South Polar Times

Scott also reinstituted a project he had begun during Discovery days, The South Polar Times. The Times was a typed, single-copy newspaper-cum-magazine, all content for which was supplied by the men. Articles, poems, puzzles, and drawings were submitted anonymously to the editor, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, whose job then was to laboriously type out copy. Needless to say, some of the literary gems failed to sparkle, but it was another way to pass the time. The men played football and other rough-and-tumble games when conditions permitted. And everyone counted down the days until the sun would reappear.