23 January, 1997

1/23/97 9:34 PM

Today was a day of heroes.

At 11:30 AM the Kiwis took us out to Cape Evans by helicopter.  Cape
Evans is where Scott built the Terra Nova Hut.  This was the home of
Scott, Wilson, Bowers, Oates and Evans before they marched to their
deaths.  They, along with Scott's other men lived there for one summer
and a winter.  Scott and the others were dead by the second summers end.
Since they failed to be first at the Pole, they died thinking of
themselves as failures.  Tragic.

It was also from this hut that Bill Wilson, Bertie Bowers, and
Cherry-Garrard made the Worst Journey in the World (the title of
Cherry-Garrard's book).  This journey ranks among the most harrowing
tales of exploration ever endured.

All of these men, all heroes, lived, worked and, for some, died in
Antarctic exploration.  It is hard to express the feelings that came
over me as I stood inside there hut.  One thing I know for certain, if I
had lived at that time I could not have stood among them.  They were a
breed that many men like myself wish we could equal, but know that such
heroism exists in only a few, all the rest, including myself, could only
stand with Walter Mitty.  I know I've said it before in these journals,
but it needs to be said again and again---it humbles me to continue the
research these men started; to actually stand in their shadow.  What an

Our tour of the Scott Hut was conducted by Kiwi meteorologist and
author, David Harrowfield.  David, known as the Duke, is one of those
men you like instantly.  An improbable character, Dickensian to the
boot, a delight to chat with.  David had spent the last twenty-two years
working in Antarctica and writing about it.  He could have fit in
beautifully with Scott's men.

After looking around Evans we sat down on a bench to have lunch with the
Kiwi's that were working to restore the Hut.  The conversation was

Around two the Kiwi helicopter returned to take us to Royds.
Shackleton!  Like I said, this was a day for heroes.  Shackleton made an
amazing attempt to reach the Pole during the summer of '07-'08.  He came
within a little more than 90 miles of his goal!  I recall he said words
to the effect, "My wife would prefer a live goat to a dead hero."  So
would mine.

Shackleton's greatest claim to fame came in the absolute failure of the
Endurance expedition.  After his ship, the Endurance, became stuck in
the ice and was smashed to pieces.  Shackelton and his men somehow made
it to safety WITHOUT THE LOSS OF A SINGLE LIFE.  The journey ended with
an open boat crossing by Shackleton and a few of his men to a far off
whaling station.  After crossing snow covered mountains, Shackleton
found help.  The book entitled Endurance is a classic among adventure

Also with Shackleton was Mawson.  Hmm, if you don't know the story about
Mawson, you'll have to look it up---I'm not going to tell you.  Find a
copy of Mawson's Will and you are in for one of the most exciting reads
of your life.  There, you have your reading assignment, so stop reading
this stupid journal and go to the good stuff.

Wait a minute.  Did I mention the penguins and Stephani and Sophie.
More of my heroes (not the penguins, but Stephani and Sophie).
Stephanie Zador of Alaska and Sophie Webb of California have been living
in a tent at Royds for some time.  They are studying the penguins there.
How do you study penguins?  Lot's of ways.  One way is to catch them and
tag them with a bar code.  What kind of information do you think they
might get.

Another way is to study their diets.  Penguins feed in the ocean, so you
can't see what they are eating.  How do you study their diets?  In the
old days they would kill them and cut them open.  They don't do that any
more.  So how do you go about it?  Ask Stephani and Sophie.

Here's how it's done.  First, catch a penguin.  Second, force feed it
lots of water.  Third, turn it upside do

sorry to interrupt but the machine is needed for some quick takes.

1/24/97   6:50 PM  sorry I did not finish that last journal entry at
such a critical spot but we did not finish with the photos until  2:00
AM this morning.

Right now I am doing one of the coolest things I have ever done.  I am
completing my journal entry on heroes in Scott's Discovery Hut.  The Hut
is usually only open for small group tours but researchers can get a key
to go through the building alone.  I'm a researcher, I've got a key, and
I am alone in the Hut.

...let's see we were talking about two of my heroes, Stephanie and
Sophie , and a penguin had been turned upside down.  This causes the
penguin to vomit up whatever it had been eating.  as you may have
guessed this is not an entirely pleasurable experience to the researcher
of the penguin.  The penguin loses a meal and the researcher gets a bag
full of half digested sea food and a splashy bonus on the hands face,
and any other exposed area.

This may sound cruel, but it does not injure the penguin and a lot is
learned from it.  Such research can tell us what food the penguin eats,
what food is available to the penguin, are certain foods being depleted
by over fishing and so on.

Before concluding the "day of heroes"entry I want to describe the
interior of the "Discovery " Hut, where I'm sitting now.  This hut is
not as well furnished as the others ad has been vandalized by visitors
over the years.  For many years anyone could enter it and some took away
"souvenirs" (that's a polite way of saying, "The stupid and the
inconsiderate and the immoral stole from the Hut    ) .  I'm sitting on
a raised platform   that is supported by several wooden boxes.  Directly
in front of me is a copper cooking pot.  From where I'm sitting I can
see a makeshift stove, a large box of biscuits, a can of split peas, a
bottle or cognac, and every explorers favorite---pemmican.  On the e
other side of the room is a pile of 100 year old seal meat (mmm good).
There is some food left in one of the pots on the stove, but I cannot
tell what it is.  I don't think tasting it would give any clues either.

This hut has tremendous historical value because it was used y Scott on
both of his expeditions and by Shackelton on two of his expeditions.
This is certainly another wonderful experience for me!

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