Scott 100 Day 25 25th November : Hooper and Day turn North

Frederick Hooper. Hooper never intended to join the polar party as he was recuited to the Terra Nova as a steward. He was transferred to the shore party and ended up making a significant contribution to the expedition. Hooper lead off with the tractors and Teddy Evans and then manhauled as far as they could before Scott caught up with the horses and sent him back to Hutpoint.

Scotts Journal November 25th 1911. Ice crystals make the going heavy but it does improve as the march goes on with the temperature at -2 at the and of the nights work. The warmer nights mean they will plan moving to day marches. They will achieve this in stages by starting later over the next few marches. Hooper and Day set of back to Hutpoint manhauling with a light sledge while the rest of the tractor team carried on with the main party. The horses are tiring but the plan is to lighten loads even further tomorrow. Meares and the dog teams catch up quickly and report that Jehu cut up and made four feeds for the dogs and that the killing of one more horse would see the dogs to the glacier. Scott is pleased with the progress and feels there are only a few more marches needed to get to the first goal.

Captain Scott – Picture from Wikimedia Commons

File:Scott of the Antarctic crop.jpg

Commentary. As you read through Scott’s journal you try and place yourself in his shoes, but it is impossible. Ranulph Fiennes wrote his book on Scott as an experienced polar explorer. A polar explorer with radio, support teams, modern equipment and a wealth of lessons learned from previous journeys, such as Scott’s. That’s not to say Fiennes hasn’t a better understanding, I have never camped in the snow or manhauled, but Scott was isolated and alone as a leader and lived in a culture that prevented him showing any vulnerability. In this context we have to look at Scott’s journal, the optimism and the positive spin compared to the low moods and depression. During this stage of the journey Cherry-Garrard described the horses as sinking a ‘cruel distance’ into the snow which is a little more dramatic to Scott’s reserved detail of ‘ice crystals’ and deep upto their Hocks. Around this time Oates states that Scott ‘realises now what awful cripples our ponies are and carries a face like a tired seaboot as a consequence’. Yet in Scott’s journal there is sense of achievement and performance from the horses, even with the crocks. Scott writes a letter to his wife at this stage of the march and says ‘everything is going pretty well’ and goes on to say ‘the animals are not well selected, I knew this in New Zealand, though I didn’t tell you’. Scott knew his journal would be a source for the telling of his story, The Discovery expedition taught him that. So all we can say about Scotts journal is that it is the story Scott recorded, what he really thought or knew must come from other sources and even them we may never know the true Scott.

About hutpoint

Interested in leadership, teamwork, resistance, perseverence and change. A former senior nurse dedicated to learning from and sharing with other flawed humans.
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