21 January 2015 | Cuverville Island
Today we skied up Mt Tennant (730m) from our Cuverville Island anchorage. It was very warm and humid due to the northerly winds.
The weather forecast continues to announce bad weather, so we will have to do with smaller peaks for the next few days. We have started looking at possible weather windows to cross back over the Drake Passage, but it doesn’t look very good. So we will probably need to spend a few days around this area to wait for the right weather.
Here are some facts on Antarctica’s history which we found reading through our Antarctica literature:
- 180 million years ago: Antarctica starts breaking away from the super continent Gondwana
- 1531: The first mention of Terra Australis appeared on a French map;
- 1773: James Cook is the first to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent, and also the first person to sail south of the polar circle, but he never actually sighted land;
- 1820: The Antarctic continent is first sighted by Bransfield, von Bellingshausen and Powell;
- 1821: John Davis is the first person to land on the continent ;
- 1889: Joseph de Gerlache’s ship Belgica is the first ship to be frozen into the pack ice and overwinter south of the Antarctic circle;
- 1901/1903: Otto Nordenskioeld’s famous saga of survival on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula;
- 1903/1910: Frenchman Charcot charts a large part of the Antarctic Peninsula and conducts significant scientific research;
- 1911/12: Roald Amundsen and 4 other Norwegians are the first reach the South Pole, while Robert Scott’s expedition reaches a month later ending in death on their return journey;
- 1915/16: Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance is famously crushed in Weddell Sea pack ice, the expedition members live on the ice for 5 months before sailing to Elephant Island, and after two years to South Georgia where they are rescued;
- 1929 Richard Byrd flies over the South Pole;
- 1935: Norwegian Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first woman to set foot on the continent;
- 1959: The Antarctic Treaty is signed by the 12 initial countries ;
- 1966: Antarctica’s highest mountain Mt Vinson is first climbed by a US team;
- 1989/90: First ski crossing of Antarctic continent by Reinhold Messner and Arved Fuchs;
- 2000: The largest iceberg calves from Ross Ice Shelf, measuring 298km by 37km;
- 2012: The Antarctic Treaty is renewed for 50 years.