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    Re: HMS Bounty
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2004 May 18, 21:47 -0400

    Hello Doug,
    
    To carry on this interesting conversation:
    
    
    
    > Wasn't Sir Ernest a member(2nd or 3rd in command)of a previous Antarctic
    > Expedition?I can't remember who with but believe it to be true.
    
    Shackleton was on one of Scott's expeditions. Been a while since I've read
    this stuff so I can't conjure it up on spec and I'm too lazy to walk the ten
    feet to my library to look it up. In any event, Scott and Shackleton did not
    get along and had a falling out early on. Their leaderships styles were very
    different; Scott being the toffee-nosed English Upperclassman and Shackleton
    being the more egalitarian Irishman. They were bound to clash. Having said
    that, Shackleton had his own demons (most polar explorers did) but I won't
    get into the details....
    
    Doug wrote:
    
    > Reading accounts of Scott's run to the S. pole and the team's feelings
    when
    > they reached it and found Admunson was there and gone were heart
    renching.As
    > were the accounts of his team's slow death going back to base camp.There
    is
    > a person who made all the wrong choises for the right reasons and payed
    > dearly for it.
    > An interesting topic.
    
    With all due respect to Scott, he didn't belong there. If you read the
    history and if you know anything about polar exploration, Scott was an
    amateur. He was bound to get himself into trouble. He refused to learn how
    to ski and refused to learn how to drive dogs; despite being strongly
    advised to do this by Nansen. Instead he took ponies to do the hauling and
    when they died, his men had to haul the heavy loads. If you want to
    experience agony of the highest order, try manhauling a heavy load over ice
    and snow. It is brutal, nasty work. Scott did, however, have the foresight
    to experiment with motorized transportation although this did not pan out.
    That wasn't Scott's fault. Vehicles simply weren't that well developed at
    the time. For navigation, Scott took theodolites which are cumbersome,
    unwieldy and difficult to set up under polar conditions.
    
    Contrast Scott to Amundsen. The latter was a professional. A true
    professional. He approached the South Pole trip like a well run military
    campaign. For transport, he used dogs and skis. All of his men were expert
    dog drivers and skiers. Amundsen took sextants and glass artificial horizons
    for navigation. All of his men could navigate with a sextant. Every single
    aspect of the trip was planned to the minutest of details. Nothing was left
    to chance. In reading Amundsen's account, you would think that the
    Norwegians were on a holiday ski-jaunt.
    
    In the end, I too felt bad for Scott, but in the end Scott was the hero and
    Amundsen was the goat. Amundsen really hit a nerve with the English by
    beating their man to the pole so there was a great deal of animosity towards
    him. At one dinner held, ostensibly in Amundsen's honour, one of the English
    dignitaries held up a toast: "three cheers for the dogs".  Amundsen was very
    bitter about his treatment and described these feelings in his book: "My
    Life as an Explorer". Amundsen was very thin-skinned and took things to
    heart.
    
    I strongly recommend "Amundsen and Scott" by Roland Huntford. There are some
    great descriptions of the navigation techniques of each. Well worth the
    read.
    
    Robert
    
    
    

       
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