DEPARTURE OF THE EXPEDITION



Early on the morning of 28 January 1900, the party was awakened with the call of "Post!" It was Captain Jensen. The Southern Cross had returned with mail and news of the Boer War in South Africa. Although Borchgrevink was still undecided where a second winter would be spent, a start was made to dismantle the stores hut. This was to be loaded on the ship with sufficient stores to last a three-man party another eight months. The idea was abandoned and on the evening of 2 February, the expedition departed. According to Borchgrevink, " We left at the camp, huts and a quantity of coal which should have served the needs for another year, together with a considerable quantity of provisions...." On board the ship the party was glad to have a meal of mutton chops and fresh potatoes.

The Southern Cross stopped at Possession Island and Franklin Island in the Ross Sea and on 16 and 19 February, two parties sledged 16 km over the Ross Ice Shelf. This was the the furthest south sledging to the time.

The first wintering on the continent was in the view of Bernacchi, "A time of boredom and irritation." Borchgrevink had proved a difficult person to get along with and his lack of scientific knowledge, incompetence with equipment and inability to make simple observations, had been of great concern to some of the party. The death of Hanson contributed to the unhappiness of the expedition.


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