Sea ice across the Lamarie Channel;
Coldest environ on south-polar land;
Osmosis reversed by working seabees;
Terra flow minus forty-five degrees;
Ten kilometers base camp from South Pole;
Bold Kiwis near Erebus roll out green plan
Across "White Continent" stuck on earth's tail;
Shackelton for Ross renewed energy;
Edmund Hillary liked the synergy.
© Paterika Hengreaves
This poem “Scott Base” was composed in Barbados on October 29, 2008 after taking a virtual trip to Antarctica. The virtual trip to Antarctic with a stop-over at Scott Base in its infancy motivated this Acrostic poem. The poem has pentameter verses with a rhyme scheme abccd abcc. The didactic thread in this Acrostic poem is about the early exploration of the South Pole from a bird’s eye view and in a nutshell.
New Zealand history asserts that under the overall command of the British explorer Dr Vivian Fuchs, Sir Edmund Hillary lead 18 members of a component of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, made up of five scientists from New Zealand in 1955-58. Sir Hillary on January 10, 1957 declared Scott Base open for scientific business. Sir Edmund Hillary who had come down from Mount Everest a little over three years was the first Kiwi to winter over at Scott Base, and the first Kiwi in the company of Derek Wright and Murray Ellis to reach Mount Erebus in Antarctica in a Ferguson tractor on January 20, 1958.
Scott Base is a research facility located in Antarctica and it is operated by New Zealand. It was named after Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the Royal Navy and leader of two British expeditions to the Ross Sea area of Antarctica. Located on Ross Island near Mount Erebus in New Zealand's Ross Dependency territorial claim, it was set up as support to field research and the centre for research into earth sciences, but now conducts research in many fields. It is made up of a collection of lime-green buildings which are linked by all-weather corridors. My research findings on Scott Base state that these buildings can accommodate eighty-five people during the Antarctic summer, and with a limited staff of between ten to fourteen people during the Antarctic winter.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton CVO, (Royal Victorian Order) OBE (Order of the British Empire) life on earth spanned 15 February 1874 to 5 January 1922. He was an Anglo-Irish explorer who was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. His first experience of the Polar Regions was as a third officer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition, 1901-1904 from which he returned home early on health issues. So determined was he to erase this perceived personal failure, he returned to Antarctica in 1907 as head of the Nimrod Expedition. In January 1909 he and three companions made a southern march which established a record “Farthest South” (term used to denote the most southerly latitudes reached by explorers before the conquest of the South Pole in 1911). Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home for his achievement.
The race to the South Pole ended in 1912 with Roald Amundsen's conquest, so Shackleton turned his attention to what he said was the one remaining great object of Antarctic journeying--the crossing of the continent from sea to sea, via the pole. This expedition of his became known as the “Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-17.” Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, Endurance was trapped in pack ice and slowly crushed, this followed with a sequence of exploits, and ultimate escape with no lives lost, this cemented the heroic status on Shackleton.
In 1921 Shackleton returned to the Antarctic with the “Shackleton-Rowett Expedition”, intending to carry out a program of scientific and survey activities. However, before Shackleton could begin this work he died of a heart attack while his ship named the "Quest", was moored in South Georgia. At the request of his wife, Shackleton was buried in South Georgia. Previously, South Georgia had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927. South Georgia is still being claimed by Argentina. They based such claim to South Georgia on the fact that Argentine forces contributed to the 1982 Falklands War.
The poem makes mention of Ross alluding to Sir James Clark Ross born in London on 15 April 1800 and died at the age of sixty-one. He was a British naval officer and explorer. He explored the Arctic but is known more for his expeditions in Antarctica. Between 1839 and 1843 Ross commanded an Antarctic expedition comprising the vessels HMS Erebus and HMS Terror and charted much of the coastline of the continent.
Mount Erebus and Mount Terror were named after the vessels HMS Erebus and HMS Terror under the command of Sir James Clark Ross used in the 1838 and 1843 Antarctic expedition that mapped much of the coastline of Antarctica. Mount Erebus is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, which includes over 160 active volcanoes. Ross Island (Antarctic Peninsula) is named after James Clark Ross; so too is the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf of Antarctica. Most of Ross Ice Shelf is located within the Ross Dependency claimed by New Zealand; it was set up as support to field research and the centre for research into earth sciences, but now conducts research in many fields.
Without a doubt, the world has come to embrace and to respect the pioneers of Antarctica. Transport on the continent of Antarctica has transformed from explorers crossing the isolated remote area of the South Pole on foot to a more open area due to human technologies enabling more convenient and faster transport by land and predominantly by air and water. The use of huskies to pull researchers and sledges has been banned on objections that huskies are an alien species to Antarctica and menace to wildlife as super-predators.