July 30, 2010

Saturday, 30 July 1910


Amundsen received a telegram from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry: "The Norwegian Minister in Buenos Aires Christophersen writes: Herr landowner Peter Christophersen of this place has expressed to me his willingness to provide the Expedition both with Coal and the necessary supplies at his expense on condition that 'Fram' on her forthcoming voyage touches Montevideo to take on coal. On behalf of the expedition I have accepted Herr Christophersen's kind and altruistic offer of which the Foreign Ministry is asked to apprize Herr Roald Amundsen". [1]

Peter Christophersen, known as "Don Pedro", had emigrated from Norway to Argentina in 1871 and become a wealthy landowner.

"I have received your magnificent no less than kind offer," Amundsen replied, "to supply my Expedition both with [fuel] and provisions when Fram touches Montevideo, and I hereby permit myself to convey my recognition and warmest thanks for the generous manner in which it is your intention to support my enterprise." [2]

Without giving away his true plans, Amundsen explained that he needed oil, not coal, and that the Fram was bound for Buenos Aires. Generously, Don Pedro offered "petroleum and provisions in Montevideo or Buenos Aires." [3]

Under pledge of secrecy, Amundsen told Prestrud and Gjertsen that they were going south.


[1] Norwegian Foreign Ministry, draft of telegram, 30 July 1910, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.289-290.
[2] Roald Amundsen, letter to Don Pedro Christophersen, 30 July 1910, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.290.
[3] Norwegian Foreign Ministry, telegram to Roald Amundsen, 2 August 1910, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.290.

July 29, 2010

Friday, 29 July 1910


Sverre Hassel. Each of the Fram's crew was photographed just before departure in 1910. [1]

Daugaard-Jensen had collected dogs from a number of Greenland trading stations, and selected them personally in the spring, offering twice the usual price; the Danish authorities showed their high opinion of Amundsen by offering to ship all 101 dogs without charge. Ninety-nine were delivered alive to a small island off Kristiansand, to be looked after there by Lindstrøm and Sverre Hassel, a customs official and dog-driver who had been with Sverdrup on the second voyage of the Fram. Amundsen, knowing of Hassel's expertise with dogs, had been trying for some time to persuade Hassel to come with him, and finally Hassel agreed to come as far as San Francisco.

The dogs, wrote Gjertsen, "had the time of their lives with lovely horsemeat, lying and lazing in the sun, swimming expeditions to the mainland, and fighting to the death." [2]


[1] Galleri NOR, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[2] Lt. H.F. Gjertsen, diary, 29 July 1910, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.292.

July 26, 2010

Tuesday, 26 July 1910


Ilha Trindade, part of the Trindade and Martim Vaz archipelago, date unknown [1]

The Terra Nova put in at South Trinidad (now Ilha Trindade), an uninhabited volcanic island off the east coast of Brazil. Here several parties went ashore, the scientists to hunt specimens. "Cherry-Garrard and I took the birds," Wilson wrote in his diary, "Pennell and Bowers undertook insects and earthworms. Lillie undertook the botany and geology of which there was enough for everyone to observe what they could. Nelson with two or three helpers worked along the coral pools on the shore and caught many of the brightly coloured fish that lived there eating crabs." [2]

Edward W. Nelson and Denis G. Lillie were biologists, to be part of the shore and ship's parties respectively. Like most of the scientific staff, they were both from Cambridge. Lillie was deeply eccentric, believing for one that he had been a Persian or Roman in a previous existence, but despite this -- or perhaps because of it -- he was well-liked on the expedition.


[1] Projecto Tamar - ICMBio.
[2] Edward Wilson, diary, 26 July, 1910, in Diary of the Terra Nova Expedition to the Antarctic, 1910-1912 (London : Blandford, c1972), p.27.

July 17, 2010

Sunday, 17 July 1910


Scott caught the boat train from Southampton to join the RMS Saxon for Cape Town. Kathleen had at the last moment decided to join him as far as New Zealand; Wilson's and Lt. Evans's wives were travelling with them.

July 10, 2010

Sunday, 10 July 1910


The Fram in dry dock, Horten, July 1910. [1]

The Fram put in to Bergen at the end of her North Atlantic trial cruise. Problems with the new diesel engine caused Amundsen to send off a telegram to Atlas Diesel in Stockholm, requesting "qualified help as soon as possible". [2] Because the fuel was too thick, the engine constantly fouled and had to be decarbonised. A leak that had developed above the waterline was also repaired.

Still chronically short of money -- some 150,000 kroner, a little over £8,000 at the time -- Amunden departed for Christiania. He told Nansen that he would raise the rest in San Francisco.


[1] Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[2] Roald Amundsen, telegram to A/B Diesel, 10 July 1910, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.289.