Tag Archives: Ross

Exploring Antarctica

Think about this – a time when satellites didn’t exist, when cold weather clothing was created from animals skins from animals that you killed and then created the clothing by hand, when there were no maps and no means of communication, no lights in a dark, dark winter.

When Antarctic exploration began, it was an incredibly gutsy and hard to be down there. They were sailing in ships with no motor. If you to into the ice, you just went, you didn’t have control or a way to get out.

Antarctica’s islands, ice shelves, peaks, etc. are all named after some of the famous explorers.

James Weddell: A sealer who came down to Antarctica from 1819-1821. He then came down again from 1822-1824 but they wiped out the seals the previous trip. He found a new type of seal and brought one back with him. This type is now known as a Weddell seal. He also goes farther south, pushing into the ice pack and sea here, thus discovering the Weddell sea.

James Ross: He did a lot of Northern exploration. In 1839 he was given the ships Erebus and Terror. He went into the area twice and found the Ross ice shelf, 400 miles of it. On the way back, they got caught in a storm. The two ships hit. They then say two massive icebergs in front of them. One was able to turn real quick, taking down the sails as well, and hang out in front of the iceberg. The other somehow managed to navigate between the two icebergs before the icebergs crashed together.

See my other post for information about Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen.

Ernest Shackleton: This is a leader of men (I would say people but he didn’t lead any women…). To summarize one of his remarkable stories, he went exploring on the ship Endurance and got stuck in the ice. The ship was smashed by the ice. All of his men camped on the ice until they could get out on the life boats, ending up on Elephant Island. From there Shackleton and a couple of other men went in search of South Georgia for help. They made it and brought back help. Every single person lived. What a feat! And what a leader! Ernest eventually died on one of his explorations. His wife said he would want to be buried in Antarctica. He is buried at South Georgia.