The South Pole, Volumes 1 and 2
Roald Amundsen

Part 9 out of 11

at a proper distance until we saw a familiar iceberg that had broken
off to the north of Framheim, but had been stopped by the sea-ice from
drifting out. With this excellent mark in view the rest of the way
was plain sailing. The sledge-meter showed 19.5 geographical miles,
when in the afternoon we came in sight of our winter home. Quiet and
peaceful it lay there, if possible more deeply covered in snow than
when we had left it. At first we could see no sign of life, but soon
the glasses discovered a lonely wanderer on his way from the house
to the "meteorological institute." So Lindström was still alive and
performing his duties.

When we left, our friend had expressed his satisfaction at "getting
us out of the way"; but I have a suspicion that he was quite as
pleased to see us back again. I am not quite certain, though, that
he did see us for the moment, as he was about as snow-blind as a
man can be. Lindström was the last person we should have suspected
of that malady. On our asking him how it came about, he seemed at
first unwilling to give any explanation; but by degrees it came out
that the misfortune had happened a couple of days before, when he
had gone out after seals. His team, composed of nothing but puppies,
had run away and pulled up at a big hummock out by the western cape,
ten miles from the station. But Lindström, who is a determined man,
would not give up before he had caught the runaways; and this was
too much for his eyes, as he had no goggles with him. "When I got
home I couldn't see what the time was," he said; "but it must have
been somewhere about six in the morning." When we had made him put
on plenty of red eye-ointment and supplied him with a proper pair of
goggles, he was soon cured.

Framheim had had the same protracted storms with heavy snowfall. On
several mornings the master of the house had had to dig his way out
through the snow-wall outside the door; but during the last three
fine days he had managed to clear a passage, not only to the door,
but to the window as well. Daylight came down into the room through
a well nine feet deep. This had been a tremendous piece of work;
but, as already hinted, nothing can stop Lindström when he makes up
his mind. His stock of seals' flesh was down to a minimum; the little
there was vanished on the appearance of our ravenous dogs. We ourselves
were in no such straits; sweets were the only things in special demand.

We stayed at home one day. After bringing up two loads of seals'
flesh, filling our empty provision cases, carrying out a number of
small repairs, and checking our watches, we were again on the road
on Monday the 18th. We were not very loth to leave the house; indoor
existence had become rather uncomfortable on account of constant
dripping from the ceiling. In the course of the winter a quantity
of ice had formed in the loft. As the kitchen fire was always going
after our return, the temperature became high enough to melt the ice,
and the water streamed down. Lindström was annoyed and undertook
to put a stop to it. He disappeared into the loft, and sent down a
hail of ice, bottle-straw, broken cases, and other treasures through
the trap-door. We fled before the storm and drove away. This time
we had to carry out our instructions as to the exploration of the
long eastern arm of the Bay of Whales. During the autumn several
Sunday excursions had been made along this remarkable formation;
but although some of these ski-runs had extended as far as twelve
miles in one direction, there was no sign of the hummocks coming to
an end. These great disturbances of the ice-mass must have a cause,
and the only conceivable one was that the subjacent land had brought
about this disruption of the surface. For immediately to the south
there was undoubtedly land, as there the surface rose somewhat rapidly
to a height of 1,000 feet; but it was covered with snow. There was
a possibility that the rock might project among the evidences of
heavy pressure at the foot of this slope; and with this possibility
in view we made a five days' trip, following the great fissure, or
"bay," as we generally called it, right up to its head, twenty-three
geographical miles to the east of our winter-quarters.

Although we came across no bare rock, and in that respect the journey
was a disappointment, it was nevertheless very interesting to observe
the effects of the mighty forces that had here been at work, the
disruption of the solid ice-sheath by the still more solid rock.

The day before Christmas Eve we were back at Framheim. Lindström had
made good use of his time in our absence. The ice had disappeared
from the loft, and therewith the rain from the ceiling. New linoleum
had been laid down over half the floor, and marks of the paint-brush
were visible on the ceiling. These efforts had possibly been made
with an eye to the approaching festival, but in other respects we
abstained from any attempt at keeping Christmas. It did not agree
with the time of year; constant blazing sunshine all through the
twenty-four hours could not be reconciled with a northerner's idea of
Christmas. And for that reason we had kept the festival six months
before. Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday, and it passed just like any
ordinary Sunday. Perhaps the only difference was that we used a razor
that day instead of the usual beard-clipper. On Christmas Day we took
a holiday, and Lindström prepared a banquet of skua gulls. Despise
this dish as one may, it tasted undeniably of -- bird.

The numerous snow-houses were now in a sad way. Under the weight
of the constantly increasing mass, the roofs of most of the rooms
were pressed so far in that there was just enough space to crawl
on hands and knees. In the Crystal Palace and the Clothing Store
we kept all our skin clothing, besides a good deal of outfit, which
it was intended to take on board the Fram when she and the southern
party arrived. If the sinking continued, it would be a long business
digging these things out again, and in order to have everything ready
we made up our minds to devote a few days to this work at once. We
hauled the snow up from these two rooms through a well twelve feet
deep by means of tackles. It was a long job, but when we had finished
this part of the labyrinth was as good as ever. We had no time to
deal with the vapour-bath or the carpenter's shop just then. There
still remained the survey of the south-western corner of the Bay
of Whales and its surroundings. On an eight days' sledge journey,
starting at the New Year, we ranged about this district, where we
were surprised to find the solid Barrier divided into small islands,
separated by comparatively broad sounds. These isolated masses of ice
could not possibly be afloat, although the depth in one or two places,
where we had a chance of making soundings, proved to be as much as
200 fathoms. The only rational explanation we could think of was
that there must be a group of low-lying islands here, or in any case
shoals. These "ice islands," if one may call them so, had a height
of 90 feet and sloped evenly down to the water on the greater part
of their circumference. One of the sounds, that penetrated into the
Barrier a short distance inside the western cape of the bay, continued
southward and gradually narrowed to a mere fissure. We followed this
until it lost itself, thirty geographical miles within the Barrier.

The last day of this trip -- Thursday, January 11 -- will always be
fixed in our memory; it was destined to bring us experiences of the
kind that are never forgotten. Our start in the morning was made at
exactly the same time and in exactly the same way as so many times
before. We felt pretty certain of reaching Framheim in the course of
the day, but that prospect was for the moment of minor importance. In
the existing state of the weather our tent offered us as comfortable
quarters as our snowed-up winter home. What made us look forward to
our return with some excitement was the possibility of seeing the
Fram again, and this thought was no doubt in the minds of all of us
that January morning, though we did not say much about it.

After two hours' march we caught sight of West Cape, at the entrance
to the bay, in our line of route, and a little later we saw a black
strip of sea far out on the horizon. As usual, a number of bergs
of all sizes were floating on this strip, in every variety of shade
from white to dark grey, as the light fell on them. One particular
lump appeared to us so dark that it could hardly be made of ice;
but we had been taken in too many times to make any remark about it.

As the dogs now had a mark to go by, Johansen was driving in front
without my help; I went by the side of Stubberud's sledge. The man at
my side kept staring out to sea, without uttering a word. On my asking
him what in the world he was looking at, he replied "I could almost
swear it was a ship, but of course it's only a wretched iceberg." We
were just agreed upon this, when suddenly Johansen stopped short and
began a hurried search for his long glass. "Are you going to look at
the Fram?" I asked ironically. "Yes, I am," he said; and while he
turned the telescope upon the doubtful object far out in Ross Sea,
we two stood waiting for a few endless seconds. "It's the Fram sure
enough, as large as life!" was the welcome announcement that broke our
suspense. I glanced at Stubberud and saw his face expanding into its
most amiable smile. Though I had not much doubt of the correctness
of Johansen's statement, I borrowed his glass, and a fraction of a
second was enough to convince me. That ship was easily recognized;
she was our own old Fram safely back again.

We had still fourteen long miles to Framheim and an obstinate
wind right in our faces, but that part of the way was covered in a
remarkably short time. On arriving at home at two in the afternoon
we had some expectation of finding a crowd of people in front of the
house; but there was not a living soul to be seen. Even Lindström
remained concealed, though as a rule he was always about when anyone
arrived. Thinking that perhaps our friend had had a relapse of
snow-blindness, I went in to announce our return. Lindström was
standing before his range in the best of health when I entered
the kitchen. "The Fram's come!" he shouted, before I had shut the
door. "Tell me something I don't know," said I, "and be so kind as to
give me a cup of water with a little syrup in it if you can." I thought
somehow that the cook had a sly grin on his face when he brought
what I asked for, but with the thirst I had after the stiff march,
I gave a great part of my attention to the drink. I had consumed
the best part of a quart, when Lindström went off to his bunk and
asked if I could guess what he had hidden there. There was no time to
guess anything before the blankets were thrown on to the floor, and
after them bounded a bearded ruffian clad in a jersey and a pair of
overalls of indeterminable age and colour. "Hullo!" said the ruffian,
and the voice was that of Lieutenant Gjertsen. Lindström was shaking
with laughter while I stood open-mouthed before this apparition;
I had been given a good surprise. We agreed to treat Johansen and
Stubberud in the same way, and as soon as they were heard outside,
Gjertsen hid himself again among the blankets. But Stubberud had smelt
a rat in some way or other. "There are more than two in this room,"
he said, as soon as he came in. It was no surprise to him to find a
man from the Fram in Lindström's bunk.

When we heard that the visitor had been under our roof for a whole day,
we assumed that in the course of that time he had heard all about our
own concerns from Lindström. We were therefore not inclined to talk
about ourselves; we wanted news from without, and Gjertsen was more
than ready to give us them. The Fram had arrived two days before,
all well. After lying at the ice edge for a day and a night, keeping
a constant lookout for the "natives," Gjertsen had grown so curious
to know how things were at Framheim that he had asked Captain Nilsen
for "shore leave." The careful skipper had hesitated a while before
giving permission; it was a long way up to the house, and the sea-ice
was scored with lanes, some of them fairly wide. Finally Gjertsen had
his way, and he left the ship, taking a signal flag with him. He found
it rather difficult to recognize his surroundings, to begin with; one
ice cape was very like another, and ugly ideas of calvings suggested
themselves, until at last he caught sight of Cape Man's Head, and then
he knew that the foundations of Framheim had not given way. Cheered by
this knowledge, he made his way towards Mount Nelson, but on arriving
at the top of this ridge, from which there was a view over Framheim,
the eager explorer felt his heart sink. Where our new house had
made such a brave show a year before on the surface of the Barrier,
there was now no house at all to be seen. All that met the eyes of the
visitor was a sombre pile of ruins. But his anxiety quickly vanished
when a man emerged from the confusion. The man was Lindström, and the
supposed ruin was the most ingenious of all winter-quarters. Lindström
was ignorant of the Fram's arrival, and the face he showed on seeing
Gjertsen must have been worth some money to look at.

When our first curiosity was satisfied, our thoughts turned to our
comrades on board the Fram. We snatched some food, and then went
down to the sea-ice, making our way across the little bay due north
of the house. Our well-trained team were not long in getting there,
but we had some trouble with them in crossing the cracks in the ice,
as some of the dogs, especially the puppies, had a terror of water.

The Fram was cruising some way out, but when we came near enough for
them to see us, they made all haste to come in to the ice-foot. Yes,
there lay our good little ship, as trim as when we had last seen
her; the long voyage round the world had left no mark on her strong
hull. Along the bulwarks appeared a row of smiling faces, which we were
able to recognize in spite of the big beards that half concealed many
of them. While clean-shaven chins had been the fashion at Framheim,
almost every man on board appeared with a flowing beard. As we came
over the gangway questions began to hail upon us. I had to ask for a
moment's grace to give the captain and crew a hearty shake of the hand,
and then I collected them all about me and gave a short account of the
most important events of the past year. When this was done, Captain
Nilsen pulled me into the chart-house, where we had a talk that lasted
till about four the next morning -- to both of us certainly one of
the most interesting we have ever had. On Nilsen's asking about the
prospects of the southern party, I ventured to assure him that in
all probability we should have our Chief and his companions back in
a few days with the Pole in their pockets.

Our letters from home brought nothing but good news. What interested
us most in the newspapers was, of course, the account of how the
expedition's change of route had been received.

At 8 a.m. we left the Fram and returned home. For the next few
days we were occupied with the work of surveying and charting,
which went comparatively quickly in the favourable weather. When we
returned after our day's work on the afternoon of the 17th, we found
Lieutenant Gjertsen back at the hut. He asked us if we could guess the
news, and as we had no answer ready, he told us that the ship of the
Japanese expedition had arrived. We hurriedly got out the cinematograph
apparatus and the camera, and went off as fast as the dogs could go,
since Gjertsen thought this visit would not be of long duration.

When we caught sight of the Fram she had her flag up, and just beyond
the nearest cape lay the Kainan Maru, with the ensign of the Rising
Sun at the peak. Banzai! We had come in time. Although it was rather
late in the evening, Nilsen and I decided to pay her a visit, and if
possible to see the leader of the expedition. We were received at
the gangway by a young, smiling fellow, who beamed still more when
I produced the only Japanese word I knew: Oheio -- Good-day. There
the conversation came to a full stop, but soon a number of the
inquisitive sons of Nippon came up, and some of them understood a
little English. We did not get very far, however. We found out that
the Kainan Maru had been on a cruise in the direction of King Edward
VII. Land; but we could not ascertain whether any landing had been
attempted or not.

As the leader of the expedition and the captain of the ship had
turned in, we did not want to disturb them by prolonging our visit;
but we did not escape before the genial first officer had offered us
a glass of wine and a cigar in the chart-house. With an invitation
to come again next day, and permission to take some photographs, we
returned to the Fram; but nothing came of the projected second visit
to our Japanese friends. Both ships put out to sea in a gale that
sprang up during the night, and before we had another opportunity of
going on board the Kainan Maru the southern party had returned.

The days immediately preceding the departure of the expedition for
the north fell about the middle of the short Antarctic summer, just
at the time when the comparatively rich animal life of the Bay of
Whales shows itself at its best.

The name of the Bay of Whales is due to Shackleton, and is appropriate
enough; for from the time of the break-up of the sea-ice this huge
inlet in the Barrier forms a favourite playground for whales, of which
we often saw schools of as many as fifty disporting themselves for
hours together. We had no means of disturbing their peaceful sport,
although the sight of all these monsters, each worth a small fortune,
was well calculated to make our fingers itch. It was the whaling
demon that possessed us.

For one who has no special knowledge of the industry it is difficult
to form an adequate opinion as to whether this part of Antarctica is
capable of ever becoming a field for whaling enterprise. In any case,
it will probably be a long time before such a thing happens. In the
first place, the distance to the nearest inhabited country is very
great -- over 2,000 geographical miles -- and in the second, there is a
serious obstruction on this route in the shape of the belt of pack-ice,
which, narrow and loose as it may be at times, will always necessitate
the employment of timber-built vessels for the work of transport.

The conditions prevailing in the Bay of Whales must presumably offer
a decisive obstacle to the establishment of a permanent station. Our
winter house was snowed under in the course of two months, and to us
this was only a source of satisfaction, as our quarters became all
the warmer on this account; but whether a whaling station would find
a similar fate equally convenient is rather doubtful.

Lastly, it must be said that, although in the bay itself huge
schools of whales were of frequent occurrence, we did not receive
the impression that there was any very great number of them out in
Ross Sea. The species most commonly seen was the Finner; after that
the Blue Whale.

As regards seals, they appeared in great quantities along the edge
of the Barrier so long as the sea-ice still lay there; after the
break-up of the ice the Bay of Whales was a favourite resort of
theirs all through the summer. This was due to its offering them an
easy access to the dry surface, where they could abandon themselves
to their favourite occupation of basking in the sunshine.

During our whole stay we must have killed some two hundred and fifty
of them, by far the greater number of which were shot in the autumn
immediately after our arrival. This little inroad had no appreciable
effect. The numerous survivors, who had been eye-witnesses of their
companions' sudden death, did not seem to have the slightest idea
that the Bay of Whales had become for the time being a somewhat unsafe
place of residence.

As early as September, while the ice still stretched under in the
course of two months, and to us this was only a source of satisfaction,
as our quarters became all the warmer on this account; but whether
a whaling station would find a similar fate equally convenient is
rather doubtful.

Lastly, it must be said that, although in the bay itself huge
schools of whales were of frequent occurrence, we did not receive
the impression that there was any very great number of them out in
Ross Sea. The species most commonly seen was the Finner; after that
the Blue Whale.

As regards seals, they appeared in great quantities along the edge
of the Barrier so long as the sea-ice still lay there; after the
break-up of the ice the Bay of Whales was a favourite resort of
theirs all through the summer. This was due to its offering them an
easy access to the dry surface, where they could abandon themselves
to their favourite occupation of basking in the sunshine.

During our whole stay we must have killed some two hundred and fifty
of them, by far the greater number of which were shot in the autumn
immediately after our arrival. This little inroad had no appreciable
effect. The numerous survivors, who had been eye-witnesses of their
companions' sudden death, did not seem to have the slightest idea
that the Bay of Whales had become for the time being a somewhat unsafe
place of residence.

As early as September, while the ice still stretched The name
crab-eater may possibly evoke ideas of some ferocious creature; in
that case it is misleading. The animal that bears it is, without
question, the most amicable of the three species. It is of about
the same size as our native seal, brisk and active in its movements,
and is constantly exercising itself in high jumps from the water on
to the ice-foot. Even on the ice it can work its way along so fast
that it is all a man can do to keep up. Its skin is extraordinarily
beautiful -- grey, with a sheen of silver and small dark spots.

One is often asked whether seal's flesh does not taste of train
oil. It seems to be a common assumption that it does so. This,
however, is a mistake; the oil and the taste of it are only present
in the layer of blubber, an inch thick, which covers the seal's body
like a protective armour. The flesh itself contains no fat; on the
other hand, it is extremely rich in blood and its taste in consequence
reminds one of black-puddings. The flesh of the Weddell seal is very
dark in colour; in the frying-pan it turns quite black. The flesh
of the crab-eater is of about the same colour as beef, and to us,
at any rate, its taste was equally good. We therefore always tried
to get crab-eater when providing food for ourselves.

We found the penguins as amusing as the seals were useful. So much has
been written recently about these remarkable creatures, and they have
been photographed and cinematographed so many times, that everyone
is acquainted with them. Nevertheless, anyone who sees a living
penguin for the first time will always be attracted and interested,
both by the dignified Emperor penguin, with his three feet of stature,
and by the bustling little Adelie.

Not only in their upright walk, but also in their manners and antics,
these birds remind one strikingly of human beings. It has been
remarked that an Emperor is the very image of "an old gentleman in
evening dress," and the resemblance is indeed very noticeable. It
becomes still more so when the Emperor -- as is always his habit --
approaches the stranger with a series of ceremonious bows; such is
their good breeding!

When this ceremony is over, the penguin will usually come quite close;
he is entirely unsuspecting and is not frightened even if one goes
slowly towards him. On the other hand, if one approaches rapidly or
touches him, he is afraid and immediately takes to flight. It sometimes
happens, though, that he shows fight, and then it is wiser to keep out
of range of his flippers; for in these he has a very powerful weapon,
which might easily break a man's arm. If you wish to attack him, it is
better to do so from behind; both flippers must be seized firmly at the
same time and bent backwards along his back; then the fight is over.

The little Adelie is always comic. On meeting a flock of these
little busybodies the most ill-humoured observer is forced to burst
into laughter. During the first weeks of our stay in the Bay of
Whales, while we were still unloading stores, it was always a welcome
distraction to see a flock of Adélie penguins, to the number of a dozen
or so, suddenly jump out of the water, as though at a word of command,
and then sit still for some moments, stiff with astonishment at the
extraordinary things they saw. When they had recovered from the first
surprise, they generally dived into the sea again, but their intense
curiosity soon drove them back to look at us more closely.

In contradistinction to their calm and self-controlled relative,
the Emperor penguin, these active little creatures have an extremely
fiery temperament, which makes them fly into a passion at the slightest
interference with their affairs; and this, of course, only makes them
still more amusing.

The penguins are birds of passage; they spend the winter on the various
small groups of islands that are scattered about the southern ocean. On
the arrival of spring they betake themselves to Antarctica, where they
have their regular rookeries in places where there is bare ground. They
have a pronounced taste for roaming, and as soon as the chicks are
grown they set out, young and old together, on their travels. It was
only as tourists that the penguins visited Framheim and its environs;
for there was, of course, no bare land in our neighbourhood that
might offer them a place of residence. For this reason we really saw
comparatively little of them; an Emperor was a very rare visitor;
but the few occasions on which we met these peculiar "bird people"
of Antarctica will remain among the most delightful memories of our
stay in the Bay of Whales.


The Voyage of the "Fram"

By First-Lieutenant Thorvald Nilsen

From Norway to the Barrier.

After the Fram had undergone extensive repairs in Horten Dockyard,
and had loaded provisions and equipment in Christiania, we left the
latter port on June 7, 1910. According to the plan we were first
to make an oceanographical cruise of about two months in the North
Atlantic, and then to return to Norway, where the Fram was to be
docked and the remaining outfit and dogs taken on board.

This oceanographical cruise was in many respects successful. In the
first place, we gained familiarity with the vessel, and got everything
shipshape for the long voyage to come; but the best of all was, that
we acquired valuable experience of our auxiliary engine. This is a
180 h.p. Diesel motor, constructed for solar oil, of which we were
taking about 90,000 litres (about 19,800 gallons). In this connection
it may be mentioned that we consumed about 500 litres (about 110
gallons) a day, and that the Fram's radius of action was thus about
six months. For the first day or two the engine went well enough,
but after that it went slower and slower, and finally stopped of its
own accord. After this it was known as the "Whooping Cough." This
happened several times in the course of the trip; the piston-rods had
constantly to be taken out and cleared of a thick black deposit. As
possibly our whole South Polar Expedition would depend on the motor
doing its work properly, the result of this was that the projected
cruise was cut short, and after a lapse of three weeks our course
was set for Bergen, where we changed the oil for refined paraffin,
and at the same time had the motor thoroughly overhauled.

Since then there has never been anything wrong with the engine.

From Bergen we went to Christiansand, where the Fram was docked, and,
as already mentioned, the remaining outfit, with the dogs and dog-food,
was taken on board.

The number of living creatures on board when we left Norway was
nineteen men, ninety-seven dogs, four pigs, six carrier pigeons,
and one canary.

At last we were ready to leave Christiansand on Thursday, August 9,
1910, and at nine o'clock that evening the anchor was got up and the
motor started. After the busy time we had had, no doubt we were all
glad to get off. As our departure had not been made public, only the
pilot and a few acquaintances accompanied us a little way out. It
was glorious weather, and everyone stayed on deck till far into the
light night, watching the land slowly disappear. All the ninety-seven
dogs were chained round the deck, on which we also had coal, oil,
timber and other things, so that there was not much room to move about.

The rest of the vessel was absolutely full. To take an example,
in the fore-saloon we had placed forty-three sledging cases, which
were filled with books, Christmas presents, underclothing, and the
like. In addition to these, one hundred complete sets of dog-harness,
all our ski, ski-poles, snow-shoes, etc. Smaller articles were stowed
in the cabins, and every man had something. When I complained, as
happened pretty often, that I could not imagine where this or that
was to be put, the Chief of the expedition used generally to say:
"Oh, that's all right; you can just put it in your cabin!"

Thus it was with every imaginable thing -- from barrels of paraffin
and new-born pups to writing materials and charts.

As the story of this voyage has already been told, it may be rapidly
passed over here. After much delay through headwinds in the Channel,
we picked up the north-east trade in about the latitude of Gibraltar,
and arrived at Madeira on September 6.

At 9 p.m. on September 9 we weighed anchor for the last time, and left
Madeira. As soon as we were clear of the land we got the north-east
trade again, and it held more or less fresh till about lat. 11° N.

After our departure from Madeira I took over the morning watch,
from 4 to 8 a.m.; Prestrud and Gjertsen divided the remainder of the
twenty-four hours.

In order if possible to get a little more way on the ship, a
studding-sail and a skysail were rigged up with two awnings; it did
not increase our speed very much, but no doubt it helped a little.

The highest temperature we observed was 84° F. In the trade winds we
constantly saw flying-fish, but as far as I know not one was ever
found on deck; those that came on board were of course instantly
snapped up by the dogs.

In about lat. 11° N. we lost the north-east trade, and thus came into
the "belt of calms," a belt that extends on each side of the Equator,
between the north-east and south-east trades. Here, as a rule, one
encounters violent rain-squalls; to sailing ships in general and
ourselves in particular this heavy rain is welcome, as water-tanks
can be filled up. Only on one day were we lucky enough to have rain,
but as it was accompanied by a strong squall of wind, we did not catch
all the water we wanted. All hands were on deck carrying water, some in
oilskins, some in Adam's costume; the Chief in a white tropical suit,
and, as far as I remember, clogs. As the latter were rather slippery,
and the Fram suddenly gave an unexpected lurch, he was carried off his
legs, and left sitting on the deck, while his bucket of water poured
all over him. But "it was all in his country's cause," so he did not
mind. We caught about 3 tons of water, and then had our tanks full,
or about 30 tons, when the shower passed off; later in the voyage we
filled a bucket now and again, but it never amounted to much, and if
we had not been as careful as we were, our water-supply would hardly
have lasted out.

On October 4 we crossed the Equator. The south-east trade was not
so fresh as we had expected, and the engine had to be kept going the
whole time.

At the beginning of November we came down into the west wind belt,
or the "Roaring Forties," as they are called, and from that time we
ran down our easting at a great rate. We were very lucky there, and had
strong fair winds for nearly seven weeks at a stretch. In the heavy sea
we found out what it was to sail in the Fram; she rolls incessantly,
and there is never a moment's rest. The dogs were thrown backwards
and forwards over the deck, and when one of them rolled into another,
it was taken as a personal insult, and a fight followed at once. But
for all that the Fram is a first-rate sea boat, and hardly ever ships
any water. If this had been otherwise, the dogs would have been far
worse off than they were.

The weather in the "Foggy Fifties " varied between gales, calms,
fogs, snowstorms, and other delights. As a rule, the engine was now
kept constantly ready, in case of our being so unlucky as to come
too near an iceberg. Fortunately, however, we did not meet any of
these until early on the morning of January 1, 1911, when we saw
some typical Antarctic bergs; that is to say, entirely tabular. Our
latitude was then a little over 60° S., and we were not far off the
pack. On the 1st and 2nd we sailed southward without seeing anything
but scattered bergs and a constantly increasing number of lumps of
ice, which showed us we were getting near. By 10 p.m. on the 2nd we
came into slack drift-ice; the weather was foggy, and we therefore
kept going as near as might be on the course to the Bay of Whales,
which was destined to be our base.

A good many seals were lying on the ice-floes, and as we went forward
we shot some. As soon as the first seal was brought on board, all
our dogs had their first meat meal since Madeira; they were given as
much as they wanted, and ate as much as they could. We, too, had our
share of the seal, and from this time forward we had fresh seal-steak
for breakfast at least every day; it tasted excellent to us, who for
nearly half a year had been living on nothing but tinned meat. With
the steak whortleberries were always served, which of course helped
to make it appreciated. The biggest seal we got in the pack-ice was
about 12 feet long, and weighed nearly half a ton. A few penguins were
also shot, mostly Adélie penguins; these are extraordinarily amusing,
and as inquisitive as an animal can be. When any of them saw us, they
at once came nearer to get a better view of the unbidden guests. If
they became too impertinent, we did not hesitate to take them, for
their flesh, especially the liver, was excellent. The albatrosses,
which had followed us through the whole of the west wind belt, had
now departed, and in their place came the beautiful snowy petrels
and Antarctic petrels.

We had more or less fog all through the pack-ice. Only on the night
of the 5th did we have sun and fine weather, when we saw the midnight
sun for the first time. A more beautiful morning it would be difficult
to imagine: radiantly clear, with thick ice everywhere, as far as the
eye could see; the lanes of water between the floes gleamed in the
sun, and the ice-crystals glittered like thousands of diamonds. It
was a pure delight to go on deck and drink in the fresh air; one felt
altogether a new man. I believe everyone on board found this passage
through the pack the most interesting part of the whole voyage, and,
of course, it all had the charm of novelty. Those who had not been
in the ice before, myself among them, and who were hunting for the
first time, ran about after seals and penguins, and amused themselves
like children.

At 10 p.m. on the 6th we were already out of the ice after a passage
of exactly four days; we had been extremely lucky, and the Fram went
very easily through the ice.

After coming out of the pack, our course was continued through the open
Ross Sea to the Bay of Whales, which from the previous description
was to be found in about long. 164° W. On the afternoon of the 11th
we had strong ice-blink ahead, by which is meant the luminous stripe
that is seen above a considerable accumulation of ice; the nearest
thing one can compare it to is the glare that is always seen over
a great city on approaching it at night. We knew at once that this
was the glare of the mighty Ross Barrier, named after Sir James Clark
Ross, who first saw it in 1841. The Barrier is a wall of ice, several
hundred miles long, and about 100 feet high, which forms the southern
boundary of Ross Sea. We were, of course, very intent upon seeing
what it looked like, but to me it did not appear so imposing as I had
imagined it. Possibly this was because I had become familiar with it,
in a way, from the many descriptions of it. From these descriptions we
had expected to find a comparatively narrow opening into Balloon Bight,
as shown in the photographs we had before us; but as we went along
the Barrier, on the 12th, we could find no opening. In long. 164° W.,
on the other hand, there was a great break in the wall, forming a cape
(West Cape); from here to the other side of the Barrier was about eight
geographical miles, and southward, as far as we could see, lay loose
bay ice. We held on to the east outside this drift-ice and along the
eastern Barrier till past midnight, but as Balloon Bight was not to
be found, we returned to the above-mentioned break or cape, where we
lay during the whole forenoon of the 13th, as the ice was too thick to
allow us to make any progress. After midday, however, the ice loosened,
and began to drift out; at the same time we went in, and having gone
as far as possible, the Fram was moored to the fast ice-foot on the
western side of the great bay we had entered. It proved that Balloon
Bight and another bight had merged to form a great bay, exactly as
described by Sir Ernest Shackleton, and named by him the Bay of Whales.

After mooring here, the Chief and one or two others went on a
reconnoitring tour; but it began to snow pretty thickly, and, as far
as I am aware, nothing was accomplished beyond seeing that the Barrier
at the southernmost end of the bay sloped evenly down to the sea-ice;
but between the latter and the slope there was open water, so that
they could not go any farther. We lay all night drifting in the ice,
which was constantly breaking up, and during this time several seals
and penguins were shot. Towards morning on the 14th it became quite
clear, and we had a splendid view of the surroundings. Right over on
the eastern side of the bay it looked as if there was more open water;
we therefore went along the fast ice-foot and moored off the eastern
Barrier at about three in the afternoon. The cape in the Barrier,
under which we lay, was given the name of "Man's Head," on account
of its resemblance to a human profile. All the time we were going
along the ice we were shooting seals, so that on arrival at our final
moorings we already had a good supply of meat.

For my part I was rather unlucky on one of these hunts: Four seals
were lying on the ice-foot, and I jumped down with rifle and five
cartridges; to take any cartridges in reserve did not occur to me, as,
of course, I regarded myself as a mighty hunter, and thought that one
shot per seal was quite enough. The three first died without a groan;
but the fourth took the alarm, and made off as fast as it could. I
fired my fourth cartridge, but it did not hit as it ought to have
done, and the seal was in full flight, leaving a streak of blood
behind it. I was not anxious to let a wounded seal go, and as I had
only one cartridge left, and the seal had its tail turned towards me,
I wanted to come to close quarters to make sure of it. I therefore
ran as hard as I could, but the seal was quicker, and it determined
the range. After running half-way to the South Pole, I summoned
my remaining strength and fired the last shot. Whether the bullet
went above or below, I have no idea. All I know is, that on arriving
on board I was met by scornful smiles and had to stand a good deal
of chaff.

As already mentioned, we left Norway on August 9, 1910, and arrived
at our final moorings on January 14, 1911, in the course of which
time we had only called at Madeira. The Barrier is 16,000 geographical
miles from Norway, a distance which we took five months to cover. From
Madeira we had had 127 days in open sea, and therewith the first part
of the voyage was brought to an end.

Off the Barrier.

As soon as we had moored, the Chief, Prestrud, Johansen and I went
up on to the Barrier on a tour of reconnaissance. The ascent from the
sea-ice to the Barrier was fine, a perfectly even slope. When no more
than a mile from the ship, we found a good site for the first dog-camp,
and another mile to the south it was decided that the house was to
stand, on the slope of a hill, where it would be least exposed to
the strong south-easterly gales which might be expected from previous
descriptions. Up on the Barrier all was absolutely still, and there
was not a sign of life; indeed, what should anything live on? This
delightful ski-run was extended a little farther to the south, and
after a couple of hours we returned on board. Here in the meantime
the slaughtering of seals had been going on, and there were plenty
to be had, as several hundreds of them lay about on the ice.

After the rather long sea voyage, and the cramped quarters on board,
I must say it was a pleasure to have firm ground under one's feet
and to be able to move about a little. The dogs evidently thought
the same; when they came down on to the ice, they rolled in the snow
and ran about, wild with delight. During our whole stay a great part
of the time was spent in ski-runs and seal-hunts, and an agreeable
change it was.

Sunday the 15th was spent in setting up tents at the first dog-camp and
at Framheim, as the winter station was named. A team of dogs was used,
and, as they were unused to being driven, it is not surprising that
some lay down, others fought, a few wanted to go on board, but hardly
any of them appreciated the seriousness of the situation or understood
that their good time had come to an end. On Monday all the dogs were
landed, and on the following day the supplies began to be put ashore.

The landing of the cases was done in this way: the sea-party brought
up on deck as many cases as the drivers could take in one journey;
as the sledges came down to the vessel, the cases were sent down
on to the ice on skids, so that it all went very rapidly. We would
not put the cases out on the ice before the sledges came back, as,
in case the ice should break up, we should be obliged to heave them
all on board again, or we might even lose them. At night no one was
ever allowed to stay on the ice.

Before we reached the ice, we had counted on having 50 per cent. of
idle days -- that is, from previous descriptions we had reckoned on
having such bad weather half the time that the Fram would be obliged
to leave her moorings. In this respect we were far luckier than we
expected, and only had to put out twice. The first time was on the
night of January 25, when we had a stiff breeze from the north with
some sea, so that the vessel was bumping rather hard against the
ice. Drifting floes came down upon us, and so as not to be caught
by any iceberg that might suddenly come sailing in from the point
of the Barrier we called Man's Head, we took our moorings on board
and went. When the shore party next morning came down as usual at
a swinging pace, they saw to their astonishment that the Fram was
gone. In the course of the day the weather became fine, and we tried
to go back about noon; but the bay was so full of drift-ice that we
could not come in to the fast ice-foot. About nine in the evening
we saw from the crow's nest that the ice was loosening; we made the
attempt, and by midnight we were again moored.

But the day was not wasted by the shore party, for on the day before
Kristensen, L. Hansen and I had been out on ski and had shot forty
seals, which were taken up to the station while we were away.

Only once or twice more did we have to leave our berth, until on
February 7, when almost all the ice had left the bay, we were able
to moor alongside the low, fast Barrier, where we lay in peace until
we went for good.

There was a great deal of animal life about us. A number of whales
came close in to the vessel, where they stayed still to look at the
uninvited guests. On the ice seals came right up to the ship, as did
large and small flocks of penguins, to have a look at us. These latter
were altogether extraordinarily inquisitive creatures. Two Emperor
penguins often came to our last moorings to watch us laying out an
ice-anchor or hauling on a hawser, while they put their heads on one
side and jabbered, and they were given the names of "the Harbour-master
and his Missis."

A great number of birds, skua gulls, snowy petrels and Antarctic
petrels, flew round the ship and gave us many a good "roast ptarmigan."

On the morning of February 4, about 1 a.m., the watchman, Beck, came
and called me with the news that a vessel was coming in. I guessed
at once, of course, that it was the Terra Nova; but I must confess
that I did not feel inclined to turn out and look at her. We hoisted
the colours, however.

As soon as she was moored, Beck told me, some of her party went ashore,
presumably to look for the house. They did not find it, though, and at
3 a.m. Beck came below again, and said that now they were coming on
board. So then I turned out and received them. They were Lieutenant
Campbell, the leader of Captain Scott's second shore party, and
Lieutenant Pennell, the commander of the Terra Nova. They naturally
asked a number of questions, and evidently had some difficulty in
believing that it was actually the Fram that was lying here. We had
at first been taken for a whaler. They offered to take our mail to
New Zealand; but we had no mail ready, and had to decline the offer
with thanks. Later in the day a number of the Terra Nova's officers
went to breakfast at Framheim, and the Chief, Prestrud and I lunched
with them. At about two in the afternoon the Terra Nova sailed again.

On Friday, February 16, a number of the shore party started on the
first trip to lay down depots. We cleared up, filled our water-tanks
with snow, and made the ship ready for sea. We had finished this by
the evening of the 14th.

From the Bay of Whales to Buenos Aires.

The sea party consisted of the following ten men Thorvald Nilsen,
L. Hansen, H. Kristensen and J. Nödtvedt; H. F. Gjertsen, A. Beck,
M. Rönne, A. Kutschin and O. K. Sundbeck. The first four formed one
watch, from eight to two, and the last five the other, from two to
eight. Last, but not least, comes K. Olsen, cook.

Having made ready for sea, we let go our moorings on the Ice Barrier at
9 a.m. on February 15, 1911. Hassel, Wisting, Bjaaland, and Stubberud
came down to see us off. As in the course of the last few days the
ice had broken up right to the end of the bay, we went as far south
as possible to take a sounding; the shallowest we got was 155 3/4
fathoms (285 metres). The bay ended in a ridge of ice on the east,
which was continued in a northerly direction, so that at the spot
where we were stopped by the Barrier, we reached the most southerly
point that a vessel can attain, so long as the Barrier remains as
it is now. Highest latitude 78° 41' S. When the Terra Nova was here,
her latitude and ours was 78° 38' S.

The last two days before our departure had been calm, and a thick,
dense sludge lay over the whole bay; so dense was it that the Fram
lost her way altogether, and we had to keep going ahead and astern
until we came out into a channel. Seals by the hundred were lying on
the floes, but as we had a quantity of seal's flesh, we left them in
peace for a change.

Before the Chief began the laying out of depots, I received from him
the following orders:

"To First-lieutenant Thorvald Nilsen.

With the departure of the Fram from the Ice Barrier, you will take
over the command on board. In accordance with the plan we have mutually
agreed upon

"1. You will sail direct to Buenos Aires, where the necessary
repairs will be executed, provisions taken on board, and the crew
completed. When this has been done,

"2. You will sail from Buenos Aires to carry out oceanographical
observations in the South Atlantic Ocean. It would be desirable if
you could investigate the conditions between South America and Africa
in two sections. These investigations must, however, be dependent on
the prevailing conditions, and on the time at your disposal. When
the time arrives you will return to Buenos Aires, where the final
preparations will be made for

"3. Your departure for the Ice Barrier to take off the shore party. The
sooner you can make your way in to the Barrier in 1912, the better. I
mention no time, as everything depends on circumstances, and I leave
it to you to act according to your judgment.

"In all else that concerns the interests of the Expedition, I leave
you entire freedom of action.

"If on your return to the Barrier you should find that I am prevented
by illness or death from taking over the leadership of the Expedition,
I place this in your hands, and beg you most earnestly to endeavour
to carry out the original plan of the Expedition -- the exploration
of the North Polar basin.

"With thanks for the time we have spent together, and in the hope
that when we meet again we shall have reached our respective goals,

"I am,

"Yours sincerely,

"Roald Amundsen."

When Sir James Ross was in these waters for the first time, in 1842,
he marked "Appearance of land" in long. 160° W., and lat. about 78°
S. Afterwards, in 1902, Captain Scott named this land "King Edward
VII. Land." One of the Terra Nova's objects was to explore this land;
but when we met the ship on February 4, they told us on board that
on account of the ice conditions they had not been able to land. As
no one had ever been ashore there, I thought it might be interesting
to go and see what it looked like. Consequently our course was laid
north-eastward along the Barrier. During the night a thick sea-fog
came on, and it was only now and then that we could see the Barrier
over our heads. All of a sudden we were close upon a lofty iceberg,
so that we had to put the helm hard over to go clear. The Fram steers
splendidly, however, when she is in proper trim, and turns as if on
a pivot; besides which, it was calm.

As the day advanced, the weather cleared more and more, and by noon it
was perfectly clear. The sight that then met us was the lofty Barrier
to starboard, and elsewhere all round about some fifty icebergs,
great and small. The Barrier rose from about 100 feet at its edge to
something like 1,200 feet.

We followed the Barrier for some distance, but in the neighbourhood of
Cape Colbeck we met the drift-ice, and as I had no wish to come between
this and the Barrier, we stood out in a north-westerly direction. There
is, besides, the disadvantage about a propeller like ours, that it is
apt to wear out the brasses, so that these have to be renewed from
time to time. It was imperative that this should be done before we
came into the pack-ice, and the sooner the better. When, therefore,
we had gone along the Barrier for about a day and a half without
seeing any bare land, we set our course north-west in open water,
and after we had come some way out we got a slant of easterly wind,
so that the sails could be set. We saw the snow-covered land and the
glare above it all night.

The date had not yet been changed, but as this had to be done, it
was changed on February 15.[2]

At noon on the 16th the propeller was lifted, and by the evening of the
17th the job was done -- a record in spite of the temperature. Capital
fellows to work, our engineers.

On the night of the 15th we saw the midnight sun unfortunately for the
last time. The same night something dark was sighted on the port bow;
in that light it looked very like an islet. The sounding apparatus
was got ready, and we who were on watch of course saw ourselves in
our minds as great discoverers. I was already wondering what would
be the most appropriate name to give it, but, alas! the "discovery"
became clearer and the name -- well, it was a rather prosaic one:
"Dead Whale Islet"; for it turned out to be a huge inflated whale,
that was drifting, covered with birds.

We went rather slowly north-westward under sail alone. On the morning
of the 17th we saw ice-blink on the starboard bow, and about noon we
were close to the pack itself; it was here quite thick, and raised
by pressure, so that an attempt to get through it was out of the
question. We were, therefore, obliged to follow the ice to the
west. Due aft we saw in the sky the same glare as above the great
Ice Barrier, which may possibly show that the Barrier turns towards
the north and north-west; besides which, the masses of pressure-ice
that collect here must go to show that it encounters an obstruction,
probably the Barrier. When we went out in 1912 the ice lay in exactly
the same place and in the same way.

Our course was still to the west along the pack-ice, and it was
not till the 20th that we could turn her nose northward again. For a
change we now had a stiff breeze from the south-east, with thick snow,
so we got on very well. On the whole, the Fram goes much more easily
through the water now than on the way south. Her bottom has probably
been cleaned by the cold water and all the scraping against the ice;
besides which, we have no more than a third of the load with which
we left Norway.

On the night of the 20th we had to light the binnacle-lamps again,
and now the days grew rapidly shorter. It may possibly be a good thing
to have dark nights on land, but at sea it ought always to be light,
especially in these waters, which are more or less unknown, and full
of drifting icebergs.

At 4 p.m. on the 22nd we entered the drift-ice in lat. 70.5° S.,
long. 177.5° E. The ice was much higher and uglier than when we were
going south, but as there was nothing but ice as far as we could
see both east and west, and it was fairly loose, we had to make the
attempt where there seemed to be the best chance of getting through.

The seals, which to the south of the ice had been following us
in decreasing numbers, had now disappeared almost entirely, and
curiously enough we saw very few seals in the pack. Luckily, however,
Lieutenant Gjertsen's watch got three seals, and for a week we were
able to enjoy seal-beef, popularly known as "crocodile beef," three
times a day. Seal-beef and fresh whortleberries -- delicioso!

We went comparatively well through the ice, though at night -- from
eleven to one -- we had to slacken speed, as it was impossible to
steer clear on account of the darkness, and towards morning we had
a heavy fall of snow, so that nothing could be seen, and the engine
had to be stopped. When it cleared, at about 9 a.m., we had come
into a dam, out of which we luckily managed to turn fairly easily,
coming out into a bay. This was formed by over a hundred icebergs,
many of which lay in contact with each other and had packed the ice
close together. On the west was the outlet, which we steered for,
and by 10 p.m. on February 23 we were already out of the ice and in
open water. Our latitude was then 69° S., longitude 175.5° E.

It is very curious to find such calm weather in Ross Sea; in the two
months we have been here we have hardly had a strong breeze. Thus, when
I was relieved at 2 a.m. on the 25th, I wrote in my diary `. . . It
is calm, not a ripple on the water. The three men forming the watch
walk up and down the deck. Now and then one hears the penguins'
cry, kva, kva, but except these there is no other sound than the
tuff, tuff of the motor, 220 times a minute. Ah, that motor! it goes
unweariedly. It has now gone for 1,000 hours without being cleaned,
while on our Atlantic cruise last year it stopped dead after going
for eighty hours. . . . Right over us we have the Southern Cross,
all round glow the splendid southern lights, and in the darkness can
be seen the gleaming outline of an iceberg. . . ."

On the 26th we crossed the Antarctic Circle, and the same day the
temperature both of air and water rose above 32° F.

It was with sorrow in our hearts that we ate our last piece of
"crocodile beef," but I hoped we should get a good many albatrosses,
which we saw as soon as we came out of the ice. They were mostly
the sooty albatross, that tireless bird that generally circles alone
about the ship and is so difficult to catch, as he seldom tries to
bite at the pork that is used as bait. When I saw these birds for
the first time, as a deck boy, I was told they were called parsons,
because they were the souls of ungodly clergymen, who had to wait
down here till doomsday without rest.

More or less in our course to Cape Horn there are supposed to be
two groups of islands, the Nimrod group in about long. 158° W., and
Dougherty Island in about long. 120° W. They are both marked "D"
(Doubtful) on the English charts. Lieutenant Shackleton's vessel,
the Nimrod, Captain Davis, searched for both, but found neither;
Dougherty Island, however, is said to have been twice sighted. The
Fram's course was therefore laid for the Nimrod group. For a time
things went very well, but then we had a week of northerly winds --
that is, head winds -- and when at last we had a fair wind again,
we were so far to the south-east of them that there was no sense
in sailing back to the north-west to look for doubtful islands; it
would certainly have taken us weeks. Consequently, our course was
laid for Dougherty Island. We had westerly winds for about two weeks,
and were only two or three days' sail from the island in question,
when suddenly we had a gale from the north-east, which lasted for
three days, and ended in a hurricane from the same quarter. When
this was over, we had come according to dead reckoning about eighty
nautical miles to the south-east of the island; the heavy swell,
which lasted for days, made it out of the question to attempt to go
against it with the motor. We hardly had a glimpse of sun or stars,
and weeks passed without our being able to get an observation, so
that for that matter we might easily be a degree or two out in our
reckoning. For the present, therefore, we must continue to regard
these islands as doubtful.

Moral: Don't go on voyages of discovery, my friend; you're no good
at it!

As soon as we were out of Ross Sea and had entered the South Pacific
Ocean, the old circus started again -- in other words, the Fram began
her everlasting rolling from one side to the other. When this was at
its worst, and cups and plates were dancing the fandango in the galley,
its occupant's only wish was, "Oh, to be in Buenos Aires!" For that
matter, it is not a very easy job to be cook in such circumstances,
but ours was always in a good humour, singing and whistling all day
long. How well the Fram understands the art of rolling is shown by
the following little episode.

One afternoon a couple of us were sitting drinking coffee on a
tool-box that stood outside the galley. As ill-luck would have it,
during one of the lurches the lashing came loose, and the box shot
along the deck. Suddenly it was checked by an obstacle, and one of
those who were sitting on it flew into the air, through the galley
door, and dashed past the cook with a splendid tiger's leap, until he
landed face downwards at the other end of the galley, still clinging
like grim death to his cup, as though he wanted something to hold on
to. The face he presented after this successful feat of aviation was
extremely comical, and those who saw it had a hearty fit of laughter.

As has already been said, we went very well for a time after reaching
the Pacific, a fair wind for fourteen days together, and I began to
hope that we were once more in what are called the "westerlies."
However, nothing is perfect in this world, and we found that out here,
as we had icebergs every day, and were constantly bothered by
snow-squalls or fog; the former were, of course, to be preferred, as
it was at any rate clear between the squalls; but fog is the worst
thing of all. It sometimes happened that all hands were on deck the
whole night to work the ship at a moment's notice, and there were
never less than two men on the lookout forward. The engine, too, was
always ready to be started instantly. A little example will show how
ready the crew were at any time.

One Sunday afternoon, when Hansen, Kristensen and I were on watch,
the wind began to draw ahead, so that we had to beat. It was blowing
quite freshly, but I did not want to call the watch below, as they
might need all the sleep they could get, and Hansen and I were to put
the ship about. Kristensen was steering, but gave us a hand when he
could leave the wheel. As the ship luffed up into the wind and the
sails began to flap pretty violently, the whole of the watch below
suddenly came rushing on deck in nothing but their unmentionables
and started to haul. Chance willed it that at the same moment an
iceberg came out of the fog, right in front of our bows. It was not
many minutes, either, before we were on the other tack, and the watch
below did not linger long on deck. With so few clothes on it was no
pleasure to be out in that cold, foggy air. They slept so lightly,
then, that it took no more noise than that to wake them. When I
afterwards asked one of them -- I think it was Beck -- what made
them think of coming up, he replied that they thought we were going
to run into an iceberg and were trying to get out of the way.

It has happened at night that I have seen the ice-blink as far off
as eight miles, and then there is nothing to fear; but sometimes in
the middle of the day we have sailed close to icebergs that have only
been seen a few minutes before we were right on them. As the voyage
was long, we sailed as fast as we could, as a rule; but on two or
three nights we had to reduce our way to a minimum, as we could not
see much farther than the end of the bowsprit.

After two or three weeks' sailing the icebergs began gradually to
decrease, and I hoped we should soon come to the end of them; but
on Sunday, March 5, when it was fairly clear, we saw about midday a
whole lot of big bergs ahead. One of the watch below, who had just
come on deck, exclaimed: "What the devil is this beastly mess you
fellows have got into?" He might well ask, for in the course of that
afternoon we passed no less than about a hundred bergs. They were
big tabular bergs, all of the same height, about 100 feet, or about
as high as the crow's-nest of the Fram. The bergs were not the least
worn, but looked as if they had calved quite recently. As I said, it
was clear enough, we even got an observation that day (lat. 61° S.,
long. 150° W.), and as we had a west wind, we twisted quite elegantly
past one iceberg after another. The sea, which during the morning had
been high enough for the spray to dash over the tops of the bergs,
gradually went down, and in the evening, when we were well to leeward
of them all, it was as smooth as if we had been in harbour. In the
course of the night we passed a good many more bergs, and the next
day we only saw about twenty.

In the various descriptions of voyages in these waters, opinions are
divided as to the temperature of the water falling in the neighbourhood
of icebergs. That it falls steadily as one approaches the pack-ice
is certain enough, but whether it falls for one or a few scattered
icebergs, no doubt depends on circumstances.

One night at 12 o'clock we had a temperature in the water of 34.1°
F., at 4 a.m. 33.8° F., and at 8 a.m. 33.6° F.; at 6 a.m. we passed
an iceberg. At 12 noon the temperature had risen to 33.9° F. In this
case one might say that the temperature gave warning, but, as a rule,
in high latitudes it has been constant both before and after passing
an iceberg.

On Christmas Eve, 1911, when on our second trip southward we saw the
first real iceberg, the temperature of the water fell in four hours
from 35.6° F. to 32.7° F., which was the temperature when the bergs
were passed, after which it rose rather rapidly to 35° F.

In the west wind belt I believe one can tell with some degree of
certainty when one is approaching ice. In the middle of November, 1911,
between Prince Edward Island and the Crozet Islands (about lat. 47°
S.) the temperature fell. Towards morning I remarked to someone:
"The temperature of the water is falling as if we were getting near
the ice." On the forenoon of the same day we sailed past a very small
berg; the temperature again rose to the normal, and we met no more
ice until Christmas Eve.

On Saturday, March 4, the day before we met that large collection
of bergs, the temperature fell pretty rapidly from 33.9° F. to 32.5°
F. We had not then seen ice for nearly twenty-four hours. At the same
time the colour of the water became unusually green, and it is possible
that we had come into a cold current. The temperature remained as low
as this till Sunday morning, when at 8 a. m. it rose to 32.7° F.;
at 12 noon, close to a berg, to 32.9° F., and a mile to lee of it,
to 33° F. It continued to rise, and at 4 p.m., when the bergs were
thickest, it was 33.4° F.; at 8 p.m. 33.6° F., and at midnight 33.8°
F. If there had been a fog, we should certainly have thought we were
leaving the ice instead of approaching it; it is very curious, too,
that the temperature of the water should not be more constant in
the presence of such a great quantity of ice; but, as I have said,
it may have been a current.

In the course of the week following March 5 the bergs became rarer,
but the same kind of weather prevailed. Our speed was irreproachable,
and in one day's work (from noon to noon) we covered a distance of
200 nautical miles, or an average of about 82 knots an hour, which
was the best day's work the Fram had done up to that time. The wind;
which had been westerly and north-westerly, went by degrees to the
north, and ended in a hurricane from the north-east on Sunday, March
12. I shall quote here what I wrote about this in my diary on the 13th:

"Well, now we have experienced the first hurricane on the Fram. On
Saturday afternoon, the 11th, the wind went to the north-east, as an
ordinary breeze with rain. The barometer had been steady between 29.29
inches (744 millimetres) and 29.33 inches (745 millimetres). During
the afternoon it began to fall, and at 8 p.m. it was 29.25 inches
(743 millimetres) without the wind having freshened at all. The outer
jib was taken in, however. By midnight the barometer had fallen to
29.0 inches (737 millimetres), while the wind had increased to a stiff
breeze. We took in the foresail, mainsail, and inner jib, and had now
only the topsail and a storm-trysail left. The wind gradually increased
to a gale. At 4 a.m. on Sunday the barometer had fallen again to 28.66
inches (728 millimetres), and at 6 a.m. the topsail was made fast.[3]

The wind increased and the seas ran higher, but we did not ship much
water. At 8 a.m. the barometer was 28.30 inches (719 millimetres),
and at 9 a.m. 28.26 inches (718 millimetres), when at last it
stopped going down and remained steady till about noon, during
which time a furious hurricane was blowing. The clouds were brown,
the colour of chocolate; I cannot remember ever having seen such an
ugly sky. Little by little the wind went to the north, and we sailed
large under two storm-trysails. Finally, we had the seas on our beam,
and now the Fram showed herself in all her glory as the best sea-boat
in the world. It was extraordinary to watch how she behaved. Enormous
seas came surging high to windward, and we, who were standing on the
bridge, turned our backs to receive them, with some such remark as:
'Ugh, that's a nasty one coming.' But the sea never came. A few
yards from the ship it looked over the bulwarks and got ready to
hurl itself upon her. But at the last moment the Fram gave a wriggle
of her body and was instantly at the top of the wave, which slipped
under the vessel. Can anyone be surprised if one gets fond of such a
ship? Then she went down with the speed of lightning from the top of
the wave into the trough, a fall of fourteen or fifteen yards. When
we sank like this, it gave one the same feeling as dropping from
the twelfth to the ground-floor in an American express elevator,
'as if everything inside you was coming up.' It was so quick that we
seemed to be lifted off the deck. We went up and down like this all the
afternoon and evening, till during the night the wind gradually dropped
and it became calm. That the storm would not be of long duration
might almost be assumed from its suddenness, and the English rule --

Long foretold, long last; Short notice, soon past' --
may thus be said to have held good.

"When there is a strong wind on her beam, the Fram does not roll
so much as usual, except for an occasional leeward lurch; nor was
any excessive quantity of water shipped in this boisterous sea. The
watch went below as usual when they were relieved, and, as somebody
very truly remarked, all hands might quite well have turned in, if we
had not had to keep a lookout for ice. And fortune willed it that the
day of the hurricane was the first since we had left the Barrier that
we did not see ice -- whether this was because the spray was so high
that it hid our view, or because there really was none. Be that as it
may, the main thing was that we saw no ice. During the night we had
a glimpse of the full moon, which gave the man at the wheel occasion
to call out 'Hurrah!' -- and with good reason, as we had been waiting
a long time for the moon to help us in looking out for ice.

"In weather like this one notices nothing out of the ordinary
below deck. Here hardly anything is heard of the wind, and in
the after-saloon, which is below the water-line, it is perfectly
comfortable. The cook, who resides below, therefore reckons 'ugly
weather' according to the motion of the vessel, and not according to
storms, fog, or rain. On deck we do not mind much how it blows, so
long as it is only clear, and the wind is not against us. How little
one hears below deck may be understood from the fact that yesterday
morning, while it was blowing a hurricane, the cook went about as
usual, whistling his two verses of 'The Whistling Bowery Boy.' While
he was in the middle of the first, I came by and told him that it
was blowing a hurricane if he cared to see what it looked like. 'Oh,
yes,' he said, 'I could guess it was blowing, for the galley fire
has never drawn so well; the bits of coal are flying up the chimney';
and then he whistled through the second verse. All the same, he could
not resist going up to see. It was not long before he came down again,
with a 'My word, it is blowing, and waves up to the sky!' No; it was
warmer and more cosy below among his pots and pans.

"For dinner, which was eaten as usual amid cheerful conversation,
we had green-pea soup, roast sirloin, with a glass of aquavit, and
caramel pudding; so it may be seen that the cook was not behindhand in
opening tins, even in a hurricane. After dinner we enjoyed our usual
Sunday cigar, while the canary, which has become Kristensen's pet,
and hangs in his cabin, sang at the top of its voice."

On March 14 we saw the last iceberg; during the whole trip we had
seen and passed between 500 and 600 bergs.

The wind held steady from the north-east for a week and a half, and
I was beginning to think we should be stuck down here to play the
Flying Dutchman. There was every possible sign of a west wind, but
it did not come. On the night of the 17th it cleared; light cirrus
clouds covered the sky, and there was a ring about the moon. This,
together with the heavy swell and the pronounced fall of the barometer,
showed that something might be expected. And, sure enough, on Sunday,
March 19, we were in a cyclone. By manoeuvring according to the rules
for avoiding a cyclone in the southern hemisphere, we at any rate
went well clear of one semicircle. About 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon
the barometer was down to 27.56 inches (700 millimetres), the lowest
barometer reading I have ever heard of. From noon to 4 p.m. there was
a calm, with heavy sea. Immediately after a gale sprang up from the
north-west, and in the course of a couple of days it slowly moderated
to a breeze from the same quarter.

Sunday, March 5, a hundred icebergs; Sunday March 12, a hurricane;
and Sunday, March 19, a cyclone: truly three pleasant "days of rest."

The curves given on the next page, which show the course of barometric
pressure for a week, from Monday to Monday, are interesting.

By way of comparison a third curve is given from the north-east trade,
where there is an almost constant breeze and fine weather.

On this trip the fore-saloon was converted into a sail-loft, where
Rönne and Hansen carried on their work, each in his watch. The
after-saloon was used as a common mess-room, as it is warmer, and
the motion is far less felt than forward.

From the middle of March it looked as if the equinoctial gales were
over, for we had quite fine weather all the way to Buenos Aires. Cape
Horn was passed on March 31 in the most delightful weather -- a light
westerly breeze, not a cloud in the sky, and only a very slight swell
from the west. Who would have guessed that such splendid weather was
to be found in these parts? -- and that in March, the most stormy
month of the year.

Lieutenant Gjertsen and Kutschin collected plankton all the time;
the latter smiled all over his face whenever he chanced to get one
or two "tadpoles" in his tow-net.

From the Falkland Islands onward the Fram was washed and painted,
so that we might not present too "Polar" an appearance on arrival at
Buenos Aires.

It may be mentioned as a curious fact that the snow with which we
filled our water-tanks on the Barrier did not melt till we were in
the River La Plata, which shows what an even temperature is maintained
in the Fram's hold.

About midday on Easter Sunday we were at the mouth of the River La
Plata, without seeing land, however. During the night the weather
became perfect, a breeze from the south, moonlight and starry, and we
went up the river by soundings and observations of the stars until at
1 a.m. on Monday, when we had the Recalada light-ship right ahead. We
had not seen any light since we left Madeira on September 9. At 2.30
the same morning we got a pilot aboard, and at seven in the evening
we anchored in the roads of Buenos Aires.

We had then been nearly once round the world, and for over seven
months the anchor had not been out.

We had reckoned on a two months' voyage from the ice, and it had
taken us sixty-two days.

The Oceanographical Cruise.

According to the programme, the Fram was to go on an oceanographical
cruise in the South Atlantic, and my orders were that this was to
be arranged to suit the existing circumstances. I had reckoned on a
cruise of about three months. We should have to leave Buenos Aires
at the beginning of October to be down in the ice at the right time
(about the New Year).

As we were too short-handed to work the ship, take soundings, etc.,
the following four seamen were engaged: H. Halvorsen, A. Olsen,
F. Steller, and J. Andersen.

At last we were more or less ready, and the Fram sailed from Buenos
Aires on June 8, 1911, the anniversary of our leaving Horten on our
first hydrographic cruise in the North Atlantic. I suppose there was
no one on board on June 8, 1910, who dreamed that a year later we
should go on a similar cruise in the South.

We had a pilot on board as far as Montevideo, where we arrived on the
afternoon of the 9th; but on account of an increasing wind (pampero)
we had to lie at anchor here for a day and a half, as the pilot could
not be taken off. On Saturday afternoon, the 10th, he was fetched
off by a big tug-boat, on board of which was the Secretary of the
Norwegian Consulate. This gentleman asked us if we could not come
into the harbour, as "people would like to see the ship." I promised
to come in on the way back, "if we had time."

On Sunday morning, the 11th, we weighed anchor, and went out in
the most lovely weather that can be imagined. Gradually the land
disappeared, and in the course of the evening we lost the lights;
we were once more out in the Atlantic, and immediately everything
resumed its old course.

In order to save our supply of preserved provisions as much as
possible, we took with us a quantity of live poultry, and no fewer
than twenty live sheep, which were quartered in the "farmyard" on the
port side of the vessel's fore-deck. Sheep and hens were all together,
and there was always a most beautiful scent of hay, so that we had not
only sea air, but "country air." In spite of all this delightful air,
three or four of the crew were down with influenza, and had to keep
their berths for some days.

I reckoned on being back at Buenos Aires by the beginning of September,
and on getting, if possible, one station a day. The distance,
according to a rough calculation, was about 8,000 nautical miles,
and I laid down the following plan: To go about east by north with
the prevailing northerly and north-westerly winds to the coast of
Africa, and there get hold of the south-east trade. If we could not
reach Africa before that date, then to turn on July 22 and lay our
course with the south-east trade for St. Helena, which we could reach
before August 1; from there again with the same wind to South Trinidad
(August 11 or 12); on again with easterly and north-easterly winds on
a south-westerly course until about August 22, when the observations
were to be concluded, and we should try to make Buenos Aires in the
shortest time.

That was the plan that we attempted. On account of the fresh water
from the River La Plata, we did not begin at once to take samples of
water, and with a head-wind, north-east, we lay close-hauled for some
days. We also had a pretty stiff breeze, which was another reason
for delaying the soundings until the 17th.

For taking samples of water a winch is used, with a sounding-line of,
let us say, 5,000 metres (2,734 fathoms), on which are hung one or more
tubes for catching water; we used three at once to save time. Now,
supposing water and temperatures are to be taken at depths of 300,
400, and 500 metres (164, 218, and 273 fathoms), Apparatus III. (see
diagram) is first hung on, about 20 metres (10 fathoms) from the end
of the line, where a small weight (a) hangs; then it is lowered until
the indicator-wheel, over which the line passes, shows 100 metres
(54 fathoms); Apparatus II. is then put on, and it is lowered again
for another 100 metres, when Apparatus I. is put on and the line paid
out for 300 metres (164 fathoms) -- that is, until the indicator-wheel
shows 500 metres (273 fathoms). The upper Apparatus (I.) is then at
300 metres (164 fathoms), No. II. at 400 metres (218 fathoms), and
No. III. at 500 metres (273 fathoms). Under Apparatus I. and II. is
hung a slipping sinker (about 8 centimetres, or 3 1/4 inches, long,
and 3 centimetres, or 1 1/4 inches, in diameter). To the water-samplers
are attached thermometers (b) in tubes arranged for the purpose.

The water-samplers themselves consist of a brass cylinder (c), about
38 centimetres (15 inches) long and 4 centimetres (1 1/2 inches)
in diameter (about half a litre of water), set in a frame (d). At
about the middle of the cylinder are pivots, which rest in bearings
on the frame, so that the cylinder can be swung 180 degrees (straight
up and down).

The cylinder, while being lowered in an inverted position, is open
at both ends, so that the water can pass through. But at its upper
and lower ends are valves, working on hinges and provided with
packing. When the apparatus is released, the cylinder swings round,
and these valves then automatically close the ends of the cylinder. The
water that is thus caught in the cylinder at the required depth remains
in it while it is being heaved up, and is collected in bottles. When
the apparatus is released, the column of mercury in the thermometer
is broken, and the temperature of the water is read at the same depth
as the water is taken from.

The release takes place in the following manner: when all the
cylinders have been lowered to the required depths, they are left
hanging for a few minutes, so that the thermometers may be set at
the right temperature before the column of mercury is broken. Then a
slipping sinker is sent down the line. When this sinker strikes the
first apparatus, a spring is pressed, a hook (e) which has held the
cylinder slips loose, and the cylinder turns completely over (Apparatus
I.). As it does this, the valves, as already mentioned, close the
ends of the cylinder, which is fixed in its new position by a hook
in the bottom of the frame. At the same instant the slipping sinker
that hangs under Apparatus I. is released, and continues the journey
to Apparatus II., where the same thing happens. It is then repeated
with Apparatus III. When they are all ready, they are heaved in.

By holding one's finger on the line one can feel, at all events in
fairly calm weather, when the sinkers strike against the cylinders;
but I used to look at my watch, as it takes about half a minute for
the sinker to go down 100 metres.

The necessary data are entered in a book.

On the morning of the 17th, then, the sails were clewed up, and the
Fram began to roll even worse than with the sails set. We first tried
taking soundings with a sinker of 66 pounds, and a tube for taking
specimens of the sea-bed. At 2,000 metres (1,093 fathoms) or more
the line (piano wire) broke, so that sinker, tube, and over 2,000
metres of line continued their way unhindered to the bottom. I had
thought of taking samples of water at 4,000, 3,000, and 2,000 metres
(2,187, 1,639, 1,093 fathoms), and so on, and water-cylinders were put
on from 0 to 2,000 metres. This, however, took six hours. Next day,
on account of the heavy sea, only a few samples from 0 to 100 metres
(54 fathoms) were taken. On the third day we made another attempt to
get the bottom. This time we got specimens of the sea-bed from about
4,500 metres (about 2,500 fathoms); but the heaving in and taking of
water samples and temperatures occupied eight hours, from 7 a.m. till
3 p.m., or a third part of the twenty-four hours. In this way we should
want at least nine months on the route that had been laid down; but as,
unfortunately, this time was not at our disposal, we at once gave up
taking specimens of the bottom and samples of water at greater depths
than 1,000 metres (546 fathoms). For the remainder of the trip we took
temperatures and samples of water at the following depths: 0, 5, 10,
25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 400, 500, 750, and 1,000 metres
(0, 2 3/4, 5 1/2, 13 1/2, 27, 41, 54, 81, 108, 135, 164, 218, 273,
410, and 546 fathoms), in all, fifteen samples from each station,
and from this time forward we went on regularly with one station
every day. Finally, we managed to heave up two water-cylinders on
the same line by hand without great difficulty. At first this was
done with the motor and sounding-machine, but this took too long,
and we afterwards used nothing but a light hand-winch. Before very
long we were so practised that the whole business only took two hours.

These two hours were those we liked best of the twenty-four. All kinds
of funny stories were told, especially about experiences in Buenos
Aires, and every day there was something new. Here is a little yarn:

One of the members of the expedition had been knocked down by
a motor-car in one of the busiest streets; the car stopped and of
course a crowd collected at once. Our friend lay there, wondering
whether he ought not to be dead, or at least to have broken a leg, so
as to get compensation. While he lay thus, being prodded and examined
by the public, he suddenly remembered that he had half a dollar in
his pocket. With all that money it didn't matter so much about the
compensation; up jumped our friend like an india-rubber ball, and
in a second he had vanished in the crowd, who stood open-mouthed,
gazing after the "dead" man.

Our speed on this cruise was regulated as nearly as possible so
that there might be about 100 nautical miles between each station,
and I must say we were uncommonly lucky in the weather. We made two
fairly parallel sections with comparatively regular intervals between
the stations; as regular, in any case, as one can hope to get with a
vessel like the Fram, which really has too little both of sail area
and engine power. The number of stations was 60 in all and 891 samples
of water were taken. Of plankton specimens 190 were sent home. The
further examination of these specimens in Norway will show whether
the material collected is of any value, and whether the cruise has
yielded satisfactory results.

As regards the weather on the trip, it was uniformly good the whole
time; we had a good deal of wind now and then, with seas and rolling,
but for the most part there was a fresh breeze. In the south-east
trade we sailed for four weeks at a stretch without using the engine,
which then had a thorough overhauling. At the same time we had a good
opportunity of smartening up the ship, which she needed badly. All
the iron was freed from rust, and the whole vessel painted both
below and above deck. The decks themselves were smeared with a
mixture of oil, tar and turpentine, after being scoured. All the
rigging was examined. At the anchorage at Buenos Aires nearly the
whole ship was painted again, masts and yards, the outside of the
vessel and everything inboard, both deck-houses, the boats and the
various winches, pumps, etc. In the engine-room everything was either
shining bright or freshly painted, everything hung in its place and
such order and cleanliness reigned that it was a pleasure to go down
there. The result of all this renovating and smartening up was that,
when we fetched up by the quay at Buenos Aires, the Fram looked
brighter than I suppose she has ever done since she was new.

During the trip the holds were also cleaned up, and all the provisions
re-stowed and an inventory made of them.

A whole suit of sails was completely worn out on this voyage; but
what can one expect when the ship is being worked every single day,
with clewing up, making fast and setting of sails both in calms
and winds? This work every day reminded me of the corvette Ellida,
when the order was "all hands aloft." As a rule, though, it was only
clewing up the sails that had to be done, as we always had to take
soundings on the weather side, so that the sounding-line should not
foul the bottom of the vessel and smash the apparatus. And we did
not lose more than one thermometer in about nine hundred soundings.

On account of all this wear and tear of sails Rönne was occupied the
whole time, both at sea and in Buenos Aires, in making and patching
sails, as there was not much more than the leeches left of those
that had been used, and on the approaching trip (to the Ice Barrier)
we should have to have absolutely first-class things in the "Roaring

June 30, 1911, is a red-letter day in the Fram's history, as on that
day we intersected our course from Norway to the Barrier, and the
Franz thus completed her first circumnavigation of the globe. Bravo,
Fram! It was well done, especially after the bad character you have
been given as a sailer and a sea-boat. In honour of the occasion we
had a better dinner than usual, and the Franz was congratulated by
all present on having done her work well.

On the evening of July 29 St. Helena was passed. It was the first
time I had seen this historic island. It was very strange to think
that "the greatest spirit of a hundred centuries," as some author has
called Napoleon, should have ending his restless life on this lonely
island of the South Atlantic.

On August 12, when daylight came, we sighted the little Martin Vaz
Islands ahead, and a little later South Trinidad (in 1910 this island
was passed on October 16). We checked our chronometers, which, however,
proved to be correct. From noon till 2 p.m., while we were lying
still and taking our daily hydrographic observations, a sailing ship
appeared to the north of us, lying close-hauled to the south. She bore
down on us and ran up her flag, and we exchanged the usual greetings;
she was a Norwegian barque bound for Australia. Otherwise we did not
see more than four or five ships on the whole voyage, and those were
pretty far off:

Never since leaving Madeira (September, 1910) had we been troubled
with animals or insects of any kind whatever; but when we were in
Buenos Aires for the first time, at least half a million flies came
aboard to look at the vessel. I hoped they would go ashore when the
Fram sailed; but no, they followed us, until by degrees they passed
peacefully away on fly-paper.

Well, flies are one thing, but we had something else that was worse --
namely, rats -- our horror and dread, and for the future our deadly
enemies. The first signs of them I found in my bunk and on the table
in the fore-saloon; they were certainly not particular. What I said on
that occasion had better not be printed, though no expression could be
strong enough to give vent to one's annoyance at such a discovery. We
set traps, but what was the use of that, when the cargo consisted
exclusively of provisions?

One morning, as Rönne was sitting at work making sails, he observed
a "shadow" flying past his feet, and, according to his account,
into the fore-saloon. The cook came roaring: "There's a rat in the
fore-saloon!" Then there was a lively scene; the door was shut, and
all hands started hunting. All the cabins were emptied and rummaged,
the piano, too; everything was turned upside down, but the rat had
vanished into thin air.

About a fortnight later I noticed a corpse-like smell in Hassel's
cabin, which was empty. On closer sniffing and examination it turned
out to be the dead rat, a big black one, unfortunately a male rat. The
poor brute, that had starved to death, had tried to keep itself alive
by devouring a couple of novels that lay in a locked drawer. How the
rat got into that drawer beats me.

On cleaning out the provision hold nests were found with several
rats in them: six were killed, but at least as many escaped, so now
no doubt we have a whole colony. A reward was promised of ten cigars
for each rat; traps were tried again, but all this did very little
good. When we were in Buenos Aires for the second time we got a cat
on board; it certainly kept the rats down, but it was shot on the
Barrier. At Hobart we provided a few traps, which caught a good many;
but we shall hardly get rid of them altogether until we have landed
most of the provisions, and smoked them out.

We have also had a lot of moth; at present they have done nothing
beyond eating a couple of holes in my best trousers.

During the whole of this cruise we had a fishing-line hanging out,
but it hung for a whole month without there being a sign of a fish,
in spite of the most delicate little white rag that was attached
to the hook. One morning the keenest of our fishermen came up as
usual and felt the line. Yes, by Jove! at last there was one, and a
big one, too, as he could hardly haul in the line by himself. There
was a shout for assistance. "Hi, you beggar! come and lend a hand;
there's a big fish!" Help came in a second, and they both hauled for
all they were worth. "Ah! he's a fine, glistening fish; it'll be grand
to get fresh fish for dinner!" At last the fish appeared over the rail;
but, alas! it was seen to have no head. It was an ordinary stockfish,
about three-quarters of a yard long, that some joker had hung on the
line during the night. That we all had a hearty laugh goes without
saying, the fishermen included, as they took it all in good part.

As a fishing-boat the Fram is on the whole not very successful. The
only fish we caught, besides the above-mentioned stockfish, was a real
live fish; but, unfortunately, it fell off the hook as it was being
hauled in. According to the account of eye-witnesses, this fish was
. . . six feet long and one broad.

Now we don't fish any more.

On August 19 the hydrographic observations were brought to an end,
and a course was laid for Buenos Aires, where we anchored in the
roads at midnight on September 1.

At Buenos Aires.

To arrive at Buenos Aires in the early part of 1911 was not an unmixed
pleasure, especially when one had no money. The Fram Expedition
was apparently not very popular at that time, and our cash balance
amounted to about forty pesos (about (L)3 10s.), but that would not
go very far; our supply of provisions had shrunk to almost nothing,
and we had not enough to be able to leave the port. I had been told
that a sum had been placed to the credit of the Fram for our stay
in Buenos Aires, but I neither saw nor heard anything of it while we
were there, and it was no doubt somewhat imaginary.

If we were to be at all able to go down and take off the shore party
money must be found. We had come to the end of sail-cloth and ropes,
we had too little food and a minimum of oil; all this would have to be
provided. At the worst the oceanographical cruise could be cut out,
and we could lie still at Buenos Aires; then, as our comrades could
not very well be left to perish on the ice, enough would have to be
sent us from Norway to enable us to go down there; but that would
finish the whole expedition, as in such a case the Fram had orders
to go back to Norway.

As usual, however, the Fram's luck helped her again. A few days
before we left Norway our distinguished compatriot in Buenos Aires,
Don Pedro Christophersen, had cabled that he would supply us with
what provisions we might require, if, after leaving Madeira, we would
call at Buenos Aires. Of course, he did not know at that time that the
voyage would be extended to include the South Pole, and that the Fram
on arrival at Buenos Aires would be almost empty instead of having
a full cargo, but that did not prevent his helping us. I immediately
called on him and his brother, the Norwegian Minister; fortunately,
they were both very enthusiastic about our Chief's change of plan.

When, on a subsequent occasion, I expressed my astonishment at not
hearing from home, I was told that the funds of the Expedition were
exhausted, and Mr. Christophersen promised me, on hearing what straits
we were in, to pay all our expenses in Buenos Aires, and to supply
us with provisions and fuel. That brought us out of our difficulties
at a bound, and we had no more need to take thought for the morrow.

Everyone on board received a sum of money for his personal expenses
from the Norwegian colony of the River Plate, and we were invited to
their dinner on Independence Day, May 17.

Our second stay at Buenos Aires was very pleasant; everyone was
amiability itself, and festivities were even got up for us. We
took on board provisions that had been sent out from Norway by
Mr. Christophersen's orders, about 50,000 litres (11,000 gallons)
of petroleum, ship's stores, and so on; enough for a year. But this
was not all. Just before we sailed Mr. Christophersen said he would
send a relief expedition, if the Fram did not return to Australia by
a certain date; but, as everyone knows, this was happily unnecessary.

During the three weeks we were lying at the quay in Buenos Aires we
were occupied in getting everything on board, and making the vessel
ready for sea. We had finished this by the afternoon of Wednesday,
October 4, and next morning the Pram was ready to continue her second
circumnavigation of the globe.

In Buenos Aires we lay at the same quay as the Deutschland, the German
Antarctic Expedition's ship.

A. Kutschin and the second engineer, J. Nödtvedt, went home, and
seaman J. Andersen was discharged.

From Buenos Aires to the Ross Barrier.

On the trip from Buenos Aires to the Barrier the watches were divided
as follows: From eight to two: T. Nilsen, L. Hansen, H. Halvorsen,
and A. Olsen. From two to eight: H. Gjertsen, A. Beck, M. Rönne, and
F. Steller. In the engine-room: K. Sundbeck and H. Kristensen. Lastly,
K. Olsen, cook. In all eleven men.

It is said that "well begun is half done," and it almost seems as if a
bad beginning were likely to have a similar continuation. When we left
the northern basin on the morning of October 5, there was a head wind,
and it was not till twenty-four hours later that we could drop the
pilot at the Recalada lightship. After a time it fell calm, and we made
small progress down the River La Plata, until, on the night of the 6th,
we were clear of the land, and the lights disappeared on the horizon.

Properly speaking, we ought to have been in the west wind belt as
soon as we came out, and the drift of the clouds and movement of
the barograph were examined at least twenty-four times a day, but
it still remained calm. At last, after the lapse of several days, we
had a little fresh south-westerly wind with hail showers, and then,
of course, I thought we had made a beginning; but unfortunately it
only lasted a night, so that our joy was short-lived.

We took with us from Buenos Aires fifteen live sheep and fifteen live
little pigs, for which two houses were built on the after-deck; as,
however, one of the pigs was found dead on the morning after the
south-westerly breeze just mentioned, I assumed that this was on
account of the cold, and another house was at once built for them
between decks (in the work-room), where it was very warm. They were
down here the whole time; but as their house was cleaned out twice
a day and dry straw put on the floor, they did not cause us much
inconvenience; besides which, their house was raised more than half a
foot above the deck itself, so that the space below could always be
kept clean. The pigs thrived so well down here that we could almost
see them growing; on arrival at the Barrier we had no fewer than
nine alive.

The sheep had a weather-tight house with a tarpaulin over the roof,
and they grew fatter and fatter; we had every opportunity of noticing
this, as we killed one of them regularly every Saturday until we
came into the pack-ice and got seal-meat. We had four sheep left on
reaching the Barrier.

We did wretchedly in October -- calms and east winds, nothing but
east winds; as regards distance it was the worst month we had had
since leaving Norway, notwithstanding that the Fram had been in dry
dock, had a clean bottom and a light cargo. When close-hauled with
any head sea, we scarcely move; a stiff fair wind is what is wanted
if we are to get on. Somebody said we got on so badly because we had
thirteen pigs on board; another said it was because we caught so many
birds, and I had caught no less than fourteen albatrosses and four
Cape pigeons. Altogether there is quite enough of what I will call
superstition at sea. One particular bird brings fine weather, another
storms; it is very important to notice which way the whale swims or
the dolphin leaps; the success of seal-hunting depends on whether
the first seal is seen ahead or astern, and so on. Enough of that.

October went out and November came in with a fresh breeze from the
south-south-west, so that we did nine and a half knots. This promised
well for November, but the promise was scarcely fulfilled. We had
northerly wind or southerly wind continually, generally a little to
the east of north or south, and I believe I am not saying too much
when I state that in the "west wind belt" with an easterly course we
lay close-hauled on one tack or the other for about two-thirds of the
way. For only three days out of three months did we have a real west
wind, a wind which, with south-westerly and north-westerly winds,
I had reckoned on having for 75 per cent. of the trip from Buenos
Aires to about the longitude of Tasmania.

In my enthusiasm over the west wind in question, I went so far as
to write in my diary at 2 a.m. on November 11: "There is a gale from
the west, and we are making nine knots with foresail and topsail. The
sea is pretty high and breaking on both sides of the vessel, so that
everything about us is a mass of spray. In spite of this, not a drop
of water comes on deck, and it is so dry that the watch are going
about in clogs. For my part I am wearing felt slippers, which will
not stand wet. Sea-boots and oilskins hang ready in the chart-house,
in case it should rain. On a watch like to-night, when the moon is kind
enough to shine, everyone on deck is in the best of humours, whistling,
chattering, and singing. Somebody comes up with the remark that 'She
took that sea finely,' or 'Now she's flying properly.' 'Fine' is almost
too feeble an expression; one ought to say 'lightly and elegantly'
when speaking of the Fram . . . . What more can one wish?" etc.

But whatever time Adam may have spent in Paradise, we were not
there more than three days, and then the same wretched state of
things began again. What I wrote when there was a head wind or calm,
I should be sorry to reproduce. Woe to him who then came and said it
was fine weather.

It was lucky for us that the Fram sails so much more easily now
than in 1910, otherwise we should have taken six months to reach the
Barrier. When we had wind, we used it to the utmost; but we did not do
this without the loss of one or two things; the new jib-sheet broke
a couple of times, and one night we carried away the outer bobstay
of the jib-boom. The foresail and topsail were neither made fast nor
reefed during the whole trip.

The last time the jib-sheet broke there was a strong breeze from the
south-west with a heavy sea; all sail was set with the exception of
the spanker, as the ship would not steer with that. There was an extra
preventer on the double jib-sheet, but in spite of that the sheets
broke and the jib was split with a fearful crack. Within a minute
the mainsail and gaff-topsail were hauled down, so that the ship
might fall off, and the jib hauled down. This was instantly unbent
and a new one bent. The man at the helm, of course, got the blame
for this, and the first thing he said to me was "I couldn't help it,
she was twisting on the top of a wave." We were then making ten knots,
and more than that we shall not do.

The Fram rolled well that day. A little earlier in the afternoon,
at two o'clock, when the watch had gone below to dinner and were just
eating the sweet, which on that occasion consisted of preserved pears,
we felt that there was an unusually big lurch coming. Although, of
course, we had fiddles on the table, the plates, with meat, potatoes,
etc., jumped over the fiddles, which they didn't care a button for,
into Beck's cabin. I caught one of the pears in its flight, but the
plate with the rest of them went on its way. Of course there was a
great shout of laughter, which stopped dead as we heard a violent
noise on deck, over our heads; I guessed at once it was an empty
water-tank that had broken loose, and with my mouth full of pear
I yelled "Tank!" and flew on deck with the whole watch below at my
heels. A sea had come in over the after-deck, and had lifted the tank
up from its lashings. All hands threw themselves upon the tank, and
held on to it till the water had poured off the deck, when it was
again fixed in its place. When this was done, my watch went below
again and lit their pipes as if nothing had happened.

On November 13 we passed the northernmost of the Prince Edward Islands,
and on the 18th close to Penguin Island, the most south-westerly
of the Crozets. In the neighbourhood of the latter we saw a great
quantity of birds, a number of seals and penguins, and even a little
iceberg. I went close to the land to check the chronometers, which
an observation and bearings of the islands showed to be correct.

Our course was then laid for Kerguelen Island, but we went too far
north to see it, as for two weeks the wind was south-easterly and
southerly, and the leeway we made when sailing close-hauled took us
every day a little to the north of east. When we were in the same
waters in 1910, there was gale after gale; then we did not put in at
Kerguelen on account of the force of the wind; this time we could not
approach the island because of the wind's direction. In no respect
can the second trip be compared with the first; I should never have
dreamed that there could be so much difference in the "Roaring Forties"
in two different years at the same season. In the "Foggy Fifties"
the weather was calm and fine, and we had no fog until lat. 58° S.

As regards the distance sailed, November, 1911, is the best month
the Fram has had.

In December, which began with a speed of one and a half knots, calm,
swell against us, and the engine at full speed, we had a fair wind for
three days, all the rest calms and head winds; the first part of the
month from the north-east and east, so that we came much too far south;
even in long. 150 E. we were in lat. 60° S. In Christmas week we had
calms and light winds from the south-east, so that we managed to steal
eastward to long. 170° E. and lat. 65° S., where, on the edge of the
pack-ice, we had a stiff breeze from the north-north-east, that is,
straight on to the ice.

Between Buenos Aires and the pack-ice we caught, as I have said,
a good many birds, mostly albatrosses, and about thirty skins were
prepared by L. Hansen. The largest albatross we got measured twelve
feet between the tips of its wings, and the smallest bird was of a
land species, not much bigger than a humming-bird.

Talking of albatrosses, it is both amusing and interesting to watch
their elegant flight in a high wind. Without a movement of the wings
they sail, now with, now against, the wind; at one instant they
touch the surface of the water with the points of their wings, at the
next they go straight into the air like an arrow. An interesting and
instructive study for an aviator.

In a wind, when there is generally a number of them hovering about the
vessel, they will dash down after anything that is thrown overboard;
but of course it is useless to try to catch them when the ship has
so much way. This must be done the next day, when the wind is lighter.

The birds are caught with an iron triangle, which ought to be enclosed
in wood, so that it will float on the water. At the apex, which is
very acute, the iron is filed as sharp as a knife, and pork is hung
on each of the sides. When this is thrown in the wake of the ship,
the bird settles on the water to feed. The upper part of its beak is
hooked like that of a bird of prey, and as the albatross opens its beak
and bites at the pork, you give a jerk, so that the triangle catches
the upper part of the beak by two small notches, and the bird is left
hanging. If the line should break, the whole thing simply falls off
and the bird is unharmed. In hauling in, therefore, you have to be
very careful to hold the line quite tight, even if the bird flies
towards you, otherwise it will easily fall off: A bird may be pulled
half-way in several times, and will immediately take the bait again.

On the night of December 11 an unusually beautiful aurora was seen;
it lasted over an hour, and moved in a direction from west to east.

On the 14th all the white paint was washed; the temperature was 43°
F., and we were in shirt-sleeves.

For a whole week before Christmas the cook was busy baking Christmas
cakes. I am bound to say he is industrious; and the day before
Christmas Eve one of the little pigs, named Tulla, was killed. The
swineherd, A. Olsen, whose special favourite this pig was, had to
keep away during the operation, that we might not witness his emotion.

Early on the morning of Christmas Eve we saw the three first icebergs;
there was an absolute calm all day, with misty air.

To keep Christmas the engine was stopped at 5 p.m., and then all hands
came to dinner. Unfortunately we had no gramophone to sing to us, as in
1910; as a substitute the "orchestra" played "Glade Jul, hellige Jul,"
when all were seated. The orchestra was composed of Beck on the violin,
Sundbeck on the mandolin, and the undersigned on the flute. I puffed
out my cheeks as much as I could, and that is not saying a little,
so that the others might see how proficient I was. I hardly think
it was much of a musical treat; but the public was neither critical
nor ceremonious, and the prevalent costume was jerseys. The dinner
consisted of soup, roast pork, with fresh potatoes and whortleberries,
ten-years-old aquavit and Norwegian bock beer, followed by wine-jelly
and "kransekake," with -- champagne. The toasts of their Majesties
the King and Queen, Don Pedro Christophersen, Captain Amundsen,
and the Fram were drunk.

I had decorated the saloon in a small way with artificial flowers,
embroideries, and flags, to give a little colour. Dinner was followed
by cigars and the distribution of Christmas presents. L. Hansen
played the accordion, and Lieutenant Gjertsen and Rönne danced "folk
dances"; the latter was, as usual, so amusing that he kept us in fits
of laughter.

At ten o'clock it was all over, the engine was started again, one
watch went to bed and the other on deck; Olsen cleaned out the pigsty,
as usual at this time of night. That finished Christmas for this year.

As has been said before, Sir James Ross was down here in the
1840's. Two years in succession he sailed from the Pacific into Ross
Sea with two ships that had no auxiliary steam-power. I assumed,
therefore, that if he could get through so easily, there must be
some place between South Victoria Land and the Barrier (or land)
on the other side, where there was little or no ice. Following this
assumption, I intended to go down to the western pack-ice (that lying
off South Victoria Land) and steer along it till we were in Ross Sea,
or, at all events, until we found a place where we could easily get
through. It is quite possible that Ross was very lucky in the time
at which he encountered the ice, and that he only sailed in clear
weather. We had no time to spare, however, but had to make use of
whatever wind there was, even if we could not see very far.

As early as December 28, at 5 p.m., in lat. 65° S. and long. 171.5°
E., it was reported that we were off the pack. I was a good deal
surprised, as recent expeditions had not met the pack until 66.5°
S., or about one hundred nautical miles farther south, nor had there
been any sign of our being so near the ice. The wind for the last
few days had been south-easterly, but for the moment it was calm; we
therefore held on to the east along the edge of the pack, with the ice
to starboard. About midnight the wind freshened from the north, and we
lay close-hauled along the edge of the ice till midday on the 29th,
when the direction of the ice became more southerly. The northerly
wind, which gradually increased to a stiff breeze, was good enough
for getting us on, but it must inevitably bring fog and snow in its
train. These came, sure enough, as thick as a wall, and for a couple
of days we sailed perfectly blindly.

Outside the pack-ice proper lie long streams of floes and loose
scattered lumps, which become more frequent as one nears the pack. For
two days we sailed simply by the lumps of ice; the more of them we saw,
the more easterly was our course, until they began to decrease, when we
steered more to the south. In this way we went in forty-eight hours
from lat. 65° S. and long. 174° E. to lat. 69° S. and long. 178°
E., a distance of about two hundred and fifty nautical miles,
without entering the pack. Once we very nearly went into the trap,
but fortunately got out again. The wind was so fresh that we did as
much as eight and a half knots; when sailing at such a rate through
a loose stream of ice, we sometimes ran upon a floe, which went under
the ship's bottom, and came up alongside the other way up.

During the afternoon of the 31st the streams of ice became closer
and closer, and then I made the mistake of continuing to sail to the
eastward; instead of this, I ought to have stood off, and steered
due south or to the west of south, with this ice on ourport side. The
farther we advanced, the more certain I was that we had come into the
eastern pack-ice. It must be remembered, however, that owing to fog
and thick snow we had seen nothing for over two days. Observations
there were none, of course; our speed had varied between two and eight
and a half knots, and we had steered all manner of courses. That our
dead reckoning was not very correct in such circumstances goes without
saying, and an observation on January 2 showed us that we were somewhat
farther to the east than we had reckoned. On the evening of December 31
the fog lifted for a while, and we saw nothing but ice all round. Our
course was then set due south. We had come right down in lat. 69.5°
S., and I hoped soon to be clear altogether; in 1910 we got out of
the ice in 70°S., and were then in the same longitude as now.

Now, indeed, our progress began to be slow, and the old year went out
in a far from pleasant fashion. The fog was so thick that I may safely
say we did not see more than fifty yards from the ship, whereas we
ought to have had the midnight sun; ice and snow-sludge were so thick
that at times we lay still. The wind had, unfortunately, fallen off,
but we still had a little breeze from the north, so that both sails
and engine could be used. We went simply at haphazard; now and then
we were lucky enough to come into great open channels and even lakes,
but then the ice closed again absolutely tight. It could hardly be
called real ice, however, but was rather a snow-sludge, about two feet
thick, and as tough as dough; it looked as if it had all just been
broken off a single thick mass. The floes lay close together, and we
could see how one floe fitted into the other. The ice remained more
or less close until we were right down in lat. 73°S. and long. 179°
W.; the last part of it was old drift-ice.

From here to the Bay of Whales we saw a few scattered streams of
floes and some icebergs.

A few seals were shot in the ice, so that we had fresh meat enough,
and could save the sheep and pigs until the shore party came on
board. I was sure they would appreciate fresh roast pork.


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