Antarctica Exploration: Comparison of Ships

Posted: Jul 06, 2015 04:22 am EDT

(Tina Sjogren) Old explorers had a lot going against them. There were no planes with resupplies, few others to learn from and plenty of unknowns in undiscovered lands. No wonder Shackleton still inspires. So is it easier today? Not always. We are returning lighter and faster, which carries different risks.


Compare sizes of the boats that have brought Antarctic explorers to the continent:


Endurance 144 ft (Shackleton 1914)


Fram 128 ft (Amundsen 1910)


Terra Nova 187 ft (Scott 1910)


Berserk 27 ft (Jarle Andhøy 2011)


More details:


Endurance 144 ft (44 m) 25 ft wide (7.6 m), 348 tons. 

Fram 128 ft (39 m) long,  36 ft (11 m) wide, 402 tons (220 nhp steam engine). 

Terra Nova, 187 ft (59 m) long, 31.4 ft (9.6 m) wide, 744 tons (140 nhp engine).


Other: Amundsen NW passage: Gjoa 70’ x 20’, (21 x 6 m), 45 tons (paraffin engine 13 hp).



Berserk tragedy: Interview with Jarle Andhøy







Berserk was lost in the Ross Sea 2011.
courtesy Jarle Andøy, SOURCE
Endurance August 1914, crushed and lost 1915 in the pack ice.
Oates and ponies on the 1910-1912 Terra Nova Expedition. The ship survived, the men did not.
courtesy The long riders guild , SOURCE
Roald Amundsen and his team working on gear in hut on the Ross Ice Shelf.
courtesy Fram Museum, SOURCE
A fairly recent repeat of Fram's (Nansen) voyage more than 100 years ago; Tara drifted with the moving ice past the North Pole.
courtesy Tara expeditions, SOURCE

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