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Spinning Yarn:
The AAE of 1911

Spinning Yarn| Aurora HobartThe SY Aurora, under the command of John King Davis, and laden with all the supplies and animals needed for the science and exploration teams on both Macquarie Island and Cape Denison, sailed away down the Derwent river in Hobart, Tasmania, on December 2nd 1911.

Bound first for Macquarie Island, the strong and sturdy wooden ship originally built for seal hunting ploughed its way through the gales and rough seas of the ferocious Southern Ocean.

It took nine days to reach Macquarie Island, where the construction of the base and radio communication  antenna proceeded, a dress rehearsal for the base and antenna at what would be Cape Denison.

Turning to the South and to Antarctica, the Aurora continued in now calmer seas, reaching extensive pack ice and huge icebergs. Four weeks after leaving Hobart, the Antarctic ice cap was sighted.

Mawson was concerned that this pack ice and the steep ice cliffs would prevent the landing of the expedition, until he spotted the rocky cape and glided into Commonwealth Bay, where abundant wildlife (penguins and seals) and the rocky islands drew Mawson to launch a whaleboat to investigate the area.

Spinning Yarn|Unloading supplies Liking what he saw, they began unloading the 23 tonnes of coal and other fuels, 2 years of food supplies, tools, wireless masts and scientific equipment, the air tractor and personal effects. Finally, the Aurora was ready to leave the Cape, then to deposit the Western Party further along the coast before turning back for Hobart.


Spinning Yarn|Aurora West

SpinningYarn|Otago Daily Pic[

Photo Courtesy
OTAGO DAILY TIMES, New Zealand

 

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