Navy officer Robert Falcon Scott was no stranger to Antarctica: his epaulettes had witnessed the Antarctic expedition on the wooden barque Discovery. It surveyed the coast of Antarctica in the Ross Sea sector and discovered Antarctic oases on Victoria Land. On July 15, 1910, the Terra Nova barque departed from Cardiff with an ambitious goal – to conquer the South Pole to the glory of the British Empire. In January 1911, the expedition landed on the coast of Antarctica, named the wintering site Cape Evans in honor of the ship captain, and was laying warehouses and conducting surveys for almost ten months. Two Russians were working side by side with the English guys. They were groom Anton Omelchenko and musher Dmitry Girev, our first compatriots who set foot on the coast of Antarctica. They left Cape Evans as three groups: one on up-to-date snowmobiles, the second one – on Manchurian ponies, and the third one – on dogs. However... the snowmobiles broke down, the ponies became emaciated and had to be shot, and the dogs were sent back to the base camp. Two days before the finish line, Scott and his companions realized that they were following Norwegians’ footsteps. They hoped for a miracle to the bitter end. It did not happen: On January 18, according to the captain’s diary, they found a note and a letter in a tent under a Norwegian flag. The note was addressed to Scott: “...As you probably are the first to reach this area after us,” and the letter – to King Haakon of Norway. The morally devastated expedition did not stand the way back. The bodies of the captain and his companions were found eight months later. “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” The final line of the Alfred Tennyson’s poem Ulysses is inscribed on a mahogany cross on the peak of Observation Hill. From the hill, one can easily see Cape Evans and the Ross Ice Shelf where Captain Robert Scott found his last refuge.
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