Archive for the ‘Vahsel Bay’ Tag

March 2-7, 1912: Filchner driven away from land, away from Vahsel Bay   Leave a comment

–from an abbreviated report by Wilhelm Filchner, on the results of his Antarctic expedition–

“By March 2, however, Captain Vahsel considered the position of the ship dangerous and he favored taking her as soon as possible to the open sea.  Director Filchner finally decided to return north to winter in South Georgia and attempt another landing in 1913.

“On the morning of March 4  accordingly began the return with heavy hearts.  We found open water, occasionally streaked with new ice.  The course led along the coast of the new found land.  From March 5, new ice constantly impeded our progress, and so the course was directed more to the north.  Although the ship sailed on March 6 under full steam and, at times, with all sails set, only three miles were covered.  On March 7 we dynamited the ice without much success.  On the following night the first ice pressure occurred.  And so the struggle went on.”

February 18, 1912: Filchner’s landing place drifts out to sea   Leave a comment

[The landing on the flat surface of an apparently stable iceberg had begun on February 8.]

–from an abbreviated report by Wilhelm Filchner, on the results of his Antarctic expedition–

“The work was delayed, however, by repeated storms; and on Feb. 18 the iceberg broke loose and began to drift.  The task of saving the material was at once begun, and nearly everything was returned to the ship [the Deutschland].

“The party did not yet despair of establishing a station on the inland ice.”

February 5-13, 1912: Filchner’s landing at Vahsel Bay   Leave a comment

–from an abbreviated report by Wilhelm Filchner, on the results of his Antarctic expedition–

“On Feb. 5, the ship [Deutschland] again arrived at Vahsel Bay.  The erection of the winter station at once demanded all our attention.  It was decided to place the camp on the flat surface of an iceberg attached to the ice mass within easy  reach of the ship and also of the inland ice.  On Feb. 8, the timber for the house and all the animals, provisions and tents for a working staff of six men were landed.  On Feb. 11 and 13, coal and other material were landed.”

January 31, 1912: Filchner’s Farthest South at Vahsel Bay   Leave a comment

[Vahsel Bay is at the Southern extremity of the Weddell Sea, on the opposite side of the Antarctic continent from the Ross Sea and Cape Evans]

–from an abbreviated report by Wilhelm Filchner, on the results of his Antarctic expedition–

“Landing on the ice wall, which was twenty to thirty meters high, seemed difficult if not impossible.  So the ship steamed along to find a good place to land. . . .

“On Jan. 31 we reached a small bay in 77 degrees 48′ S. and 34 degrees 39′ W.  It was named Vahsel Bay.  Here a low mass of ice (barrier ice) , about eight to thirty meters (26 to 98 feet) high, meets the edge of the inland ice.  Between this lower ice and the inland ice lies the bay.  The lower ice was divided by numerious leads frozen over. . . . The barrier ice mass to the west of Vahsel Bay continues beyond the reach of vision to the southwest and west, evidently maintaining its level character.

“The Director landed two parties in Vahsel Bay to seek a suitable place for a winter station.  They reported that the ascent of the inland ice and the barrier ice was possible. . . . To determine positively that the phenomenon was an ice barrier the Director proposed to continue to take the ship along the barrier to the west, surveying its course.  If a more favorable location for wintering should be found, Vahsel Bay was to be given up; if not, the expediton was to return to the bay.”

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