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The Saga of the 'Discovery' (large print)
Louis Bernacchi

The Saga of the 'Discovery'

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Book summary

Louis Bernacchi's book Saga of the 'Discovery' is a comprehensive history of the fascinating ship which was built specifically for Antarctic exploration, and which was used intermittently for such purposes until the early 1930s, when she was given to the Boy Scouts Association. For the next 50 years the Discovery was a training ship for the Sea Scouts and the Royal Naval Reserve, moored on the Embankment in London. Then in 1986 the Discovery returned to Dundee, where she was built, and is now berthed at Discovery Point, where visitors can go on board, and learn the history of the ship in the adjoining museum.

The book covers the ship's building in Dundee, its first - and most famous - expedition as Captain Scott's ship for his first foray to Antarctica, from 1901-1904, and its subsequent history up until retirement. Long after the return of Scott's expedition in 1904 the Discovery continued to serve the cause of Antarctic exploration, most notably when commanded by Sir Douglas Mawson on the B.A.N.Z.A.R.E expedition of 1929-1931.

Bernacchi accompanied Scott on his first expedition. As the physicist, he was responsible for the scientific work, and here recounts the experiences, accomplishments, and setbacks they encountered. Also on that expedition were some of the legendary figures of Antarctic exploration: besides Captain Robert Falcon Scott himself, Dr Edward Wilson and Ernest Shackleton were to experience these harsh conditions for the first time, to be enchanted and enthralled, and enticed back to the continent with, for the first two, fateful results.

Apart from recounting the various expeditions that Discovery accomplished, Bernacchi also provides a useful introduction to the wild life, flora and fauna of the region. Louis Bernacchi was the only person on Scott's first expedition to have prior Antarctic experience, having been amongst the first party ever to overwinter in Antarctica, from 1898 to 1900.


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