The two most significant geographical achievements came in the expedition’s closing days. After the ship had collected the men for the return journey, they took a detour southwards along the Ross Ice Shelf.
They discovered a bay where the ship could anchor. In 1907, Ernest Shackleton named it the Bay of Whales. It was here that Roald Amundsen built his expedition base in 1911, the starting point for his successful journey to the South Pole.
The Southern Cross moored there on 17 February 1900 and two groups ventured onto the ice shelf, the first people ever to do so. They walked about 15 km, the farthest south any human had then stood.
With the sea ice closing in, the ship made for home 2 days later.
The soles of these boots are lined with sennegras, a plant fibre that insulates and absorbs moisture. This is important because sweat can freeze close to the skin in polar conditions.
Sennegras had been used for generations by the Sami people to line their komager (summer footwear) and skaller (reindeer boots). Per Savio and Ole Must brought sennegras to Antarctica for themselves and the other expedition members. The technique was later adopted by Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.
Carsten Borchgrevink’s team was the first to use a Primus stove in Antarctica. It was the latest high-tech gadget of the day, having been developed in Sweden 6 years earlier.
The Primus became a cornerstone of the heroic era of Antarctic exploration. Lightweight and reliable, it heated the food and water that sustained Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen and all the men who travelled the ice with them.
Dry matches were also required.
Dehydrated foods developed for military use were successfully adapted for the short journeys made during the Southern Cross expedition.