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Part 2

Steam Yacht Aurora and crew’s preparations in Hobart and Tasmania
What follows is a page by page copy of Stanley Gordon Roberts Taylor’s original diary of his voyage as a crewman on S.Y.Aurora to Antarctica with Sir Douglas Mawson’s 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Exploring Expedition.   The voyage described here is that of 1912-1913, which was sailing to Cape Dennison Adelie Land Antarctica to bring the expeditioners back to Australia.
Part 2 details the Steam Yacht (S.Y.) Aurora’s stay in Hobart Tasmania and the preparations for the voyage to Antarctica.

The scan of each page is accompanied by a transcription of the words for ease of reading. This document remains the property of Stanley Taylor’s family and their descendants. Readers are welcome to read, study and share the document, but it may not be used for commercial or financial gain. Copying is permitted provided that the source is cited. © 2011 Irene Gale

Dad's Diary p10 by SpearLily

14 =12=1912     Arrived in Hobart 1.30 PM

15=12=1912   Four of us from the ship and two shore chaps went driving to Fern Tree and springs.    Some beautiful scenery there.

16th till 20=12=1912   We cleaned the boiler out, got it finished and ashes bagged on deck 4.30 PM.

I then caught the train at 8 PM from Hobart to Launceston.

21/12/1912   Arrived in Launceston 7.10 AM and found all at home in bed and I soon had them out of it.    In the evening Miss Croft, her young man, Charlie Croft, Kit and I went to a Picture show called the Princess and see a picture named The Wreck of the Aurora or the Leap to Death.
You can bet I was very much surprised when I see the heading.

Dad's Diary p11 by SpearLily

22=12=1912   Mr. & Mrs. Croft, Kit & I went for a drive through Perth to Longford, had Dinner at Longford, arriving back in Launceston 7.15 PM.
We had Tea and a very pleasant evening at Mrs Croft’s.  The heat was terrific through the day and Mrs. Croft & Kit were completely done up.
At night it rained heavens hard and kept on till following morning.

23=12=1912   Showery all day.   I was kept busy all day visiting and saying Goodbye to all my friends.    Kit & Aunt very down hearted.   I could not get a smile out of Kit try as I would.
It was a very sad day for my Birthday.   I left Launceston half an hour late by train 8.30 PM.     Kit, Mrs. & Charlie Croft came down to see me away.

24=12=1912 Arrived in Hobart 7.25 AM.     Got on board 8 AM.
Started work 9 AM.         At night 7 PM I had a tooth drawn.

Dad's Diary p12 by SpearLily


Captain invited the whole ships Company to Dinner at the Orient Hotel


Scotch Broth
Fried Trumpetor
Chicken Scollops a la Lardinal
Roast Beef             Vegetables
Plum Pudding               Brandy Sauce
Mince Pies                    Strawberrys & Cream
Shampayne, Wiskey, Wine, Brandy
Strong Coffee                  Cigars & Cigarettes

The King’s Health was drank in Wine

The Captain’s Health was drank in Brandy

Mr. Eitel, Secretary of the Australian Antarctic Exploring Expedition was also drank in Brandy.    Then success to the expedition was drank.

During the Dinner the Captain received

Dad's Diary p13 by SpearLily

three telegrams from well known people in Australia wishing the ships Company all Best of Wishes, God Speed, Safe return, Merry Xmas & Happy New Year.
One was from Captain Scott on the Ice at present.   His ship the Terra Nova left Lyttleton, New Zealand 14=12=1912 to go to the Ice to pick up Captain Scott

26=12=1912    This is the day of all days, Boxing Day, a day that I shall never forget.    I had several friends down to see me.
We took on board 60 sheep alive also a deck cargo, coal in bags.

There were Camera fiends in Galore.   The Ships company were taken on three occasions but my two mates and myself were not present.
Two of us were away posting letters, the other chap was away to the Doctor.
There were two chaps taking moving pictures of the ship from different positions until after we left and got out of sight.

Dad's Diary p14 by SpearLily

There was a very large crowd of people down to see the ship away.

They cheered heartily then Captain Davis called on the crew to return the compliment, which was acceded to with three hearty cheers to the people of Hobart.
We then made for the quarantine station near Brown’s river, about one hour run from Hobart.

Professor Flynn & his assistant Mr. Denny left us at Hobart.

We left Hobart with Mr. Eitel, Secretary of the Australian Antarctic Exploring Expedition    V. J. Watershoot,    Von D Gracth, Professor of Science
Mr. Jeffries, Marconi Operator      Mr. Davis, Whaling expert,  also his assistant steersman Mr. George Taylor.
So with the new addition it brought the Ship’s company up to twenty six all told.
At the quarantine station we picked up twenty one dogs.  They are the same

Dad's Diary p15 by SpearLily

dogs that Captain Amunsden reached the South Pole with.   They are very powerful.   They do not bark, they give a mournful unearthly howl.  They hold their heads high up and make the noise deep down in their throats, and now and again something will go wrong with them and they will all howl together.
Then it is unearthly.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Heather Rossiter permalink
    10/08/2011 2:44 PM

    One of the best descriptions of the husky’s howl I’ve ever read.

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