National Geographic : 1936 Jul
MY FLIGHT ACROSS ANTARCTICA ) Ellsworth Antarctic .xpeation HEAVY GOING IN THE TURBULENT WATERS THAT GUARD ANTARCTICA Where the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Indian Oceans meet the Antarctic Continent are found the roughest seas in the world. The Wyatt Earp here plows her way through enormous waves south of New Zealand. Three trips to the Antarctic were made by the Ellsworth Expedition. The first year it touched at the Bay of Whales. Next, bad weather prevented a flight from Deception and Snow Hill Islands. The third, and successful, venture was made from Dundee Island. ica and the shifting to that point of the Wyatt Earp to pick us up also had been planned for three years. THE RESULTS OF THE FLIGHT The lofty mountain ranges and the high plateaus discovered on our flight probably are but units of a great mountain system that traverses Antarctica. The highlands of the Antarctic Archipelago must be re garded as the continuation of the South American Andes; and may they not link up with the mountains of South Victoria Land, on the Ross Sea, of which the Queen Maud Range is but a connecting link in this great chain that forms the backbone of Ant arctica? If this be true, then a sea-level channel between the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea cannot exist. Our one regret was not to have been able to follow the trend of the ranges we saw and learn something of the rocks that compose them, for probably the greatest unsolved problem regarding the earth's structure is the connection of the two sides of Antarctica-between the Weddell and the Ross Seas. Although our flight of discovery is over, there are still vast untrod areas at this end of the earth, regions of heights and depths and cold, still touched with the mystery and romance of the unknown. Great is their lure! Moreover, they are all parts of our heritage and it is man's duty to explore them. Seventy-five per cent of Antarc tica's five million square miles remains un explored and open to scientific research. After six polar expeditions my enthu siasm has not dimmed. The love of great adventure is not an acquired taste-it is in the blood. Will I be tempted again? Who can tell? "Who has known heights and depths shall not again know peace, for he who has trodden stars seeks peace no more."