The Voyage of the “Scotia”, Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration….

On Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902-04). Chapter VI “In Winter Quarters,” is by R N. Rudmose Brown:

p. 97: The winter evenings, after the day’s work was done and we gathered together, whether in cabin or fo’c’sle, are in many ways among the pleasantest memories of life in the Antarctic. There can be few subjects that did not at some time or another come under discussion, and occasionally we speculated on the course that events in the world would have taken, but never, I must say, very accurately, in the light of later knowledge. The absence of newspapers was not, as some more ‘civilized’ people might think, a great drawback. If an old one turned up among any odds and ends it was read, but no one seemed to miss a daily record of the world’s events. With letters, it was perhaps different; old ones were often re-read, but yet we expected no new ones, and so seldom troubled about the absence of a mail…. Thanks to the kind generosity of various publishers, we had books in plenty, from the ponderous scientific tomes of the Challenger to the lightest of light novels. There were sufficient books to keep us all employed in reading for several years, and our scientific library was well stocked with results of former deep-sea expeditions,–‘Valdivia,’ Prince of Monaco’s, ‘Ingolf,’ ‘Belgica,’ as well as the ‘Challenger.’ Polar travels north and south, and geographical and other scientific treatises, were plentifully distributed through the various cabins.

p. 99-100: …The sailors too had their arguments, and very bitter the discussions were at times. Murray [the cook] was a prime mover in many of these, slipping down from the galley to start a discussion, and then retreating when pandemonium reigned supreme. At other times he would carefully read up facts in ‘Whitaker’s Almanac,’ start an argument, say, as to the tonnage of the largest ship, and when the fo’c’sle was at boiling-point produced his facts and his authority, and so make matters worse.

opp. p. 98—two pictures of cabins with books.