Friday, 10 January 2014

Mawson's Huts Hobart

This is an extension on yesterday's post about my wee holiday in Hobart and surrounds. I left New Norfolk mid-afternoon, if you remember, in order to visit the Mawson's Huts replica on my way home. I'm so glad I made the time because it was just brilliant. Talk about wake up the sleeping adventurer in me, haha, and bring back memories of being hunkered down in stormy seas and howling winds back in my sailing days.

Mawson Place next to Constitution Dock, Hobart, Tasmania

The Radio - times have changed! There was a radio station manned at Macquarie Island and messages were relayed through there.

One of Mawson's sleds, reputedly found on a dump and rescued for posterity...good find!

After paying for my ticket...$12 AUD (I was given a VIP pass so that if I bring someone else next time I won't have to pay...make sure to ask about that if you think you'd like to come back for another look)...and getting a brief run down from the charming fellow at the ticket desk, I started the 'tour'. Reading and watching film footage of the men struggling with sleds and dogs and building materials, raising radio masts and sailing in those treacherous southern waters was enhanced by the continuous sounds of howling, screaming wind. Mawson's Huts were built in the windiest sea level place on earth...not by design I'm sure...and so it would have been incredibly noisy for most of the time I suppose. I won't say much about what I saw...I asked if I could take photographs and was given sound approval, so I'll let my pictures do most of the talking. What I will say is that it was a fantastic experience for me and I hope you'll go and take a look when you can.

I was entranced by the photographs of the men (I've not included any here). They were young, handsome, robust adventurers; scientists and explorers. They reminded me of young men I know now, or see around very very human. I thought about the bravery and the madness of doing what they did. Yet I know what a mistress adventure can be...she draws you forward sometimes against your sensibilities and thus great things are achieved, though sometimes at great cost. 

Later on inside the living quarters, I was to be touched by the poignancy of  family photographs on the walls near each man's bunk. They were such a long way from home and loved ones. It seems the loved ones were never far from their minds...they kept them close the best way they could. 

Douglas Mawson's room 

I enjoyed the cosiness of the living space, and photos showing the men chatting and laughing...sharing the adventure. The warm glow of the beautiful timber brought all the way from Finland was comforting and reassuring, although there must have been times they were afraid the place would blow off the face of the earth! I'm sure it must have been so tough down there in Antarctica, but the sharing of an adventure makes the hardships easier to bear. It wasn't a jolly little adventure; lives were lost, there was illness and heartbreaking 'bad luck'...but what an example they are to the rest of us. Life is for living. This planet is a wonderful and fascinating place. Those men have been part of sharing the inaccessible with the rest of us. 

Mum used to make us blanc mange when we were kids in I was tickled to see this on the shelf.
Realistically, they didn't have a lot to choose from I suppose. 

The kitchen - heart of the home.
The ticket man suggested to some late visitors that they allow themselves a good half hour to spend and they were coming back the next day. I spent 55 minutes...had to go as I only had an hour parking voucher and from experience I know the fine for being late makes it worth rushing back in time! I could happily have spent longer as there was more to read and enjoy. I bought a couple of items from the store; a book, a puzzle and a couple of commemorative coins. Funds help with the restoration and maintenance of the original huts down in Antarctica. All items appeared to be of excellent quality and I was happy to purchase to support the cause. 

We need adventurers in our some way they give us the courage to embark on the smaller adventures in our own lives. Taking calculated risks and moving outside our 'comfort' zone is when we really start to feel alive, I think. I know a few adventurers...and I've been one myself in a small way. I'm pretty sure we all have an adventurous spirit deep inside us...hope you'll find the inspiration and courage to let yours out to play one day soon. 

Sky lights and mezzanine for storage


Now I have a new puzzle to do and a book to read..they're going to have to line up behind my new tome from Book Group...The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman. For now though, I'm heading out to enjoy the remainder of this warm, sunny day. Tomorrow...something completely different! Cheers, Kerry

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Kerry. Will have to get Mal to take me, it looks fascinating.