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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 10 (January 2, 1939)

Discovery in the Antarctic

Discovery in the Antarctic.

Two of the ships so commissioned were the Tula, commanded by John Biscoe, R.N., and a tiny cutter, the Lively, under Captain Avery. In February, 1831, Biscoe, sailing in the Far South discovered the coast which he named Enderby Land. After wintering in New Zealand he again went south, “and continuing his circumnavigation of
(Photo, Thelma R. Kent.) The Leyell Stream, near Kaikoura.

(Photo, Thelma R. Kent.)
The Leyell Stream, near Kaikoura.

the earth at a high latitude, he discovered Graham Land, which although connected with land already known to the sealing community, gave a considerable extension to them. Biscoe earned a high reputation amongst explorers of the Antarctic.”

Also under the auspices of Enderby Brothers, a voyage of great importance was made by John Balleny, master of the schooner Eliza Scott. In 1839 the Eliza Scott, accompanied by the cutter Sabrina, started from New Zealand, and crossing “the Antarctic Circle in longitude 177 E.,” Balleny, unlike former voyagers directed his course to the west instead of the east. He thus discovered Sabrina Land, and a group of islands now known as the Balleny Islands.

These voyages were made at considerable cost to the firm of Enderby Brothers; and the captains and crews of the vessels engaged, suffered hardships so great that Captain Scott—who well knew the Antarctic—describes them as “extraordinary.” “Yet,” he says, “in spite of inconceivable discomforts they struggled on, and it does not appear that any one of them ever turned his course until he was driven to do so by hard necessity.”

As Samuel Enderby had done, so his son Charles urged the speedy colonization of New Zealand as the only way to prevent acts of insubordination on the part of British crews. A further proof of Enderby's wide interests is shown in his being one of the men brought together by Dr. Junius Smith, in 1838, to form the basis of the English and American Steam Navigation Company.