Mike Subritzky

Scott's Hut: Cape Evans, Ross Island, Antarctica
Scott's Hut: Cape Evans, Ross Island, Antarctica with McMurdo Base in the background

SCOTT’S HUT – ANTARCTICA

There’s a cross on a cliff near the headland
where a sailor once fell to his death
and an old wooden hut close behind it
that’s got seal blubber stored underneath.

It’s a lonely old walk from McMurdo
and the vastness just catches your eye
but you trudge through the snow to get down there
to honour those brave men who died.

There are memories waiting to greet you
and ghostly shapes lurk by the door
clean your bunny-boots if you should enter
‘cause the ghosts don’t want mud on the floor.

Inside there’s a real sense of history
and the presence of spirits long gone
there’s a table where men mapped adventure
swapped yarns, shared meals and heard song.

On the back of the door hangs a mutton
I’ve seen it, I know that it’s there
and the rest of the hut is a time warp
with boxes and tins everywhere.

In the bay the whales are sounding
while the skua gulls wheel overhead
and the seals on the pack ice are sleeping
as penguin chicks wait to be fed.

There’s an old weathered hut on a headland
that’s waiting for Scott I am told
but he’s frozen in time in the highlands
he never got back from the Pole.