Cargo Holds

The holds have no hatches in their bulkheads. To get from one hold to the next, one must go up on deck, and descend into the next hold.
Down to the tween deck, this is accomplished on a vertical ladder; from the tween deck to each lower hold a single ladder, encased in a 40" diameter metal tube, descends. During the voyage, all cargo hatches are in place-to the tween deck and further down to the lower hold. The cargo hatches are constructed of heavy beams, lumber, and tarpautins, and are nearly as sturdy as the deck surrounding them.

Empty, each tween deck is essentially a compartment separate from the main hold below; the sturdy wood of the floor hatch acts as a solid load-bearing floor and can't be moved without the cargo winches on deck.

There are no lights permanently placed in the holds; instead, cluster lights on long extension cords are used. A cluster light is a 18" diameter reflector, covered by a sturdy grille on the front, and containing four 200 watt electric lamps. Hooks on the back of the lights allow them to be hung from the overhead in the holds. Sixteen cluster lights are available.

The refrigerated hold ("reefer space") has no deck hatch; it is loaded and unloaded through a 12-foot-wide hatch set in the bulkhead leading to the #4 tween deck. Besides the food to be used by the expedition once in Antarctica, the reefer space also contains 'ordinary' food for both the ship's crew and the explorers while at sea. The reefer is divided into a freezer and a large cooler.

After being loaded for the voyage to Antarctica, the Gabrielle s holds are still mostly empty. They contain as follows:

Number 1-tween-deck

holds the heavy equipment of the expedition: snow tractors, generators, and the ice melting apparatus. The #1 lower hold is almost entirely empty, and contains only the oxygen tanks, carefully stowed and covered with dunnage.

Number 2-tween-deck

contains one of the Boeing aircraft (the Shackleton), with the wings removed beyond the engine nacelles, and the nose removed forward of the cockpit. It is securely lashed to the deck, with the top of its rudder just brushing the 12' high overhead. The two wing crates are each 29' long and 15' wide, and are lying flat on the deck, one on each side of the plane. The propellers and engines have also been removed, and are stowed in large crates secured along the bulkheads, along with the nose and two spare crated engines and propellers. In the lower hold, three layers of 55 gallon drums stand on end; the layers are separated by 1" x 6" dunnage boards. The drums contain gasoline, lubricants, and (in one) industrial alcohol.

The expedition's Fairchild monoplane (the R. F. Scott) is perched on the top layer of gasoline drums, with its wings folded back, and held down by heavy cables, hooks, chains and ropes. Only some of the drums on the top layer can be opened (by unscrewing their filler caps) without using the ship's cranes.

Number 3-tween-deck hold

stores most of the expedition's camping and sledding supplies. Sleds, tents, tools, lamps, and rope are strapped onto pallets or lashed out of the way. While the hatch cover over the opening to the lower hold is in place, nothing has been loaded on it. The #3 lower hold contains the heavy prefabricated wooden ramp to be used in unloading the ship alongside the Ross Ice Shelf.

Number 4-tween-deck and lower deck

each contain another Boeing (the Enderby and the Weddell), with their propellers, engines, and outer wing sections removed and stowed. Against the aft port wall of the tween deck, a small but very sturdy wooden room eight feet square has been built; it is surrounded by bags of cement. A heavy padlock secures the door; the first mate has the only key. Within, on a bed of sand, rests the boxes of dynamite.

Number 5-tween deck

are the dogs and a supply of wood to build the base camp (lower hold).

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