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THE WYATT EARP.

ELLSWORTH'S SHIP.

CONVERTED HERRING BOAT.

ANTARCTIC EQUIPMENT.

The motor ship Wyatt Earp, formerly the Fanefjord, which will carry the Ellsworth Trans-Antarctic Flight Expedition, started last week on the first leg of a 20,000-mile voyage from Norway to the Ross Sea in Antarctica.

The Fanef jord, ex-herring boat become cargo ship, was built at Molde, Norway, to serve frugal owners in tempestuous and sometimes ice-etrewn seas. On short journeys she can be run with a crew of. nine and she has plied among the fringe of the Arctic pack, spent months in the very north of the choppy, sloppy North Sea and ploughed her way, time and time again, in the stormy Bay of Biscay. She was built in 1919 of Norwegian pine and oak and her beams and planking together total a thickness of 19in. Now that she has been reconditioned for expedition needs it is said that she is better equipped for the expedition's purpose than any vessel preceding her to the Antarctic. • Ten great eteel tanks are bedded on her keelson, and six others are held to her decks with massive angle irons. These tanks will carry fresh water and fuel to serve her engines for a journey of 10,000 miles or more, without refueling. Four curved tanks conforming to the shapely hull house 20 tone of fresh water—enough to last the 16 souls on board for several months. Above the forward tanks and between the oak-sheathed bows is a spacious forecastle fitted with nine bunks, Each bunk is equipped with individual electric light and heating—equipment needed not alone for comfort but also to save the risk of fire, which might be started if oil lamps were used. Catwalk Below Decks. Thickly built wooden vessels as a rule —and this ship is no exception—stay well on top of the water in heavy seas and few waves come aboard. But in the roaring forties and raging fifties the

crew will suffer many a ducking. To serve health and comfort a catwalk has been arranged below decks from the forecastle through the hold and engine room to the bridge deck and messroom. In rough, weather the sailors will at least be able to start their watch in dry clothing.

The bridge of the boat is well aft and above the engines, and along each side of the poop are the officers' cabins, the mess room and tlie wireless room, the bathroom and photographic darkroom. The small mess room is set up in one of the starboard cabins and will seat seven men at a sitting. The bathroom on this ship is not as the bathroom on many expeditions —a place where odde and ends are piled until they reach the ceiling, but a modern lavatory with hot and cold water always at the tap, a shower bath and bath tub. Cleanliness may be next to godliness in temperate latitudes, but eo far as history records it has been next to nothing on many polar expeditions.

Besides Lincoln Ellsworth and Bernt Balchen the officers on board will be Captain Baard Holth, Styrman (first officer), Hartveg Olsen and Chief Engineer Holmboe. Sir Hubert Wilkins, representing the North American Newspaper Alliance, occupies a cabin amidships near the ship's one small saloon.

Special Boom to Lift 'Plane. ■ Much of this accommodation was installed during the two months the ship spent in dry dock. Other alterations include the widening of the hatch to make it possible to place below decks the Northrop Gamma 'plane which Mr. Ellsworth will use on the long flight from the Ross Sea to the Weddell Sea, and return. The 'plane, stripped of its wingtips and empennage, elides through the hatch and rests on a solid deck above the oil tanks. The wing-tips are stowed beneath the fuselage. When the ehip reaches the great the machine may be easily brought on deck and placed athwartships, where it can, if necessary, be assembled ready for flight, before, with skiis attached, it is put over the side to the ice.

For safety of loading and unloading the machine a brand new mast and ringing and a new boom with special fittings have been installed. The boom with a span of 35ft will carry the 'plane far over the side of the ship and enable it to be placed with safety on the ice edge. Behind the 'plane and in the well of the ship there is ample room for the 20 tons of scientifically chosen food—enough to last the crew for 18 months.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19330815.2.37

Bibliographic details

THE WYATT EARP., Auckland Star, Volume LXIV, Issue 191, 15 August 1933

Word Count
753

THE WYATT EARP. Auckland Star, Volume LXIV, Issue 191, 15 August 1933

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