One day, in 1901 while Tom was with the navy in New Zealand, his ship was docked close to a British ship called Discovery.
Robert Scott was the captain of this ship.

He and his crew were en route to
explore the Antarctic. Captain Scott from England needed a new sailor and so
Tom Crean was chosen to join the crew. His Antarctic adventures had begun.

Antarctica is the frozen mass of land around the South Pole and was almost
unknown to people of Tom Crean's time. Many didn't believe it exsisted but
some explorers dreamed of finding this frozen continent.
It is a bitterly cold place covered in ice where nothing grows. It can
reach temperatures lower than -40 degrees celsius.
The only animal life to be seen are penguins and seals.
Winds and blizzards rage throughout the land and in Winter it is dark for 24 hours a day and it remains without sunlight for about four months of the year.

This was Captain Scott's destination in 1901. The nearest country of New Zealand
where he had met Tom was over 2000 miles away.
The ship Discovery was packed with food and supplies, enough to enable them to survive for two years. It carried sledge dogs and sheep.

The sailors were squashed together and had to take it in turns sleeping in the bunks.
Captain Scott and his crew suffered a setback when Discovery got stuck in the ice and could not be moved as the water around them froze.
Tom was chosen to head on a trip inland with a few others. This was the first time ever an Irish flag had been on the Antarctic.
The sledges weighed over 350kg. The carried their supplies; food medicine and tents. The men were exhausted in the hazardous conditions and many suffered from frostbite.
The men remained here until 1904 (over two years) discovering land never seen before and making History. Luckily rescue ships had been sent who helped to free
Discovery and the men were able to return home.
Captain Scott knew he had made a wise decision on that faithful day in 1901 when
he had chosen the young Irish lad to accompany his crew as Tom had been so loyal and brave.
The crew of the Discovery returned home eager to have some decent meals, warmth, sunlight and the comforts of life we take so much for granted. Then they would tell many others of their adventures on the frozen continent.
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