In August 1906 a small Norwegian sealing vessel sailed out of the Oslofjord bound for remote subantarctic islands in the Southern Ocean. The captain and part-owner was 24-year-old Anders Harboe-Ree. This voyage was his first as master of a ship. Also on board was the expedition leader, 61-year-old Norwegian Antarctic explorer Henrik Johan Bull. After a three-month journey and just two weeks’ seal hunting, the ship, Cathrine, was wrecked on the Crozet Islands.
This English translation of Harboe-Ree’s diary provides details of the relaxed and amicable three-month journey south, seal hunting on the Crozet Islands, the dramatic shipwreck on a reef that occurred during a violent storm and the difficult life the castaways faced in order to survive on bleak Possession Island. Also described are the efforts made to reinforce a whaling boat for Harboe-Ree and two crew members to mount a rescue bid by attempting to sail the improvised vessel 7,300 kilometres to Australia, across the wild Southern Ocean.