First some impressions of the scenery at Cape Royds in McMurdo Sound. It is a rather dark, even slightly erie, scenery and atmosphere there under Mount Erebus, at least on an overcast and windy day. How often do you have a clear, blue sky in McMurdo Sound? The Adelie penguin colony at Cape Royds is, as far as known, the southernmost one anywhere.
The hut at Cape Royds on Ross Island was built in early 1908 during Shackleton’s Nimrod expedition (1907-09). In October 1908, Shackleton and 3 more men, amongst them Frank Wild, started their trek towards the South Pole, but had to turn around 180 km away from their destination due to a lack of provisions. One of the expedition’s other achievements was the first ascent of Mount Erebus.
Shackleton would have preferred Hut Point further south as location for his basecamp, which would have given him the benefit of a slightly shorter distance to the South Pole, but the ice kept his ship Nimrod from getting there. Cape Royds was accordingly only second choice.