Eating Penguin with Ernest Shackleton in Scotland
Travel Blog • David Farley • 04.09.09 | 1:02 PM ET
In March 1901, the RRS Discovery set sail from Dundee, Scotland, its crew pointing it toward largely unexplored Antarctica. The ship was a wooden three-masted sailing vessel and, as it turned out, the last of its kind to be made in Britain.
But that’s not exactly what makes the RRS Discovery significant. Ten months later, the crew members definitively found what they were looking for. In fact, the ship was stuck, frozen in ice, leaving captains Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott with no choice but to wait it out until the spring when the ice would thaw. The next few months were harrowing ones, the crew eventually having to munch on seal liver and roasted penguin (described as tasting like “leather steeped in turpentine”).
The ice eventually let the ship go, and the crew made its triumphal return to Scotland. Today the RRS Discovery is docked in Dundee, a tourist attraction for historic ship aficionados and fans of roasted penguin. Whatever category you fall into, the Discovery has just launched a new feature: now you can have dinner on the ship. Yes, if you missed your chance to eat Shackleton-style in London, the ship can be rented for a lavish dinner party. Intrepid diners can feast on haggis in whisky sauce and rib eye. And while roasted penguin is not on the menu, if you use your imagination with the haggis, anything is possible.