A few minutes before midnight all hell broke loose: blowing of horns, beating of gongs, squealing of pigs (the seamen, being politically incorrect fellows, picked up pigs and squeezed them like bagpipes, an exercise producing a wail similar to the instrument), followed by the ringing of the traditional nautical 42 bells for the New Year. Ross and Crozier wished all the men a Happy New Year and drank to their health. Ross was also given a warm, but very dead, snow petrel. McCormick’s itchy trigger finger had shot the bird as the ships’ bells had started to ring in the New Year.
From The Race to the White Continent: Voyages to the Antarctic by Alan Gurney