Tuesday, November 17, 2009

17 November, 1910

Have been considering personnel today and making sure all information has been collected for record and that every man has had the required medical check-ups. 

It is of utmost importance that we know, for example, who is to receive pay; some men want it sent directly to their wife or mother (for they have no need of money on the expedition). We also need to know what a man's will is -- whom to send his personal belongings in the event of his death. Accordingly, we need an address to send his letters. 

Because good health is paramount -- especially dental health -- sailors are required to have a full examination and any teeth that require attention must be stopped and any that can't be stopped must be pulled. Some of the men have very few teeth left. The ratings generally require more attention than officers, as one would expect. 

Lastly, for my own records, I need to know which men have had the honor of having handled sail around Cape Horn, for they are allowed to place one foot on the table after dinner, as per tradition. 

On our return journey there will hardly be room for drinks, because every man shall be qualified to put both his feet up on the table, having crossed the Antarctic Circle. It is a great honor so few can claim. 

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