Monday, December 28, 2009

28 December, 1910

Bacon and Drayton,
top chaps.

"And in regions far
Such heroes bring ye forth
As those from whom we came
And plant out name
Under that star
Not known unto our North."

-- To the Virginian Voyage, Drayton

"But be the workemen what they be, let us speake of the worke: that is, the true greatnesse of Kingdom and estates; and the meanes thereof."

-- Francis Bacon

Have raised steam.

The ponies are miserable, especially those under the forecastle. We brought one up for fresh air today, and it is in a most pathetic condition. It's hair is falling out in great clumps and it can barely stand. Have had some tense words with Oates about them. He wants me to use the deck as a sort of exercise yard so they may stretch their legs, but I can't have the boat being rocked to and fro like that.

Two leopard seals were spotted playing in our wake.

Have been enjoying the antics of the Adelie penguins, watching the way they are so graceful when under water. As one looks across the barren stretches of the pack, it is sometimes difficult to realise what teeming life exists immediately beneath its surface.

It makes one very much aware of one's place in the large scheme of things -- observing the smallest shrimps and fish and seals, penguins, skua and whales, and thinking how one feeds on the other. Beneath the placid ice floes and under the calm water pools the old universal warfare is raging incessantly in the struggle for existence.

Meanwhile, we lay about on deck sunning ourselves and reading. There I am smoking my pipe.

And here are the rest of the officers lazing about!

And the crew posed with an ice anchor and Nigger, of course.

Ponting has been busy today. Here's a view of the crow's nest from decks. You can see two chaps in there, and one out on the mast, if you look closely. He's probably taking them a flask of hot cocoa.

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