Monday, December 7, 2009

7 December, 1910

This afternoon, both the air and sea temperature were 34 degrees, which means the ice isn't far off. We are at Latitude 61, only 5 degrees off the Circle.

Proposed our photographer, Ponting, to lead the Western Geological Party, as he has a lot of experience traveling, but Griffith Taylor was most upset by this. We talked it all out and Ponting was quite happy to relinquish his spot to the satisfaction of all. He's a good chap. He's out and about on deck getting pictures of the skua and albatross.

34 degrees might sound chilly but it's the warmest we'll all be for years.

Everyone is very cheerful despite their gear being soaked with the ponies' effluent, which leaked badly after the gale. Their stalls are directly above the men's mess. Add to this misery, the lack of light and fresh air down there, and the impossibility of getting wet woollens dry. It is remarkable there hasn't been mutiny so soon into our venture. You can't imagine the smell.

At dinner we had reports of our first ice: Evans confirmed a berg far to the west as the sun burst through the clouds. All very excited.

One thinks often of Cook, skirting these waters not knowing what lies beyond, thinking himself the last man who will ever sail here.

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