Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 December, 1910

Here's Osman, who was washed clear overboard yesterday and then swept back on. He was in a very poor way but has been lying in hay all morning and has much recovered. We have had to nurse several of the dogs back from death's door.

Have just come in from helping to haul the two dead ponies up and out through the forecastle skylight. Quite a messy business as they are dead weight.

Campbell and Bowers have been re-listing everything stowed on deck to see what we've lost. So far, 10 tons of coal, 65 gallons of petrol, and a case of biologist's spirit have gone. Not as bad as I thought. The ship's bulwarks sustained some damage. The icehouse is fine.

The wind has died down and we are back on course, the fires having been re-lit now that the bilges are dry enough. Hard work got the pumps cleared and working again, thank goodness. Evans was quite remarkable wriggling over the coal and down the pump shaft to repair it. Bowers assisted him. It seems to me that Bowers was everywhere at once during our trial--and had a leading hand in every rescue effort. He is absolutely invaluable and I shall recommend him for reward once our expedition's done. I asked him how he was managing this morning when he came up from below, and he told me "even under its worst conditions this earth is a good place to live in."

I do not know where we shall be if another gale comes upon us. Several of the man have confessed to me today that they too believed we were all dead, though no-one showed it yesterday.

Though I will not record this in my Log, I must confess that the storm itself was not the cause for our near demise. The decks are so overloaded that most of the water came through between the planks. If any one of them had broken, I would not be here to write this now.

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