Thursday, January 21, 2010

21 January, 1911

A new berg just before the ship hit.

A very close call today when the Terra Nova swung out from the ice and was grounded. You have no idea how cold the blood runs when one's only means of escape is cut off. I thought of the boat not returning to New Zealand and of having to accommodate 60 people here over winter, and the prospect was terrifying. I sent Evans out in the whaler to see what could be done. Pennell had the crew shift 10 tons of coal aft in a short space of time, and one could see the men running back and forth from one side of the ship to the other to help rock her off. Slowly but surely she eased away. We could hear the cheers from the ship.

It felt so awful just standing there watching it all unfold.

I did my best to maintain my usual cool and calm demeanor, but underneath I was certainly not.

Ponting was on board when all this happened, and managed to get photographs of it all unfolding. Here they are:

Shore party coming to help in the whaler.

The whaler with Erebus in the background.

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