Friday, January 29, 2010

28 January, 1911

We are finding plenty of seals at rest and play in the water shallows between Camp One and Two.

Keohane's pony has gone lame, which Oates takes a very gloomy view of, but he is not an optimist. Keohane talks to his pony to cheer him on -- he says "Come on, lad; you'll be getting to the Pole." I don't think the Pony is too impressed by the opportunity.

Bowers's pony is weak in the forelegs, and it's only a question of how long he will last. If only these beasts didn't sink so much in the snow! If only there was a way to prevent their hoofs from pushing through the surface so readily! Perhaps they are pulling too much -- 900lbs each, roughly.

Atkinson has a bad heel, so his pony was tied up behind another sledge.

As we reached the Barrier we saw the tops of two tents half buried in the snow -- they are Shackleton's we suppose. A moulting Emperor penguin was sleeping between them. The men stripped the fabric away to see what was inside, and found that though the canvas was rotted, the bamboos were all sound, so we shall use them. They also found a primus stove, which I lighted and found to be in perfect working order. We will take that with us, too. Along with this was a cache of food which has lain there for years: Rowntrees cocoa, Bovril, Brand's extract of beef, sheep's tongues, cheese and biscuits.

They were perfectly preserved and everyone seemed jolly glad to add them to our meager diet, and although it was obvious they delighted in the additional flavors, they made sure to try to hide their glee from me, knowing as they do that I take a very dim view of that Irishman's slovenly ways. I mean, leaving a tent full of food out here like that! What was he thinking! And what was he doing sledging with all that to eat! Cheese! Whatever next!

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