Tuesday, January 5, 2010

6 January, 1911

We've been trading off ponies as we continue to land stores from the ship, taking them the 1.5 miles there and back on several trips each day. I was astonished at the strength of the beasts I handled.

The dogs don't do as well, but they don't take as kindly to the warm weather. They are quite exhausted after each run.

The motor sledges are working well, but not very well. This sounds like a contradiction, I know. I fear they shan't be as much use as their cost warrants. From a distance over the ice they sound exactly like threshing machines. This is a sound every rural boy knows by heart, and no doubt will be as familiar to many a generation hence as it is to me.

I am concerned about wear on the wooden sledge runners over this hard ice. Wilson is trying an experiment of wrapping his with a seal skin he flensed for the task.

The man parties have done very well indeed, often hauling over 24 miles a day all told. Everyone declares that the ski sticks greatly help pulling; it is surprising that we never thought of using them before.

Some of the men are suffering from snow blindness.

Ponko has been cinematographing skua gulls on their nests. Here are a mother and her week-old chick.

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