Friday, January 8, 2010

8 January, 1911

A day of disaster.

I am writing this in one of our new domed tents on my first night ashore.

Despite the soft ice and the fact that one man had been reported to have sunk his leg through earlier, I stupidly gave permission for the third motor sledge to be unloaded. Campbell had a line tied to it, but the ice gave and it started sinking, the rope cutting through like a cheese wire until all hands had to let go. One chap went through completely and had to be hauled out. In half a minute all that was left was a big hole and our precious motor now lies many fathoms underwater. Perhaps it was lucky there was no accident to the men, but it's a sad incident for us in any case.

I suppose that sounds rather begrudging, given that lives could so easily have been lost. But I spent an enormous share of the expedition's funds on those motors, and for naught.

That's the fateful motor being unloaded, above.

I hauled heavy loads right across that same patch yesterday. It just shows you how fast conditions can change. Now we are cut off from the ship, and I have semaphored for Pennell to bring her around to moor at a hardier point that we marked with kerosene tins.

So here we are waiting again till fortune is kinder.

Today seemed to be the hottest we have yet had; after walking across I was perspiring freely, and later as I sat in the sun after lunch one could almost imagine a warm summer day in England.

Frankly I'd rather be there right now. I wonder if I shall ever lie down to sleep in a proper bed again.

No comments:

Post a Comment