Monday, March 8, 2010

8 March, 1911

I must say, thus hut is something of a boon. When we built it in 1902 I rather thought it a white elephant and only of possible use to a stranded party for survival. But here we are in something like that very position, and very thankful for it indeed! We have even raided the old rubbish heap for useful items with which to make ourselves comfortable. We have 40 crates of biscuit, and seals to keep us going. It doesn't bear thinking about our chances without them.

Meanwhile we continue to make improvements to the living quarters and insulation.

Cape Evans may be on this same island and only 15 miles away, yet getting to it is impossible until the sea ice between us freezes over again. The route by land would take us past Erebus's deeply crevassed slopes and ice falls, which is very dangerous indeed, if possible at all.

So here we wait for nature to serve our needs. I am worried that these conditions which could have calved off such an enormous part of the Glacier Tongue (on which Campbell had depoted fodder!) have washed away our winter quarters at Cape Evans, which lies only feet from the water's edge.

We are having fine weather at least, which has given us the chance to dry out our things.

Sent Bowers, Evans, meares, Keohane, Atkinson and Gran off to retrieve the stores rescued from the floe last week. We helped them up the hill and could see them finally making camp about 12 miles away.

Found that the blubber stove was using too much of our precious firewood, so we adjusted it to only use a bit to start then run on blubber alone. We have also started cooking with blubber and find biscuit fried in it to be delicious.

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