Thursday, April 22, 2010

21 April, 1911

Back at Cape Evans!!

We started out this morning at 10:30. I left Meares and Dimitri in charge of the Hut Point station to look after dogs, and Lashly and Keohane to look out for ponies, along with Nelson, Day and Forde so that they could get some idea of the life and experience. They didn't seem altogether thrilled about it, but that's too bad.

The homeward party, therefore, was Self, Wilson, Atkinson, Crean on one sledge, and Bowers, Oates, Cherry, and Hooper on the other.

It was a dreadful haul. There are so many slopes to manage and ropes to climb down on. By the time all the stores were down on the floe, with swirling drift all about us, everyone was really badly cold -- one of those moments for quick action. We dashed for the shelter of the cliffs, threw up tents and had hot tea as soon as possible. It was a heavy plod over the sea ice.

Some of the men were complaining that their sledge was heavier than ours. The only thing was to prove it - so we stopped to see, and do you know what? They were right! We set a great pace for the pull back, and all sweated profusely. Our team pulled in to the hut ten minutes before the others - I do so like winning!

I wonder if the grain of the wood on the runners of the two sledges could account for the difference in ease of pulling? Maybe I'll look into that. I hate whiners.

By the time we got back and pulled our clothes off, great sheets of ice fell from us - our sweat froze on us. We can't get this hot when we sledge in the Spring, or we will be in quite a spot of discomfort.

Clissold had a feast arranged for us -- an enormous dish of rice and figs, and cocoa in a bucket!

The delights and comforts of the Hut are amazing to the newcomers.

Ah - a lovely warm bed tonight....

1 comment:

  1. "Some of the men were complaining that their sledge was heavier than ours."

    *narrows eyes into a somewhat-pointed sideways glance*

    Seem to recall sir that you were the one who made all the fuss about your sledge being the heavier and wanting to swap, though there's no denying you were right in the end.

    Wasn't unequal loads though, I can guarantee that. Could well be the runners - Taffy's said he's a dab hand at sledgework, maybe he should have a go at sorting those runners out sometime?