Sunday, April 25, 2010

24 April, 1911

We have instituted a nightwatchman for the purpose of observing the aurora, which to be honest, have been feeble so far. The observer is to look round every hour if there is aught to be seen. He gets cocoa and sardines with bread and butter, which can be made over one of Simpson's Bunsen Burners. I took first shift; the others follow in rotation. The long night hours give one a chance to catch up on small tasks, and the hut remains quite warm after the fires have gone out.

Have allotted ponies for exercise an had to warn people they might not be getting the same beast they have become used to.

In our absence Simpson has been busy preparing observation weather balloons which are heated and released along a very long silk thread. Some experimentation was needed before we determined the optimum number of threads to avoid accidental snapping. It carries an instrument which can then be tracked and retrieved using the thread.

Wilson was very dubious about our lovely hot air balloon on Discovery. He gives this one a wide berth too. He's been busy sketching. He really does have a lovely hand.

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