Saturday, May 15, 2010

14 May, 1911

Grey and dull in the morning.

I could have written that sentence back home in Chelsea.

Exercised the ponies. Each man has his charge to take for a walk out and about in the dark. The sky cleared at noon, so this afternoon I walked over the North Bay to the ice cliffs—such a very beautiful afternoon and evening—the scene bathed in moonlight, so bright and pure as to be almost golden, a very wonderful scene. At such time the Bay seems strangely homey, especially when the eye rests on our camp with the hut and lighted windows.

I am very much impressed with the extraordinary and general cordiality of the relations that exist amongst our people. I suppose there is friction under the surface though. It is generally thought that the many rubs of such a life as this are quietly and purposely sunk in oblivion. With me there is no need to draw a veil; there is nothing to cover. There are no strained relations in this hut, and nothing more emphatically evident than the universally amicable spirit which is shown on all occasions.

Such a state of affairs would be delightfully surprising under any conditions, but it is much more so when one remembers the diverse assortment of our company.

For example: tonight, Oates, captain in a smart cavalry regiment, has been scrapping over chairs and tables with Debenham, a young student.

It is a triumph to have collected such men.

Had a word or two with Wright about the effects of winter movement in the sea ice. He's inexperienced and needs to know these things if he is to do any work of any use.

The temperature has been down to -23 degrees, the lowest yet recorded here, and doubtless we shall go lower, for I find an extraordinary difference between this season so far, and that of 1902-3.

I wonder what the winter has in store for us?

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