Friday, June 4, 2010

4 June, 1911

A calm and beautiful day. It being a Sunday in 1911, here is a description of our day:

Breakfast is followed by a half hour or so selecting hymns and preparing for Service while the hut is cleared up. The Service, which as Captain, I lead; a hymn; Morning Prayer to the Psalms; another hymn; prayers from Communion Service and Litany; a final hymn and our special prayer. Wilson strikes the note on which the hymn is to start and I try to hit it with doubtful success. After church the men go out with their ponies.

Today Wilson, Bowers, Cherry and I had a go at building our first igloo. We couldn't figure out what to cut snow blocks with; Cherry had a knife I designed; Wilson a saw, and Bowers a large trowel. I'm inclined to think the knife most effective, but the others don;t acknowledge it yet. As far as one can see at present this knife should have a longer handle and much coarser teeth in the saw edge—perhaps also the blade should be thinner.

We must practice till we get good at it. I'm sure it's going to be a useful art.

We only did three courses of blocks by tea-time, and afterwards the light was too poor to continue.

Sunday afternoon I went for a ski out over the floe. Ponting has been out photographing them by flashlight. As i passed south of Inaccessible island I saw flashes of magnesium form his camera. It lit up everything like lightning for a great distance.

Note to Self: Use magnesium flashlight as a signaling device in the summer.

We also caught another crab-eater seal today.

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