Saturday, October 30, 2010

24 October, 1911

Two fine days for a wonder. Yesterday the motors seemed ready to start and all went well out on the floe to give them a "send off." But the inevitable little defects cropped up, and the machines only got as far as the Cape. Day and Lashley spent the afternoon making good these defects in a satisfactory manner.

This morning the engines were set going again, and shortly after 10am a fresh start was made. At first there were a good many stops but on the whole the engines seemed improved. They are not by any means working up to full power yet, so the pace is very slow. The weights seem a good deal heavier than we bargained for.

As I wrote, the machines are about a mile out in the South Bay; both can be seen still under weigh, progressing slowly.

I find myself immensely eager that these tractors should succeed, even though they may not be of great help to our southern advance. A small measure of success will be enough to show their possibilities, their ability to revolutionize Polar transport. It is impossible not to be convinced of their value. Still, the trifling mechanical defects and lack of experience show the risk of cutting out trials. A season of experiment with a small workshop at hand may well be all that stands between success and failure.

The ponies are in fine form. Atkinson and Keohane have turned cooks and are doing a splendid job. This morning Meares announced his return from Corner Camp, indicating that all the stores are out there now.

On the whole, things look hopeful.

11pm. Motors reported off Razorback Island, nearly 3 miles out! Come, come!

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