Saturday, October 30, 2010

27 October, 1911

Yesterday we walked out to Glacier Tongue with gloomy forebodings, but it was a beautifully bright inspiriting day. Seals were about and were frequently mistaken for the motors. They were not where we expected to find them; in fact, they had gotten on further to the floe towards Hut Point. Our spirits went up at once. We marched on and overtook them, passing Simpson and Gran returning to Cape Evans. The engines are working but the cylinders get hot. This results in having to stop and start the engines. We camped ahead of the motors for lunch. Eventually both machines went passed us on to Cape Armitage; we retired to the Hut to find Meares and Dimitri had been busy making it tidy and comfortable. A splendid brick fireplace has been built through the roof that will no doubt last many a year. We spent a most comfortable night

This morning we were out over the floe by 9am. The motors require an awful lot of stopping and starting, but when going at a clip, the men have to run alongside! Providing there is no serious accident, the engine troubles will gradually be got over; of that I feel pretty confident. Every day will see an improvement as it has done to date, every day the men will get greater confidence with larger experience of the machines and conditions.

Lashly is having trouble with his rollers. Why we did not make them as good as new I don't know.

In any case the motor programme is not of vital importance to our plan and it is possible the machines will do little to help us, but already they have vindicated themselves. Even the seamen, who have remained very  skeptical of them are profoundly impressed. Evans said "Lord, sir, I reckon if them things can go on like that you wouldn't want nothing else."

We are now back at Cape Evans and my feet are sore. We did walk over 26 miles however. We stopped for a cup of tea at Razorback Island.

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