Wednesday, January 5, 2011

5 January, 1912

Camp 58
87 degrees 57 minutes South; 159 degrees 13. Minimum Temperature: -23.5.

A dreadfully trying day. Light wind from the NNW bringing detached cloud and constant fall of ice crystals. The surface, in consequence, as bad as could be after the first hour. This is the hardest we have yet done on the plateau. In the afternoon a good deal of confusing cross sastrugi, and tonight a very rough surface with evidences of hard southerly wind. Luckily the sledge shows no signs of capsizing yet.

We sigh for a breeze to sweep the hard snow, but tonight the outlook is not promising better things. However, we are very close to the 88th parallel, a little more than 120 miles from the Pole, only a march from Shackleton's final camp, and in a general way 'getting on.'

We go a little over a mile and a quarter an hour now it is a big strain as the shadows creep slowly around form our right through ahead to our left. What lots of things we think on these monotonous marches! What castles one builds now hopefully that the Pole is ours.

We feel the cold very little, the great comfort of our situation is the excellent drying effect of the sun. Our socks and finnesko are almost dry each morning. Cooking for five takes a seriously longer time than cooking for four; perhaps half an hour on the whole day.

It is an item I had not considered when reorganizing.

I wonder where Amundsen is. I haven't seen any sign of him anywhere. He must be behind us.

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