Tuesday, February 8, 2011

8 February, 1912

Started from the depot rather late owing to weighing biscuit, etc., and rearranging matters. Had a beastly morning. Wind very strong and cold.

Steered in for Mt. Darwin to visit rock. Sent Bowers on, on ski, as Wilson can't wear his at present. He obtained several specimens, all of much the same type, a close-grained granite rock which weathers well. Hence the pink limestone. After he rejoined we skidded downhill pretty fast, leaders on ski, Oates and Wilson on foot alongside the sledge—Evans detached.

We lunched at 2 well down towards Mt. Buckley, the wind half a gale and everybody very cold and cheerless. However, better things were to follow. We steered for the moraine under Mt. Buckley which was obviously so interesting that when we had advanced some miles and got out of the wind, I decided to camp and spend the rest of the day geologizing. It has been extremely interesting. Wilson has picked up several plant impressions, the last a piece of coal with beautifully traced leaves in layers. In one place we saw the cast of small waves on the sand. Tonight Bill has got a specimen of limestone with archeo-cyanthus—the trouble is one cannot imagine where the stone comes from; it is evidently rare, as few specimens occur in the moraine.  There is a good deal of pure white quartz.

Altogether we have had a most interesting afternoon, and the relief of being out of the wind and in a warmer temperature is inexpressible. I hope and trust we shall buck up again now that the conditions are more favorable. We have been in the shadow all afternoon, but the sun has just reached us, a little obscured by night haze.

A lot could be written on the delight of setting foot on rock after 14 weeks of snow and ice and nearly 7 out of sight of aught else. It's like going ashore after a sea voyage. We deserve a little good bright weather after all our trials, and hope to get a chance to dry our sleeping bags and generally make our gear more comfortable.

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