Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

Scott's Last Expedition Volume I by Captain R. F. Scott

Part 10 out of 10

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.1 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

every time one gave way close by him and he would jump sideways with
both feet on the spot and his nose in the snow. The action was like a
flash and never checked the team--it was most amusing. I have another
funny little dog, Mukaka, small but very game and a good worker. He
is paired with a fat, lazy and very greedy black dog, Nugis by name,
and in every march this sprightly little Mukaka will once or twice
notice that Nugis is not pulling and will jump over the trace, bite
Nugis like a snap, and be back again in his own place before the fat
dog knows what has happened. [Dr. Wilson's Journal.]

_Note_ 13_a_, _p_. 125.--Taking up the story from the point where
eleven of the thirteen dogs had been brought to the surface,
Mr. Cherry-Garrard's Diary records:

This left the two at the bottom. Scott had several times wanted
to go down. Bill said to me that he hoped he wouldn't, but now he
insisted. We found the Alpine rope would reach, and then lowered Scott
down to the platform, sixty feet below. I thought it very plucky. We
then hauled the two dogs up on the rope, leaving Scott below. Scott
said the dogs were very glad to see him; they had curled up asleep--it
was wonderful they had no bones broken.

Then Meares' dogs, which were all wandering about loose, started
fighting our team, and we all had to leave Scott and go and separate
them, which took some time. They fixed on Noogis (I.) badly. We
then hauled Scott up: it was all three of us could do--fingers a
good deal frost-bitten at the end. That was all the dogs. Scott has
just said that at one time he never hoped to get back the thirteen
or even half of them. When he was down in the crevasse he wanted to
go off exploring, but we dissuaded him. Of course it was a great
opportunity. He kept on saying, 'I wonder why this is running the
way it is--you expect to find them at right angles.'

Scott found inside crevasse warmer than above, but had no
thermometer. It is a great wonder the whole sledge did not drop
through: the inside was like the cliff of Dover.

_Note_ 14, _p_. 136.--_February_ 28. Meares and I led off with a dog
team each, and leaving the Barrier we managed to negotiate the first
long pressure ridge of the sea ice where the seals all lie, without
much trouble--the dogs were running well and fast and we kept on
the old tracks, still visible, by which we had come out in January,
heading a long way out to make a wide detour round the open water
off Cape Armitage, from which a very wide extent of thick black fog,
'frost smoke' as we call it, was rising on our right. This completely
obscured our view of the open water, and the only suggestion it gave
me was that the thaw pool off the Cape was much bigger than when
we passed it in January and that we should probably have to make a
detour of three or four miles round it to reach Hut Point instead of
one or two. I still thought it was not impossible to reach Hut Point
this way, so we went on, but before we had run two miles on the sea
ice we noticed that we were coming on to an area broken up by fine
thread-like cracks evidently quite fresh, and as I ran along by the
sledge I paced them and found they curved regularly at every 30 paces,
which could only mean that they were caused by a swell. This suggested
to me that the thaw pool off Cape Armitage was even bigger than I
thought and that we were getting on to ice which was breaking up, to
flow north into it. We stopped to consider, and found that the cracks
in the ice we were on were the rise and fall of a swell. Knowing that
the ice might remain like this with each piece tight against the next
only until the tide turned, I knew that we must get off it at once in
case the tide did turn in the next half-hour, when each crack would
open up into a wide lead of open water and we should find ourselves
on an isolated floe. So we at once turned and went back as fast as
possible to the unbroken sea ice. Obviously it was now unsafe to go
round to Hut Point by Cape Armitage and we therefore made for the
Gap. It was between eight and nine in the evening when we turned,
and we soon came in sight of the pony party, led as we thought by
Captain Scott. We were within 1/2 a mile of them when we hurried
right across their bows and headed straight for the Gap, making a
course more than a right angle off the course we had been on. There
was the seals' pressure ridge of sea ice between us and them, but as
I could see them quite distinctly I had no doubt they could see us,
and we were occupied more than once just then in beating the teams
off stray seals, so that we didn't go by either vary quickly or very
silently. From here we ran into the Gap, where there was some nasty
pressed-up ice to cross and large gaps and cracks by the ice foot;
but with the Alpine rope and a rush we got first one team over and
then the other without mishap on to the land ice, and were then
practically at Hut Point. However, expecting that the pony party was
following us, we ran our teams up on to level ice, picketed them, and
pitched our tent, to remain there for the night, as we had a half-mile
of rock to cross to reach the hut and the sledges would have to be
carried over this and the dogs led by hand in couples--a very long
job. Having done this we returned to the ice foot with a pick and
a shovel to improve the road up for horse party, as they would have
to come over the same bad ice we had found difficult with the dogs;
but they were nowhere to be seen close at hand as we had expected,
for they were miles out, as we soon saw, still trying to reach Hut
Point by the sea ice round Cape Armitage thaw pool, and on the ice
which was showing a working crack at 30 paces. I couldn't understand
how Scott could do such a thing, and it was only the next day that
I found out that Scott had remained behind and had sent Bowers in
charge of this pony party. Bowers, having had no experience of the
kind, did not grasp the situation for some time, and as we watched
him and his party--or as we thought Captain Scott and his party--of
ponies we saw them all suddenly realise that they were getting into
trouble and the whole party turned back; but instead of coming back
towards the Gap as we had, we saw them go due south towards the Barrier
edge and White Island. Then I thought they were all right, for I knew
they would get on to safe ice and camp for the night. We therefore
had our supper in the tent and were turning in between eleven and
twelve when I had a last look to see where they were and found they
had camped as it appeared to me on safe Barrier ice, the only safe
thing they could have done. They were now about six miles away from
us, and it was lucky that I had my Goerz glasses with me so that we
could follow their movements. Now as everything looked all right,
Meares and I turned in and slept. At 5 A.M. I awoke, and as I felt
uneasy about the party I went out and along the Gap to where we could
see their camp, and I was horrified to see that the whole of the sea
ice was now on the move and that it had broken up for miles further
than when we turned in and right back past where they had camped,
and that the pony party was now, as we could see, adrift on a floe
and separated by open water and a lot of drifting ice from the edge
of the fast Barrier ice. We could see with our glasses that they
were running the ponies and sledges over as quickly as possible from
floe to floe whenever they could, trying to draw nearer to the safe
Barrier ice again. The whole Strait was now open water to the N. of
Cape Armitage, with the frost smoke rising everywhere from it, and
full of pieces of floating ice, all going up N. to Ross Sea.

_March_ 1. _Ash Wednesday_. The question for us was whether we could
do anything to help them. There was no boat anywhere and there was
no one to consult with, for everyone was on the floating floe as we
believed, except Teddie Evans, Forde, and Keohane, who with one pony
were on their way back from Corner Camp. So we searched the Barrier
for signs of their tent and then saw that there was a tent at Safety
Camp, which meant evidently to us that they had returned. The obvious
thing was to join up with them and go round to where the pony party
was adrift, and see if we could help them to reach the safe ice. So
without waiting for breakfast we went off six miles to this tent. We
couldn't go now by the Gap, for the ice by which we had reached land
yesterday was now broken up in every direction and all on the move
up the Strait. We had no choice now but to cross up by Crater Hill
and down by Pram Point and over the pressure ridges and so on to
the Barrier and off to Safety Camp. We couldn't possibly take a dog
sledge this way, so we walked, taking the Alpine rope to cross the
pressure ridges, which are full of crevasses.

We got to this tent soon after noon and were astonished to find that
not Teddie Evans and his two seamen were here, but that Scott and Oates
and Gran were in it and no pony with them. Teddie Evans was still on
his way back from Corner Camp and had not arrived. It was now for the
first time that we understood how the accident had happened. When we
had left Safety Camp yesterday with the dogs, the ponies began their
march to follow us, but one of the ponies was so weak after the last
blizzard and so obviously about to die that Bowers, Cherry-Garrard,
and Crean were sent on with the four capable ponies, while Scott,
Oates, and Gran remained at Safety Camp till the sick pony died,
which happened apparently that night. He was dead and buried when
we got there. We found that Scott had that morning seen the open
water up to the Barrier edge and had been in a dreadful state of
mind, thinking that Meares and I, as well as the whole pony party,
had gone out into the Strait on floating ice. He was therefore much
relieved when we arrived and he learned for the first time where the
pony party was trying to get to fast ice again. We were now given
some food, which we badly wanted, and while we were eating we saw in
the far distance a single man coming hurriedly along the edge of the
Barrier ice from the direction of the catastrophe party and towards
our camp. Gran went off on ski to meet him, and when he arrived we
found it was Crean, who had been sent off by Bowers with a note,
unencumbered otherwise, to jump from one piece of floating ice to
another until he reached the fast edge of the Barrier in order to
let Capt. Scott know what had happened. This he did, of course not
knowing that we or anyone else had seen him go adrift, and being
unable to leave the ponies and all his loaded sledges himself. Crean
had considerable difficulty and ran a pretty good risk in doing this,
but succeeded all right. There were now Scott, Oates, Crean, Gran,
Meares, and myself here and only three sleeping-bags, so the three
first remained to see if they could help Bowers, Cherry-Garrard, and
the ponies, while Meares, Gran, and I returned to look after our dogs
at Hut Point. Here we had only two sleeping-bags for the three of us,
so we had to take turns, and I remained up till 1 o'clock that night
while Gran had six hours in my bag. It was a bitterly cold job after
a long day. We had been up at 5 with nothing to eat till 1 o'clock,
and walked 14 miles. The nights are now almost dark.

_March_ 2. A very bitter wind blowing and it was a cheerless job
waiting for six hours to get a sleep in the bag. I walked down from our
tent to the hut and watched whales blowing in the semi-darkness out
in the black water of the Strait. When we turned out in the morning
the pony party was still on floating ice but not any further from
the Barrier ice. By a merciful providence the current was taking
them rather along the Barrier edge, where they went adrift, instead
of straight out to sea. We could do nothing more for them, so we set
to our work with the dogs. It was blowing a bitter gale of wind from
the S.E. with some drift and we made a number of journeys backwards
and forwards between the Gap and the hut, carrying our tent and
camp equipment down and preparing a permanent picketing line for the
dogs. As the ice had all gone out of the Strait we were quite cut off
from any return to Cape Evans until the sea should again freeze over,
and this was not likely until the end of April. We rigged up a small
fireplace in the hut and found some wood and made a fire for an hour
or so at each meal, but as there was no coal and not much wood we
felt we must be economical with the fuel, and so also with matches
and everything else, in case Bowers should lose his sledge loads,
which had most of the supplies for the whole party to last twelve
men for two months. The weather had now become too thick for us to
distinguish anything in the distance and we remained in ignorance as to
the party adrift until Saturday. I had also lent my glasses to Captain
Scott. This night I had first go in the bag, and turned out to shiver
for eight hours till breakfast. There was literally nothing in the
hut that one could cover oneself with to keep warm and we couldn't
run to keeping the fire going. It was very cold work. There were
heaps of biscuit cases here which we had left in _Discovery_ days,
and with these we built up a small inner hut to live in.

_March_ 3. Spent the day in transferring dogs in couples from the
Gap to the hut. In the afternoon Teddie Evans and Atkinson turned up
from over the hills, having returned from their Corner Camp journey
with one horse and two seamen, all of which they had left encamped at
Castle Rock, three miles off on the hills. They naturally expected
to find Scott here and everyone else and had heard nothing of the
pony party going adrift, but having found only open water ahead of
them they turned back and came to land by Castle Rock slopes. We fed
them and I walked half-way back to Castle Rock with them.

_March_ 4. Meares, Gran, and I walked up Ski Slope towards Castle
Rock to meet Evans's party and pilot them and the dogs safely to Hut
Point, but half-way we met Atkinson, who told us that they had now
been joined by Scott and all the catastrophe party, who were safe,
but who had lost all the ponies except one--a great blow. However,
no lives were lost and the sledge loads and stores were saved, so
Meares and I returned to Hut Point to make stables for the only two
ponies that now remained, both in wretched condition, of the eight
with which we started. [Dr. Wilson's Journal.]

_Note_ 15, _p_. 140.--_March_ 12. Thawed out some old magazines and
picture papers which were left here by the _Discovery_, and gave us
very good reading. [Dr. Wilson's Journal.]

_Note_ 16, _p_. 151.--_April_ 4. Fun over a fry I made in my new
penquin lard. It was quite a success and tasted like very bad sardine
oil. [Dr. Wilson's Journal.]

_Note_ 17, _p_. 169.--'Voyage of the Discovery,' chap. ix. 'The
question of the moment is, what has become of our boats?' Early in
the winter they were hoisted out to give more room for the awning,
and were placed in a line about one hundred yards from the ice foot
on the sea ice. The earliest gale drifted them up nearly gunwale high,
and thus for two months they remained in sight whilst we congratulated
ourselves on their security. The last gale brought more snow,
and piling it in drifts at various places in the bay, chose to be
specially generous with it in the neighbourhood of our boats, so that
afterwards they were found to be buried three or four feet beneath
the new surface. Although we had noted with interest the manner in
which the extra weight of snow in other places was pressing down the
surface of the original ice, and were even taking measurements of the
effects thus produced, we remained fatuously blind to the risks our
boats ran under such conditions. It was from no feeling of anxiety,
but rather to provide occupation, that I directed that the snow on top
of them should be removed, and it was not until we had dug down to
the first boat that the true state of affairs dawned on us. She was
found lying in a mass of slushy ice, with which also she was nearly
filled. For the moment we had a wild hope that she could be pulled up,
but by the time we could rig shears the air temperature had converted
the slush into hardened ice, and she was found to be stuck fast. At
present there is no hope of recovering any of the boats: as fast as one
could dig out the sodden ice, more sea-water would flow in and freeze
... The danger is that fresh gales bringing more snow will sink them
so far beneath the surface that we shall be unable to recover them
at all. Stuck solid in the floe they must go down with it, and every
effort must be devoted to preventing the floe from sinking. As regards
the rope, it is a familiar experience that dark objects which absorb
heat will melt their way through the snow or ice on which they lie.

_Note_ 18, _p_. 206.

Ponies Presented by Schools, &c.

School's, &c., Nickname of Pony. Name of School, &c.,
name of Pony. presented by.

Floreat Etona Snippet Eton College.
Christ's Hospital Hackenschmidt Christ's Hospital.
Westminster Blossom Westminster.
St. Paul's Michael St. Paul's.
Stubbington Weary Willie Stubbington House,
Fareham.
Bedales Christopher Bedales, Petersfield.
Lydney Victor The Institute, Lydney,
Gloucester.
West Down Jones West Down School.
Bootham Snatcher Bootham.
South Hampstead Bones South Hampstead
High School (Girls).
Altrincham Chinaman Seamen's Moss School,
Altrincham.
Rosemark Cuts Captain and Mrs. Mark Kerr
(H.M.S. _Invincible_).
Invincible James Pigg Officers and Ship's Company
of H.M.S. _Invincible_.
Snooker King Jehu J. Foster Stackhouse
and friend.
Brandon Punch The Bristol Savages.
Stoker Blucher R. Donaldson Hudson, Esq.
Manchester Nobby Manchester various
Cardiff Uncle Bill Cardiff ,,
Liverpool Davy Liverpool ,,

Sleeping-Bags Presented by Schools

School's, &c., Name of traveller Name of School, &c.,
name of Sleeping-bag. using Sleeping-bag. presenting Sleeping-bag.

Cowbridge Commander Evans Cowbridge.
Wisk Hove Lieutenant Campbell The Wisk, Hove.
Taunton Seaman Williamson King's College, Taunton.
Bryn Derwen Seaman Keohane Bryn Derwen.
Grange Dr. Simpson The Grange, Folkestone.
Brighton Lieutenant Bowers Brighton Grammar School.
Cardigan Captain Scott The County School, Cardigan.
Carter-Eton Mr. Cherry-Garrard Mr. R. T. Carter,
Eton College.
Radley Mr. Ponting Stones Social School,
Radley.
Woodford Mr. Meares Woodford House.
Bramhall Seaman Abbott Bramhall Grammar School.
Louth Dr. Atkinson King Edward VI.
Grammar School, Louth.
Twyford I. Seaman Forde Twyford School
Twyford II. Mr. Day ,, ,,
Abbey House Seaman Dickason Mr. Carvey's House,
Abbey House School.
Waverley Mr. Wright Waverley Road, Birmingham.
St. John's Seaman Evans St. John's House
Leyton Ch. Stoker Lashly Leyton County High School.
St. Bede's Seaman Browning Eastbourne.
Sexeys Dr. Wilson Sexeys School.
Worksop Mr. Debenham Worksop College.
Regent Mr. Nelson Regent Street Polytechnic
Secondary School.
Trafalgar Captain Oates Trafalgar House School,
Winchester.
Altrincham Mr. Griffith Taylor Altrincham, various.
Invincible Dr. Levick Ship's Company,
H.M.S. _Invincible_.
Leeds Mr. Priestley Leeds Boys' Modern School.

Sledges Presented by Schools, &c.

School's, &c., Description Name of School, &c.,
name of Sledge. of Sledge. presenting Sledge.

Amesbury Pony: Uncle Bill Amesbury, Bickley Hall,
(Cardiff) Kent.
John Bright Dog sledge Bootham.
Sherborne Pony: Snippets Sherborne House School.
(Floreat Etona)
Wimbledon Pony: Blossom King's College School,
(Westminster) Wimbledon.
Kelvinside Northern sledge Kelvinside Academy.
(man-hauled)
Pip Dog sledge Copthorne.
Christ's Hospital Dog sledge Christ's Hospital.
Hampstead Dog sledge University College School,
Hampstead.
Glasgow Pony: Snatcher High School, Glasgow.
(Bootham)
George Dixon Pony: Nobby George Dixon
(Manchester) Secondary School.
Leys Pony: Punch (Brandon) Leys School, Cambridge.
Northampton Motor sledge; No. 1 Northampton County School.
Charterhouse I. Pony: Blucher (Stoker) Charterhouse.
Charterhouse II. Western sledge Charterhouse.
(man-hauled)
Regent Northern sledge Regent Street Polytechnic
(man-hauled) Secondary School.
Sidcot Pony: Hackenschmidt Sidcot, Winscombe.
(Christ's Hospital)
Retford Pony: Michael Retford Grammar School.
(St. Paul's)
Tottenham Northern sledge Tottenham Grammar School.
(man-hauled)
Cheltenham Pony: James Pigg The College, Cheltenham.
(H.M.S. _Invincible_) Sidcot School, Old Boys.
Knight First Summit sledge
(man-hauled)
Crosby Pony: Christopher Crosby Merchant Taylors'.
(Bedales)
Grange Pony: Chinaman 'Grange,' Buxton.
(Altrincham)
Altrincham Pony: Victor (Lydney) Altrincham (various).
Probus Pony: Weary Willie Probus.
(Stubbington)
Rowntree Second Summit sledge Workmen, Rowntree's
(man-hauled) Cocoa Works.
'Invincible' I. Third Summit sledge Officers and Men,
(man-hauled) H.M.S. _Invincible_.
'Invincible' II. Pony: Jehu Do.
(Snooker King)
Eton Pony: Bones Eton College.
(South Hampstead)
Masonic Motor Sledge, No. 2 Royal Masonic School,
Bushey.

(N.B.--The name of the pony in parentheses is the name given by the
School, &c., that presented the pony.)

Tents Presented by Schools

Name of Tent. Party to which School presenting Tent.
attached.

Fitz Roy Southern Party Fitz Roy School,
Crouch End.
Ashdown Northern Party Ashdown House,
Forest Row, Sussex.
Brighton & Hove Reserve, Cape Evans Brighton & Hove High School,
(Girls).
Bromyard Do. Grammar, Bromyard.
Marlborough Do. The College, Marlborough.
Bristol Mr. Ponting Colchester House, Bristol.
(photographic artist)
Croydon Reserve, Cape Evans Croydon High School.
Broke Hall Reserve, Cape Evans Broke Hall, Charterhouse.
Pelham Southern Party Pelham House, Folkestone.
Tollington Depot Party Tollington School,
Muswell Hill.
St. Andrews Southern Party St. Andrews, Newcastle.
Richmond Dog Party Richmond School, Yorks.
Hymers Depot Party Scientific Society, Hymers
College, Hull.
King Edward Do. King Edward's School.
Southport Cape Crozier Depot Southport Physical
Training College.
Jarrow Reserve, Cape Evans Jarrow Secondary School.
Grange Do. The Grange, Buxton.
Swindon Do. Swindon.
Sir John Deane Motor Party Sir J. Deane's Grammar
School.
Llandaff Reserve, Cape Evans Llandaff.
Castleford Reserve, Cape Evans Castleford Secondary School.
Hailey Do.
Hailey.
Uxbridge Northern Party Uxbridge County School.
Stubbington Reserve, Cape Evans Stubbington House, Fareham.

_Note_ 19, _p_. 215.--These hints on Polar Surveying fell on
willing ears. Members of the afterguard who were not mathematically
trained plunged into the very practical study of how to work out
observations. Writing home on October 26, 1911, Scott remarks:

'"Cherry" has just come to me with a very anxious face to say that
I must not count on his navigating powers. For the moment I didn't
know what he was driving at, but then I remembered that some months
ago I said that it would be a good thing for all the officers going
South to have some knowledge of navigation so that in emergency
they would know how to steer a sledge home. It appears that "Cherry"
thereupon commenced aserious and arduous course of study of abstruse
navigational problems which he found exceedingly tough and now
despaired mastering. Of course there is not one chance in a hundred
that he will ever have to consider navigation on our journey and in
that one chance the problem must be of the simplest nature, but it
makes matters much easier for me to have men who take the details of
one's work so seriously and who strive so simply and honestly to make
it successful.'

And in Wilson's diary for October 23 comes the entry: 'Working at
latitude sights--mathematics which I hate--till bedtime. It will be
wiser to know a little navigation on the Southern sledge journey.'

_Note_ 20, _p_. 300.--Happily I had a biscuit with me and I held it
out to him a long way off. Luckily he spotted it and allowed me to
come up, and I got hold of his head again. [Dr. Wilson's Journal.]

_Note_ 21, _p_. 338.--December 8. I have left Nobby all my biscuits
to-night as he is to try and do a march to-morrow, and then happily
he will be shot and all of them, as their food is quite done.

_December 9_. Nobby had all my biscuits last night and this morning,
and by the time we camped I was just ravenously hungry. It was a close
cloudy day with no air and we were ploughing along knee deep.... Thank
God the horses are now all done with and we begin the heavy work
ourselves. [Dr. Wilson's Journal.]

_Note_ 22, _p_. 339.--_December_ 9. The end of the Beardmore Glacier
curved across the track of the Southern Party, thrusting itself into
the mass of the Barrier with vast pressure and disturbance. So far
did this ice disturbance extend, that if the travellers had taken a
bee-line to the foot of the glacier itself, they must have begun to
steer outwards 200 miles sooner.

The Gateway was a neck or saddle of drifted snow lying in a gap of the
mountain rampart which flanked the last curve of the glacier. Under
the cliffs on either hand, like a moat beneath the ramparts, lay
a yawning ice-cleft or bergschrund, formed by the drawing away of
the steadily moving Barrier ice from the rocks. Across this moat and
leading up to the gap in the ramparts, the Gateway provided a solid
causeway. To climb this and descend its reverse face gave the easiest
access to the surface of the glacier.

_Note_ 23, _p_. 359.--Return of first Southern Party from Lat. 85 deg.
72 S. top of the Beardmore Glacier.

Party: E. L. Atkinson, A. Cherry-Garrard, C. S. Wright, Petty Officer
Keohane.

On the morning of December 22, 1911, we made a late start after saying
good-bye to the eight going on, and wishing them all good luck and
success. The first 11 miles was on the down-grade over the ice-falls,
and at a good pace we completed this in about four hours. Lunched,
and on, completing nearly 23 miles for the first day. At the end of the
second day we got among very bad crevasses through keeping too far to
the eastward. This delayed us slightly and we made the depot on the
third day. We reached the Lower Glacier Depot three and a half days
after. The lower part of the glacier was very badly crevassed. These
crevasses we had never seen on the way up, as they had been covered
with three to four feet of snow. All the bridges of crevasses were
concave and very wide; no doubt their normal summer condition. On
Christmas Day we made in to the lateral moraine of the Cloudmaker and
collected geological specimens. The march across the Barrier was only
remarkable for the extremely bad lights we had. For eight consecutive
days we only saw an exceedingly dim sun during three hours. Up to One
Ton Depot our marches had averaged 14.1 geographical miles a day. We
arrived at Cape Evans on January 28, 1912, after being away for three
months. [E.L.A.]

_Note_ 24, _p_. 364.--_January_ 3. Return of the second supporting
party.

Under average conditions, the return party should have well fulfilled
Scott's cheery anticipations. Three-man teams had done excellently
on previous sledging expeditions, whether in _Discovery_ days
or as recently as the mid-winter visit to the Emperor penguins'
rookery; and the three in this party were seasoned travellers
with a skilled navigator to lead them. But a blizzard held them
up for three days before reaching the head of the glacier. They
had to press on at speed. By the time they reached the foot of the
glacier, Lieut. Evans developed symptoms of scurvy. His spring work
of surveying and sledging out to Corner Camp and the man-hauling,
with Lashly, across the Barrier after the breakdown of the motors,
had been successfully accomplished; this sequel to the Glacier and
Summit marches was an unexpected blow. Withal, he continued to pull,
while bearing the heavy strain of guiding the course. While the hauling
power thus grew less, the leader had to make up for loss of speed by
lengthening the working hours. He put his watch on an hour. With the
'turning out' signal thus advanced, the actual marching period reached
12 hours. The situation was saved, and Evans flattered himself on
his ingenuity. But the men knew it all the time, and no word said!

At One Ton Camp he was unable to stand without the support of his
ski sticks; but with the help of his companions struggled on another
53 miles in four days. Then he could go no farther. His companions,
rejecting his suggestion that he be left in his sleeping-bag with
a supply of provisions while they pressed on for help, 'cached'
everything that could be spared, and pulled him on the sledge with
a devotion matching that of their captain years before, when he and
Wilson brought their companion Shackleton, ill and helpless, safely
home to the _Discovery_. Four days of this pulling, with a southerly
wind to help, brought them to Corner Camp; then came a heavy snowfall:
the sledge could not travel. It was a critical moment. Next day Crean
set out to tramp alone to Hut Point, 34 miles away. Lashly stayed
to nurse Lieut. Evans, and most certainly saved his life till help
came. Crean reached Hut Point after an exhausting march of 18 hours;
how the dog-team went to the rescue is told by Dr. Atkinson in the
second volume. At the _Discovery_ hut Evans was unremittingly tended
by Dr. Atkinson, and finally sent by sledge to the _Terra Nova_. It
is good to record that both Lashly and Crean have received the
Albert medal.

_Note_ 25, _p_. 396.--At this point begins the last of Scott's
notebooks. The record of the Southern Journey is written in pencil
in three slim MS. books, some 8 inches long by 5 wide. These little
volumes are meant for artists' notebooks, and are made of tough, soft,
pliable paper which takes the pencil well. The pages, 96 in number,
are perforated so as to be detachable at need.

In the Hut, large quarto MS. books were used for the journals,
and some of the rough notes of the earlier expeditions were recast
and written out again in them; the little books were carried on the
sledge journeys, and contain the day's notes entered very regularly
at the lunch halts and in the night camps. But in the last weeks
of the Southern Journey, when fuel and light ran short and all grew
very weary, it will be seen that Scott made his entries at lunch time
alone. They tell not of the morning's run only, but of 'yesterday.'

The notes were written on the right-hand pages, and when the end of
the book was reached, it was 'turned' and the blank backs of the
leaves now became clean right-hand pages. The first two MS. books
are thus entirely filled: the third has only part of its pages used
and the Message to the Public is written at the reverse end.

Inside the front cover of No. 1 is a 'ready' table to convert the
day's run of geographical miles as recorded on the sledgemeter into
statute miles, a list of the depots and their latitude, and a note
of the sledgemeter reading at Corner Camp.

These are followed in the first pages by a list of the outward camps
and distances run as noted in the book, with special 'remarks' as to
cairns, latitude, and so forth. At the end of the book is a full list
of the cairns that marked the track out.

Inside the front cover of No. 2 are similar entries, together with
the ages of the Polar party and a note of the error of Scott's watch.

Inside the front cover of No. 3 are the following words: 'Diary can be
read by finder to ensure recording of Records, &c., but Diary should
be sent to my widow.' And on the first page:

'Send this diary to my widow.

'R. SCOTT.'

The word 'wife' had been struck out and 'widow' written in.

_Note_ 26, _p_. 398.--At this, the barrier stage of the return journey,
the Southern Party were in want of more oil than they found at the
depots. Owing partly to the severe conditions, but still more to the
delays imposed by their sick comrades, they reached the full limit
of time allowed for between depots. The cold was unexpected, and at
the same time the actual amount of oil found at the depots was less
than they had counted on.

Under summer conditions, such as were contemplated, when there was
less cold for the men to endure, and less firing needed to melt the
snow for cooking, the fullest allowance of oil was 1 gallon to last
a unit of four men ten days, or 1/40 of a gallon a day for each man.

The amount allotted to each unit for the return journey from the
South was apparently rather less, being 2/3 gallon for eight days, or
1/48 gallon a day for each man. But the eight days were to cover the
march from depot to depot, averaging on the Barrier some 70-80 miles,
which in normal conditions should not take more than six days. Thus
there was a substantial margin for delay by bad weather, while if
all went well the surplus afforded the fullest marching allowance.

The same proportion for a unit of five men works out at 5/6 of a
gallon for the eight-day stage.

Accordingly, for the return of the two supporting parties and the
Southern Party, two tins of a gallon each were left at each depot,
each unit of four men being entitled to 2/3 of a gallon, and the
units of three and five men in proportion.

The return journey on the Summit had been made at good speed, taking
twenty-one days as against twenty-seven going out, the last part of it,
from Three Degree to Upper Glacier Depot, taking nearly eight marches
as against ten, showing the first slight slackening as P.O. Evans
and Oates began to feel the cold; from Upper Glacier to Lower Glacier
Depot ten marches as against eleven, a stage broken by the Mid Glacier
Depot of three and a half day's provisions at the sixth march. Here,
there was little gain, partly owing to the conditions, but more to
Evans' gradual collapse.

The worst time came on the Barrier; from Lower Glacier to Southern
Barrier Depot (51 miles), 6 1/2 marches as against 5 (two of which
were short marches, so that the 5 might count as an easy 4 in point of
distance);from Southern Barrier to Mid Barrier Depot (82 miles), 6 1/2
marches as against 5 1/2; from Mid Barrier to Mt. Hooper (70 miles),
8 as against 4 3/4, while the last remaining 8 marches represent but
4 on the outward journey. (See table on next page.)

At to the cause of the shortage, the tins of oil at the depot
had been exposed to extreme conditions of heat and cold. The oil
was specially volatile, and in the warmth of the sun (for the tins
were regularly set in an accessible place on the top of the cairns)
tended to become vapour and escape through the stoppers even without
damage to the tins. This process was much accelerated by reason that
the leather washers about the stoppers had perished in the great
cold. Dr. Atkinson gives two striking examples of this.

1. Eight one-gallon tins in a wooden case, intended for a depot at
Cape Crozier, had been put out in September 1911. They were snowed up;
and when examined in December 1912 showed three tins full, three empty,
one a third full, and one two-thirds full.

2. When the search party reached One Ton Camp in November 1912 they
found that some of the food, stacked in a canvas 'tank' at the foot
of the cairn, was quite oily from the spontaneous leakage of the tins
seven feet above it on the top of the cairn.

The tins at the depots awaiting the Southern Party had of course been
opened and the due amount to be taken measured out by the supporting
parties on their way back. However carefully re-stoppered, they
were still liable to the unexpected evaporation and leakage already
described. Hence, without any manner of doubt, the shortage which
struck the Southern Party so hard.

_Note_ 27, _p_. 409.--The Fatal Blizzard. Mr. Frank Wild, who led one
wing of Dr. Mawson's Expedition on the northern coast of the Antarctic
continent, Queen Mary's Land, many miles to the west of the Ross Sea,
writes that 'from March 21 for a period of nine days we were kept in
camp by the same blizzard which proved fatal to Scott and his gallant
companions' (Times, June 2, 1913). Blizzards, however, are so local
that even when, as in this case, two are nearly contemporaneous, it
is not safe to conclude that they are part of the same current of air.

TABLE OF DISTANCES showing the length of the Outward and Return
Marches on the Barrier from and to One Ton Camp.

3 miles to each sub-division

Date Camp No. Note. Distance.

Nov. 15, 16 12 One Ton Camp 15
Nov. 17 13 15
Nov. 18 14 15
Nov. 19 15 15
Nov. 20 16 15
Nov. 21 17 Mt. Hooper Depot 15
Nov. 22 18 15
Nov. 23 19 15
Nov. 24 20 15
Nov. 25 21 Mid Barrier Depot 15
Nov. 26 22 15
Nov. 27 23
Nov. 28 24 15
Nov. 29 25 15
Nov. 30 26 15
Dec. 1 27 Southern Barrier Depot 15
Dec. 2 28 11 1/2
Dec. 3 29 13
Dec. 4- 30 8
Dec. 9 31 Shambles 4
Dec. 10 32 Lower Glacier D

Date Camp No. Note. Distance.

Feb. 17 R. 31 4
Feb. 18 R. 32 4.3
Feb. 19 R. 33 7
Feb. 20 R. 34 8 1/2
Feb. 21 R. 35 11 1/2
Feb. 22 R. 36 8 1/2
Feb. 23 R. 37 6 1/2
Feb. 24 R. 38 11.4
Feb. 25 R. 39 11 1/2
Feb. 26 R. 40 12.2
Feb. 27 R. 41 11
Feb. 28 R. 42 Lunch, 13
to Depot 11 1/2
Feb. 29 R. 43 Lunch, under 3
to Depot
Mar. 1 R. 44 6
Mar. 2 R. 45 Nearly 10
Mar. 3 R. 46 Lunch, 42
to Depot 9
Mar. 4 R. 47 9 1/2
Mar. 5 R. 48. 27 to Depot 6 1/2
Mar. 6 R. 49 7
Mar. 7 R. 50 Lunch, 8 1/2
to Depot 4 1/2
Mar. 8 R. 51
Mar. 9-10 R. 52 6.9
Mar. 11 R. 53 7
Mar. 12 R. 54 47 to Depot 5 1/4
Mar. 13 R. 55 6
Mar. 14 R. 56 4
Mar. 15 R. 57 Blizz'd
Lunch, 25 1/2
to Depot
Mar. 17 R. 58 Lunch, 21
to Depot
Mar. 18 R. 59
Mar. 19 R. 60 The Last Camp

The numbers are Statute Miles.

Marches

Out Return
Lower Glacier to Southern Barrier Depot 5 6 1/2
Southern Barrier to Mid Barrier Depot 5 1/2 6 1/2
Mid Barrier to Mount Hooper 4 3/4 8
Thereafter 4 8

It will be noted that of the first 15 Return Marches on the Barrier,
5 are 11 1/2 miles and upwards, and 5 are 8 1/2 to 10.

NOTES

[1] It was continued a night and a day.

[2] Captain Oates' nickname.

[3] A species of shrimp on which the seabirds feed.

[4] The party headed by Lieutenant Campbell, which, being unable to
disembark on King Edward's Land, was ultimately taken by the Terra
Nova to the north part of Victoria Land, and so came to be known as
the Northern Party. The Western Party here mentioned includes all
who had their base at Cape Evans: the depots to be laid were for the
subsequent expedition to the Pole.

[5] The extreme S. point of the Island, a dozen miles farther, on
one of whose minor headlands, Hut Point, stood the _Discovery_ hut.

[6] Here were the meteorological instruments.

[7] Cape Evans, which lay on the S. side of the new hut.

[8] The Southern Road was the one feasible line of communication
between the new station at C. Evans and the Discovery hut at Hut Point,
for the rugged mountains and crevassed ice slopes of Ross Island
forbade a passage by land. The 'road' afforded level going below
the cliffs of the ice-foot, except where disturbed by the descending
glacier, and there it was necessary to cross the body of the glacier
itself. It consisted of the more enduring ice in the bays and the
sea-ice along the coast, which only stayed fast for the season.

Thus it was of the utmost importance to get safely over the precarious
part of the 'road' before the seasonal going-out of the sea-ice. To
wait until all the ice should go out and enable the ship to sail to
Hut Point would have meant long uncertainty and delay. As it happened,
the Road broke up the day after the party had gone by.

[9] Viz. Atkinson and Crean, who were left at Safety Camp; E. Evans,
Forde and Keohane, who returned with the weaker ponies on Feb. 13;
Meares and Wilson with the dog teams; and Scott, Bowers, Oates,
Cherry-Garrard, and Lashly.

[10] The favorite nickname for Bowers.

[11] Professor T. Edgeworth David, C.M.G., F.R.S., of Sydney
University, who was the geologist to Shackleton's party.

[12] This was done in order to measure on the next visit the results
of wind and snow.

[13] Scott, Wilson, Meares and Cherry-Garrard now went back swiftly
with the dog teams, to look after the return parties at Safety
Camp. Having found all satisfactory, Scott left Wilson and Meares there
with the dogs, and marched back with the rest to Corner Camp, taking
more stores to the depot and hoping to meet Bowers rearguard party.

[14] The party had made a short cut where in going out with the ponies
they had made an elbow, and so had passed within this 'danger line.'

[15] Bowers, Oates, and Gran, with the five ponies. The two days had
after all brought them to Safety Camp.

[16] This was at a point on the Barrier, one-half mile from the edge,
in a S.S.E. direction from Hut Point.

[17] I.e. by land, now that the sea ice was out.

[18] Because the seals would cease to come up.

[19] As a step towards 'getting these things clearer' in his mind
two spare pages of the diary are filled with neat tables, showing
the main classes into which rocks are divided, and their natural
subdivisions--the sedimentary, according to mode of deposition,
chemical, organic, or aqueous; the metamorphic, according to the kind
of rock altered by heat; the igneous, according to their chemical
composition.

[20] Viz, Simpson, Nelson, Day, Ponting, Lashly, Clissold, Hooper,
Anton, and Demetri.

[21] See Chapter X.

[22] The white dogs.

[23] I.e. in relation to a sledging ration.

[24] Officially the ponies were named after the several schools
which had subscribed for their purchase: but sailors are inveterate
nicknamers, and the unofficial humour prevailed. See Appendix, Note 18.

[25] Captain Scott's judgment was not at fault.

[26] I.e. a crack which leaves the ice free to move with the movements
of the sea beneath.

[27] This was the gale that tore away the roofing of their hut,
and left them with only their sleeping-bags for shelter. See p. 365.

[28] Prof. T. Edgeworth David, of Sydney University, who accompanied
Shackleton's expedition as geologist.

[29] See Vol. II., Dr. Simpson's Meteorological Report.

[30] This form of motor traction had been tested on several occasions;
in 1908 at Lauteret in the Alps, with Dr. Charcot the Polar explorer:
in 1909 and again 1910 in Norway. After each trial the sledges were
brought back and improved.

[31] The Southern Barrier Depot.

[32] Camp 31 received the name of Shambles Camp.

[33] While Day and Hooper, of the ex-motor party, had turned back on
November 24, and Meares and Demetri with the dogs ascended above the
Lower Glacier Depot before returning on December 11, the Southern
Party and its supports were organised successively as follows:

December 10, leaving Shambles Camp--
_Sledge_ 1. Scott, Wilson, Oates and P.O. Evans.
_Sledge_ 2. E. Evans, Atkinson, Wright, Lashly.
_Sledge_ 3. Bowers, Cherry-Garrard, Crean, Keohane.
December 21 at Upper Glacier Depot--
_Sledge_ 1. Scott, Wilson, Oates, P.O. Evans.
_Sledge_ 2. E. Evans, Bowers, Crean, Lashly, while Atkinson,
Wright, Cherry-Garrard and Keohane returned.
January 4, 150 miles from the Pole--
_Sledge_ 1. Scott, Wilson, Oates, Bowers, P.O. Evans;
while E. Evans, Crean, and Lashly returned.

[34] The Lower Glacier Depot.

[35] In the pocket journal, only one side of each page had been
written on. Coming to the end of it, Scott reversed the book, and
continued his entries on the empty backs of the pages.

[36] A unit of food means a week's supplies for four men.

[37] A number preceded by R. marks the camps on the return journey.

[38] Still over 150 miles away. They had marched 7 miles on the
homeward track the first afternoon, 18 1/2 the second day.

[39] Three Degree Depot.

[40] Left on December 31.

[41] The Upper Glacier Depot, under Mount Darwin, where the first
supporting party turned back.

[42] The result of concussion in the morning's fall.

[43] The Lower Glacier Depot.

[44] Sledges were left at the chief depots to replace damaged ones.

[45] It will be remembered that he was already stricken with scurvy.

[46] For the last six days the dogs had been waiting at One Ton Camp
under Cherry-Garrard and Demetri. The supporting party had come out
as arranged on the chance of hurrying the Pole travellers back over
the last stages of their journey in time to catch the ship. Scott had
dated his probable return to Hut Point anywhere between mid-March
and early April. Calculating from the speed of the other return
parties, Dr. Atkinson looked for him to reach One Ton Camp between
March 3 and 10. Here Cherry-Garrard met four days of blizzard; then
there remained little more than enough dog food to bring the teams
home. He could either push south one more march and back, at imminent
risk of missing Scott on the way, or stay two days at the Camp where
Scott was bound to come, if he came at all. His wise decision, his
hardships and endurance Ove recounted by Dr. Atkinson in Vol. II.,
'The Last Year at Cape Evans.'

[47] The 60th camp from the Pole.

Book of the day: