January 7, 2011

Saturday, 7 January 1911

"View of ice, with the ship 'Terra Nova' in the distance, taken 7 January 1911 by Herbert George Ponting during the British Antarctic Expedition." [1]

Work continued unloading the Terra Nova. Two parties of officers made ten journeys apiece, with loads of 250 to 300 lbs. per man, 25 miles over the ice to the site of the hut. The ponies, fractious and restive after their long confinement aboard ship, two or three times got away from their handlers, once with a loaded sledge. "Oates is splendid with them," wrote Scott, "I do not know what we should do without him." [2]

The dogs, too, were restless, and a team got away from Meares, so unexpectedly that one of the dogs lost its footing and was dragged for nearly half a mile.

The ice was becoming sludgy, and in some places the ponies' feet went through. Ponting, too, got a ducking, out on his own with a small sledge loaded with his cameras and cinematograph, but luckily for him and his equipment both, the weak area he had inadvertently stepped into was small enough that he managed to pull himself out.

Work on the hut continued apace, and the framework was being covered with its double-layer of insulation. "I am wondering," Scott added to himself, "how we shall stable the ponies in the winter."


[1] National Library of New Zealand.
[2] R.F. Scott, diary, 7 January, 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.

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