February 17, 2011

Friday, 17 February 1911


Deciding that the ponies could take no more of the relentless southern drift, Scott decided to turn back. They were at 79° 29' S. They called the place One Ton Depot, for the amount of stores it contained, and marked it with a single flag; the route from the previous depot was not marked at all.

Scott noted in his diary the amount of stores depoted, by weight and ration: seven weeks' full provision bags for 1 unit [four men], two days' provision bags for 1 unit, eight weeks' tea, six weeks' extra butter, seven weeks' full ration of biscuit, twelve weeks' worth of oil for 1 unit, five sacks of oats, four bales of fodder, a tank of dog biscuit, miscellaneous dog harness, two sledges, two pairs of skis and one of poles, a thermometer, and a tin each of cocoa and matches, "considerably over a ton of stuff. It is a pity we couldn't get to 80°, but as it is we shall have a good leg up for next year and can at least feed the ponies full up to this point." [1]

"[It] wasn't quite where we had planned it to be," Gran wrote in his diary of the depot. "I am rather disappointed and foresee difficulties with the complicated transport arrangements. Of one thing I am certain, that we shall need luck if we are to reach the Pole next year." [2]


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 17 February, 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[2] Tryggve Gran, diary, 17 February, 1911, in The Norwegian with Scott ([Greenwich] : National Maritime Museum, 1984), p.59.

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