February 12, 2011

Sunday, 12 February 1911


"Sunday night (February 12)," Cherry recalled, "we started from Bluff Depôt and did seven miles before lunch against a considerable drift and wind. It was pretty cold, and ten minutes after we left our lunch camp with the ponies it was blowing a full blizzard. The dog party had not started, so we camped and slept five in the four-man tent, and it was by no means uncomfortable. Probably this was the time when Scott first thought of taking a five-man party to the Pole." [1]

Gran noted, "We have not quite crossed the 79th parallel but are not much short of it. One thing is nevertheless certain, that I have now come farther south than Borchgrevink and am therefore the Norwegian who has been nearest the Pole -- provided, that is, Amundsen hasn't pushed farther south on the other side of the continent." [2] The depot party did not yet, of course, know that Amundsen was at the Bay of Whales.


"Today we have had a lot of loose snow," Amundsen wrote in his diary. "For us on skis it was the most magnificent going. How men & horses are going to get through in these conditions I cannot understand, not to mention an automobile. The Thermos flask is a splendid invention. We fill it every morning with boiling chocolate and drink it piping hot at noon. Not bad for the middle of the Barrier." [3]


[1] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, ch.5.
[2] Tryggve Gran, diary, 12 February, 1911, quoted in The Norwegian with Scott ([Greenwich] : National Maritime Museum, c1984), p.56.
[3] Roald Amundsen, diary, 13 February, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.347.

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