February 8, 2011

Wednesday, 8 February 1911


"Laying a depot. H. & P’s biscuits. Feb. 8th 1911", photographed by Ponting. [1]

After bad weather had kept them at Corner Camp from 4th to 7th February, the depot-laying party moved on. "The ponies were much shaken by the blizzard," Scott wrote in his diary. "One supposes they did not sleep -- all look listless and two or three are visibly thinner than before. But the worst case by far is Forde's little pony; he was reduced to a weight little exceeding 400 lbs. on his sledge and caved in altogether on the second part of the march. The load was reduced to 200 lbs., and finally Forde pulled this in, leading the pony. The poor thing is a miserable scarecrow and never ought to have been brought.... The dogs are in fine form -- the blizzard has only been a pleasant rest for them." [1]

Campbell and the Terra Nova arrived off Cape Evans with the news of Amundsen. He landed the two ponies he'd taken for the exploration of King Edward VII Land, as South Victoria Land was mountainous and unsuitable for ponies. They had to be swum ashore through the icy water.

In order to get the news to Scott as quickly as possible, Campbell took the ship up McMurdo Sound to Hut Point, before it headed off to put the now-renamed Northern Party ashore at, as it turned out, Cape Adare, where they would winter.


[1] Scott Polar Research Institute.
[2] R.F. Scott, diary, 8 February, 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.

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