June 8, 2011

Thursday, 8 June 1911


Johansen in his workshop, packing provisions in the sledge cases. [1]

"Everything is advancing slowly, but with great care and precision," wrote Amundsen. "I hope that we can find place for all provisions in 4 cases per sledge = 28 cases in all. The packing must therefore be carried out with the greatest care. Not a millimetre must be wasted. And Johansen is the man -- extremely careful and meticulous." [2]

To save weight, the pemmican was removed from its tins, but its shape "was cylindrical. This is ... unfortunate ... because [when packed they] leave a space ... difficult to fill. Well, difficulties have not yet frightened us.... These spaces, which are 4 cm. across and as high as the case -- 39 cm. -- are filled with milk powder. On his sewing machine, Wisting has sewn the necessary 189 sausage skins of thin material, and I have filled them with milk powder.... [Each] sausage holds 300 g., which is exactly what a tent team -- 4 men -- needs for their hot chocolate. Thus it is easy to obtain one's dried milk by extracting a sausage."

Packing the biscuit boxes " is the greatest test of patience, because [Johansen] has to stow 5 to 6,000 sledging biscuits precisely side by side ... so as not to waste any space. And has managed it particularly well."


[1] Roald Amundsen Bildearkiv, Nasjonalbiblioteket. The glass plate has been heavily damaged.
[2] Roald Amundsen, diary, 9 June, 1911, quoted by Roland Huntford in The Amundsen Photographs (London : Hodder & Stoughton, c1987), p.110.

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