October 8, 2011

Sunday, 8 October 1911


"Matterhorn Iceberg (with Thomas Clissold climbing) and Mount Erebus in the background, during the British Antarctic ('Terra Nova') Expedition (1910-1913). Photograph taken on the 8th of October 1911, by Herbert George Ponting." [1]

"Troubles rarely come singly," wrote Scott. Anxiety over Taylor, who had gone missing on a bicycle trip to Turk's Head, and a series of mishaps over the last few days put Scott into a dark mood. One of the best dogs had died of a mysterious ailment, and Atkinson had reported that the pony Jehu would not make even the start of the journey. Forde's fingers were badly frostbitten after the Corner Camp trip. The cook Clissold fell from an iceberg while posing for a photograph, to Ponting's great consternation, and suffered concussion and a hurt back.

"It is trying, but I am past despondency. Things must take their course," wrote Scott. "[It] is hard to have two sick men after all the care which has been taken." [2]


[1] Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand. Posing for the photographer quickly became known, perhaps inevitably, as "ponting".
[2] R.F. Scott, diary, 8 and 10 October, 1911, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition : the Journals, v.1. Taylor recalled many years later, "I had a few keen arguments with Scott -- the only ones I knew about. He scolded me very deservedly when I was lost some six miles south of the hut.... Yet in spite of this he gave me command of the second Western Party" (quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic [New York : Knopf, c2005], p.450).

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