February 26, 2012

Monday, 26 February 1912


"Bowers and Wilson now in front," wrote Scott. "Find great relief pulling behind with no necessity to keep attention on track." [1]

"Temp. -21°," he wrote in the evening. "Nine hours' solid marching has given us 11 1/2 miles. Only 43 miles from the next depôt. Wonderfully fine weather but cold, very cold. Nothing dries and we get our feet cold too often. We want more food yet and especially more fat. Fuel is woefully short. We can scarcely hope to get a better surface at this season, but I wish we could have some help from the wind, though it might shake us badly if the temp. didn't rise."

A blizzard at Cape Evans prevented Cherry-Garrard from starting out on the 25th as planned, but it had cleared enough by that night for him to leave at two a.m. His orders from Atkinson were, he wrote later, "1. To take 24 days' food for the two men, and 21 days' food for the two dog-teams, together with the food for the Polar Party. 2. To travel to One Ton Depôt as fast as possible and leave the food there. 3. If Scott had not arrived at One Ton Depôt before me I was to judge what to do. 4. That Scott was not in any way dependent on the dogs for his return. 5. That Scott had given particular instructions that the dogs were not to be risked in view of the sledging plans for next season." Since they had estimated the necessary daily distance for the rations they were using as 8.4 miles, and the averages of the outward journey and all of the returning parties were from 11 to 14 miles per day, Cherry's journey was seen not as a relief party but simply as helping to speed the polar party home.

The more-experienced Dimitri went in front most of the way, as Cherry's glasses fogged up constantly in the wind and drift. "Very tired," he wrote at Corner Camp just before midnight, "30 miles today in thick weather & 2 depots to find. We were dead on this one thank goodness." [3]


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 26 February, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[2] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.8.
[3] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, diary, 26 February, 1912. Scott Polar Research Institute.

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