February 18, 2012

Sunday, 18 February 1912


Within half an hour after P.O. Evans' death, the remaining party struck camp and got down to the Lower Barrier Depot, and gave themselves five hours' sleep "after the horrible night." A short march then took them across the divide to Shambles Camp. "Here with plenty of horsemeat we have had a fine supper, to be followed by others such, and so continue a more plentiful era if we can keep good marches up. New life seems to come with greater food almost immediately, but I am anxious about the Barrier surfaces." [1]

With the supplies available at the intermediary depots, they had four weeks' full rations to cover the 240 miles to One Ton Depot, allowing an average daily march of eight to nine miles.

Hauling the semi-conscious Lt. Evans on a sledge in bitter temperatures and with low food, Lashly and Crean decided that Crean would go on ahead to fetch help. "We had about a day's provisions with extra biscuit taken from the motor, and a little extra oil taken from the same place, so we gave Crean what he thought he could manage to accomplish the Journey of 30 miles geographical on, which was a little chocolate and biscuits. We put him up a little drink, but he would not carry it. What a pity we did not have some ski," Lashly observed, "but we [had] dumped them to save weight." With only three biscuits and a little chocolate, Crean set out on the thirty-some miles to Hut Point. Lashly himself went on a mile or so to Corner Camp where he picked up what supplies he could, and a piece of fabric to make a signal flag. "I found a note left at Corner Camp by Mr. Day saying there was a lot of very bad crevasses between there and the sea ice, especially off White Island. This put me in a bit of a fix, as I, of course, at once thought of Crean. He being on foot was more likely to go down than he would had he been on ski. I did not tell Mr. Evans anything about the crevasses, as I certainly thought it would be best kept from him. I just told him the note was there and all was well." [2]

The Second Western Geological Party on the deck of the Terra Nova, 1912. From left, Taylor, Debenham, Gran, and Forde. [3]

Pennell in the Terra Nova was unable to pick up Campbell's Northern Party at Evans Cove but sighted the Second Western Geological Party trekking south and collected them.


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 18 February, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Journey, v.1.
[2] William Lashly, diary, 18 February, 1912, quoted by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XII.
[3] Scott Polar Research Institute.

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