February 29, 2012

Thursday, 29 February 1912


The Terra Nova left Cape Evans with the convalescent Lt. Evans and a number of the scientists on board, and made for Evans Cove to collect Campbell's Northern Party. Ice and bad weather kept them too far out, despite repeated attempts, and rather than have the ship be iced in, Pennell turned and headed for New Zealand on 7th March.

Despite a few upsets, and the dogs once running away with the half-loaded sledge, Cherry having flung himself on it but unable to stop them, he wrote in his diary, "If anybody had told me we could reach Bluff Depôt, nearly ninety miles, in four days, I would not have believed it. We have had a good clear day with much mirage. Dogs a bit tired." [1]

The six men of the Northern Party had been confined to their tents by a thirteen-day blizzard, hungry and anxious to sight the Terra Nova, by now some weeks later than expected. Around this time, an increasingly-worried Levick wrote, "Should the ship not appear by the 6th March, there will be small chance of her reaching us owing to the pack freezing in, and we shall conclude that she has gone down or been injured somehow, as of course she would never dream of leaving us here for the winter with only four weeks' provisions." [2]


[1] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XIII.
[2] George Murray Levick, diary? [date not given], quoted by Katherine Lambert in The Longest Winter (Washington DC : Smithsonian Books, c2004), p.122.

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