March 5, 2012

Tuesday, 5 March 1912


"Regret to say going from bad to worse," Scott wrote at lunchtime. "The result is telling on all, but mainly on Oates, whose feet are in a wretched condition. One swelled up tremendously last night and he is very lame this morning. We started march on tea and [cold] pemmican as last night -- we pretend to prefer the pemmican this way. Marched for 5 hours this morning over a slightly better surface covered with high moundy sastrugi. Sledge capsized twice; we pulled on foot, covering about 5 1/2 miles. We are two pony marches and 4 miles about from our depot. Our fuel dreadfully low and the poor Soldier nearly done. It is pathetic enough because we can do nothing for him; more hot food might do a little, but only a little, I fear. We none of us expected these terribly low temperatures." [1]


Having sighted the coast of Tasmania the previous day, the Fram was held off by bad weather. "It was a stinking job to get in to Hobart," Bjaaland wrote in his diary. "Storm and calm followed each other, and when we finally were at the approaches to our goal, so God help me we were blown past, the result being we had to lay to in a storm with torn sail and splintered gaff." [2]


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 5 March, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[2] Olav Bjaaland, diary, 5 March, 1912, quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.531.

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