New Year’s Eve 1911 on the Polar Plateau

–from Lt. Edward “Teddy” Evans’ sledging diary–

“Out at 5:45, and then after a yarn with Captain Scott and our welcome pemmican, tea, and biscuit, we in our tent depoted our ski, Alpine rope, and ski shoes, saving a considerable weight.  We then started off a few minutes ahead of Captain Scott, and his team never got near us, in fact they actually lost ground.  We marched for 5-1/2 hour solid, and had a good heavy drag, but not enough to distress us.  We stopped at 1.30 p.m., having done 8 miles 116 yards statute.

“After lunch we made a depot and put two weekly units in the snow cairn, which we built and marked with a black flag.  The seamen (Evans and Crean) and Lashly spent the afternoon converting the 12 foot sledges into 10 foot with the spare runners, while the remainder of us foregathered in Captain Scott’s tent, which Evans fitted with a lining to-day, making it beautifully warm.  We sat in the tent with the door open and the sun shinng in–doing odd jobs. . . .

“We are now past Shackleton’s position for December 31, and it does look as if Captain Scott were bound to reach the Pole.  Position 86 degrees 55′ 47” S., 175 degrees 40′ E.

“At 7 p.m. Captain Scott cooked tea for all hands.

“At 8 p.m. the first sledge was finished and the men went straight on with the second.  This was finished by midnight, and, having seen the New Year in, we had a fine pemmican hoosh and went to bed.”

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