January 21-23: Mawson sets up shore station in Adelie Land

–from his account “The Home of the Blizzard”–

On the morning of January 20 all were at work betimes.  As we were securely isolated from trade-union regulations, our hours of labour ranged from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“Dynamite was to be used for blasting out the holes for the reception of the stumps, and so the steel rock-drills were unpacked and boring commenced.  This was easier than it appeared, because the rock was much traversed by cracks.  By the end of the day a good deal of damage had been done to the rock, at the expense of a few sore fingers and wrists caused by the sledge-hammers missing the drills. . . . Among other  things it was found difficult to fire the charges, for, when frozen, dynamite is not readily exploded.  This was overcome by carrying the sticks inside one’s pocket until the last moment. . . .The next day the stumps were in place. . . . By the evening, the bottom plates were laid on and bolted to the tops of the stumps, and everything was ready for the superstructure.

“On January 22, while some were busy with the floor-joists and wall-frames, others carried boulders from the neighbouring moraine, filling in the whole space between the stumps. . . . By the time both huts were erected, nearly fifty tons of stones had been used in the foundations–a circumstance we did not regret at a later date.”

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