February 18, 1912: The Northern Party’s missed rendezvous

[Scott’s Northern Party, having spent the summer exploring around Cape Adare, had made their way south to Terra Nova Bay in Victoria Land, their appointed rendezvous with the Terra Nova at the conclusion of their efforts.]

–from Raymond Priestley’s account, published as Antarctic Adventure in 1915–

“The morning of the 18th saw the wind increased to gale force, but in the afternoon it eased for a few hours, and a party rearranged the sledges from the depot and repacked them for the expected arrival of the ship.  On the following day, however, we awoke to find the gale again blowing, and from this time the place began to deserve the name we afterwards gave to it.  The wind remained almost constant for days, and we were confined to our tents for most of the time.

“Ever since we had returned to the base there had been no pack within sight of the depot camp, and this state of affairs continued throughout the rest of the month.  The waters of the bay [Terra Nova Bay], were lashed to fury by the wind, and all we could see to seaward was one constant procession of whitecaps sweeping across the bay.  This was the more peculiar as we were afterwards told by the officers of the Terra Nova, who made three attempts to reach us within the next fortnight, that on each occasion they were stopped by heavy pack, so that the nearest point they were able to reach was twenty-seven miles away.”

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