March 5 and after, 1912: The Northern Party digs a cave for the winter

–from Raymond Priestley’s account of the Northern Party, “Antarctic Adventure” (p. 378)–

“On [March] 5th, although the gale continued, it was free from snow, and we were just able to make our way over the ridge at the back of our camp and into the next valley where the bigger of the two snowdrifts was situated, and three of us commenced to dig into this drift.  This work was continued during most of the days which followed, and as we made the cave larger and larger the wind worried us less and less except on our journeys to and from the drift.

“We first sank a trench 3 feet by 4 feet to a depth of 6 feet, and then from the side of this we picked out a large cave towards the thickest part of the drift. . . . At first when we were working in the wind we took turn and turn about with pick and shove., but as the hole grew larger and we could work more in comfort we fell into a natural routine, Campbell or Dickason and I working constantly at the cave and Levick and his tow men increasing our supply of meat whenever they saw a seal.”

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