Mid April 1912: New food source for the Northern Party at Inexpressible Island: Seal’s Blood

–from Raymond Priestley’s account “Antarctic Adventure”–

“It was also true that the more we worked outside the more painful were the pangs of hunger, and a hard day’s work meant a consderable accession in physical discomfort.

“Our one great discovery in the eatable line, which to some extent neutralized this, was the use of ice soaked in seal’s blood instead of pure ice for our hoshes.  When a seal was butchered, the hot blood melted down into the ice, and the pool thus formed froze solid a few hours later.  Then one of us would go down with a pick and shovel and a sack, dig up this mixture of blood and ice, and carry it to the drift.  Part of it was then boiled up with the hoosh, and this made a gravy in which it was possible to stand a spoon upright.

“This greatly improved the hoosh, and made it more nourishing and certainly much more filling.  After a pot and a half of this gravy we did feel as if we had had a meal, but a small one, and we were fit for quite a good day’s work.”

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