April 23, 1912: The relief party returns empty-handed.

–from Cherry Garrard’s account, “The Worst Journey in the World”–

Tuesday, 23 April.  Atkinson and his party got in [to Hut Point] about 7 p.m. after a long pull all day in very bad weather.  They are just in the state of a party which has been out on a very cold spring journey:  clothes and sleeping-bags very wet, sweaters, pyjama coats, and so forth all full of snow.  Atkinson looks quite done up, his cheeks are fallen in and his throat shows thin.  Wright is also a good deal done up, and the whole party has evidently had little sleep.

“They have had a difficult and dangerous trip, and it is a good thing they are in, and they are fortunate to have had no mishaps, for the sea-ice is constantly going out over there, and when they were on it they never knew that they might find themselves cut off from the shore.  Big leads were constantly opening, and even in ice over a foot thick and with little wind.  But even if the ice had been in I do not believe that they could have gone many days.”

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