July 12, 1912: Seal hunting at Inexpressible Island

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

“One of the seals gave Browning a good deal of trouble, for although stunned and stabbed he rolled over and over until he had gone twenty yards toward the sea, and he took a great deal of stopping.  We had no room for sentiment about them, however, for we were running short of both meat and blubber and could not afford to cut the ration any more.  I was so pleased with the addition to our larder, indeed, that I served out a couple of handfuls of extra meat in the hoosh and six lumps of sugar per man.

“The next day the weather was not too pleasant, but four of us turned out and removed as much as possible of the meat and blubber to the drift, where it was handy in case of a renewal of bad weather.  After each day’s work outside we were always cold in our bags, and this, I suppose, was due to the general chillng of our clothes, which took some time to warm up, and to the slight perspiration which damped everything.

“On July 12, Browning and Dickason turned out and again searched the icefoot for seals.  They were lucky, and secured two more, and we were no sure of lasting out until the beginning of September at least.  It was very pleasant working outside at noon on this day, quite warm and fairly light in spite of the snow, and it was especially pleasant to feel that in future the days would always be getting lighter.”

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