August 20-27, 1912: A start in Queen Mary Land

–from Frank Wild’s account, quoted in Mawson’s “The Home of the Blizzard”–

“With several fine days to give us confidence, everything was made read for the sledge journey on August 20.  The party was to consist of six men and three dogs, the object of the journey being to lay out a food depot to the east in view of the long summer journey we were to make in that direction.  Hoadley and Kennedy were to remain at the Base, the formore to finish the geological shaft and the latter for magnetic work.  There remaine a good deal to do preparing stores for later sledge journeys. . . .The weather was not propitious for a start until  Thursday August 22.

“After two good days’ work under a magificently clear sky, with the temperature often as low as -34 degrees F., we sighted two small nunataks among a cluster of pressure-ridges, eight miles to the south.  It was the first land, in the sense of rocks, seen for more than seven months. . . .The course next day was due east a parallel to the mainland, then ten miles distant.  To the north was Masson Island, while at about the same distance and ahead was a smaller island, entirely ice-covered like the former–Henderson Island.

“A blizzard of three days’ duration kept us in camp between the 27th and the 30th.”


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