November 10-17,1912: The Northern Party, safe at Cape Evans, recovers

–from Raymond Priestley’s account Antarctic Adventure

[At Cape Evans]   “The next few days were spent by the Northern Party resting and feeding.  We managed to avoid any trouble from overeathing by having an infinite number of small meals with very small intervals between instead of three or four big ones, while each man when he retired to bed took with him some delicacy, such as a box of fancy biscuits or a bag of dates or raisins, in case he should wake up hungry in the night.  When we had arrived we were entirely free from fat, and, indeed, were so lean that our legs and arms were corrugated rather than rounded, but this soon changed.

“We weighed soon after our arrival at the hut and found ourselves  muc below normal, and weighed again a few days afterwards, finding ourselves much above normal.  In my own case I went up from well under 10 st. to 12 st. 5 lb. in six days, and I should think this was nearly a record for speedy filling out.

“We found, too, that we were not so fit as we had thought, for several members of the party discovered symptoms of oedema, the flesh of their legs remaining sunken when it had been pressed in with the finger.  Such a loss of elasticity in the flesh is a marked symptom of scurvy, but we had been living on fresh meat all the time, and it seems probable that in this case it was due to general debility, brought on by prolonged work and overstrain.”

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