November 26, 1912: “. . .our ice drift had come to an end.”

–from Wilhelm Filchner’s account To the Sixth Continent

“From this date onwards [November 22] our drift was again in a south-southeasterly direction.  On the 23rd a crack appeared in the young ice in the channel we had blasted, running southwest.  The crack ran through the young ice of the lead east of the ship until quite close to us.

“The auxiliary boiler had steam up and the sounding gear had been mounted on deck.  On the 25th the blasting was continued in order to free the ship completely.  On the morning of the 26th the dogs were brought on board, along with the small meteorological observation hut and all the ship’s equipment which was still on the ice.

“Finally a few explosions near the ship made the hull shudder; the ice had been loosened.  The engine was engaged, the propeller began turning, and we managed to move the ship out into the new ice of the lead; then by ramming we managed to reach the open lead to the northeast.  Hence at 10 a.m. on 26 November, 1912 at 63 degrees 37′ S, 36 degrees 34′ W our ice drift, which had lasted almost 9 months, came to an end.”


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