December 11, 1912: “Our spirits rose when the sky cleared. . . .”

–from Douglas Mawson’s account The Home of the Blizzard

“On the 10th light wind and low drift were the order of things.  Our spirits rose when the sky cleared and a slight down grade commenced.

“During the morning, Ninnis was the first to catch sight of what appeared to be small ice-capped islets fringing the coast to the north, but the distance was too great for us to be sure of their exact nature.  Out near the verge of the horizon a tract of ice-covered sea with scattered bergs could be seen.

“Next day more features were distinguishable.  The coast was seen to run in a north-easterly direction as a long peninsula ending in a sharp cape which we named Cape Freshfield.  The north appeared to be filled with frozen sea, though we could not be certain that it was not dense pack-ice.  Little did we know that Madigan’s party, about a week later, would be in that vicinity, marching over the frozen sea to Cape Freshfield.”

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