December 27, 1912: Hunger follows on Mawson’s trail

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

“At this time the ration was mainly composed of dog meat to which was added one or two ounces of chocolate or raisins,, three or four ounces of a mixture of pemmican and biscuit, and, as a beverage, very dilute cocoa. In all the toal weight of solid food consumed bye each of us [Mawson and Xavier Mertz] was about fourteen ounces. Comparison with our normal sledgeing ration of over two pounds of unconcentrated rich food illustrates how inadequate, to maintain our strength, was this diminished ration. The small supply of butter and glaxo was saved for emergency, while a few tea bags that remained were each boiled over and over again.

“On December 28 the march commenced at 3 a.m. in a thirty-mile wind and light drift. Overhead there was a wild sky whihc augured badly for ensuing days. Stepping the jury mast and rigging the sail was cold work and we were glad to be marching. Presently our devoted [sledge-dog] Ginger could walk no longer and was strapped on the sledge. She was the last of the team and had been some sort of help until a few days before.”

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