December 29, 1912: Mawson prepares a meagre ration

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

“Before retiring to the sleeping-bag, I spent another four hours cracking and boiling down bones with the object of extracting the nutriment for future use and at the same time ridding the load of a lot of useless weight in the form of inerty bone. Those hours which we spent from time to time boiling the meat are never to be forgotten for the operation had to be conducted sitting in a very squat and cramped position flat on the floor. With the cooker in operation, the tent was too small to allow us either to lie down or to sit comfortably on a rolled-up sleeping bag.

“Mertz rose early that evening and took his turn at the cooking. We were away at 2.30 a.m., December 29, in a thirty-mile wind and light drift. The sail helped us nicely up a series of terraces. . .We camped after six hours’ marching, having covered but little over seven miles.”

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