January 13, 1913: The “Aurora” returns to Cape Denison

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

“The first ice was reached at 6 p.m. on January 10 in about latitude 64 degrees 30′ S. The pack-ice zone was traversed on the 11th and 12th, and at 2 a.m. on the 13th the anchor was dropped at Cape Denison. At that date there were only nine men at the Hut, for three of the sledging parties were still absent. Captain [John King] Davis writes: ‘At 2.30 p.m. the launch was hoisted over and the mail taken ashore, with sundry specimens of Australian fruit as refreshment for the shore party. The boat Harbour was reached before anyone ashore had seen the Aurora. At the landing-place we were greeted most warmly by nine wild-looking men; some with beards bleached by the weather. As they danced about in joyous excitement, they all looked healthy and in very fair condition, after the severe winter.’

“Murphy handed Davis a letter from me [i.e. Mawson], stating that I had planned for all sledge parties to be back at the Hut not later than January 15; in the event of the failure of my own party to return by that date Captain J. K. Davis was to take charge.”

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