January 20-22, 1912: Mawson struggles homeward

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

“January 20 was a wretched overcast day and not improved by considerable wind and light drift. In desperation a start was made at 2 p.m. and, though nothing was visible beyond a few yards distant, I kept a steady course uphill and, assisted by the wind, covered two and a half miles as the day’s work.

“The next day, though windy, was sunny and a stretch of three miles of step rise was negotiated. All that night and until noon on the 22nd wind and drift prevailed, but the afternoon came cloriously sunny. Away to the north beyond Aurora Peak was a splendid view of the sea at buchanan Bay. It was like meeting an old friend and I longed to be down near it. That evening six more miles had been covered, but I felt very weak and weary. My feet were now much improved and the old skin-casts after shrivelling up a good deal had been thrown away. However, prolonged starvation aided by the unwholesomeness of the dog meat was taking the toll in other ways. My nails still continued to fester and numerous boils on my face and body required daily attention. The personal overhaul necessary each day on camping and before starting consumed much valuable time.


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