January 26-29, 1913: The men of Scott’s Last Expedition homeward bound

–from Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s account “The Worst Journey in the World”–

“Mount Nansen rose sheer and massive ahead of us with a table top, and at 3 a.m. on 26 January we were passing the dark brown granite headland of the northern foothills. We were soon made fast to a stretch of some 500 yards of thick sea-ice, upon which the wind had not left a particle of snow, and before us the foothills formed that opening which Campbell had well-named Hell’s Gate.

“I wish I had seen that igloo [i.e. the home of the stranded Northern Party during the Antarctic winter of 1912]: with its black and blubber and beastliness.  Those who saw it came back with faces of amazement and admiration.  We left a depot at the head of the bay, marked with a bamboo and a flag, and then we turned homewards, counting the weeks, and days, and then the hours.  In the early hours of 27 January we left the pack.  On 29 January we were off Cape Adare, ‘head sea, and wind, and fog, very ticklish work gropiong along hardly seeing the ship’s slength.  Then it lifts, and there is a fair horizon.  Everybody is pretty sea-sick, including most of the seamen from Cape Evans.  All of us feeling rotten.'”

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