February 8, 1913: Douglas Mawson is home again

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

“A blizzard was in full career January 31. . . .The blizzard droned on night and day for over a week with never a break. Think of my feelings as I sat within the cave, so near and yet so far from the Hut, impatient and anxzious, ready to spring out and take the trail at a moment’s notice. . . At last the longed for event was to be realized. I snatched a hasty meal and set off. Before a couple of miles had been covered, the wind had fallen off altogether, and after that it was gloriously calm and clear.

“I had reached within one and a half miles of the Hut and there was no sight of the Aurora lying in the offing. . . .But even as I gazed about seeking for a clue, a speck on the north-west horizon caught my eye and my hopes went down. It looked like a distant ship–Was it the Aurora?. Well, what matter! the long journey was at an end–a terrible chapter of my life was concluded.

“Then the rocks around winter quarters began to come into view; part of the basin of the Boat Harbour appeared and lo! there were human figures! They almost seemed unreal–was it all a dream?”

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