Winter 1913: Marking time at Cape Denison

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

“Many have asked the question, ‘What did you do to fill in the time during the second year?’

“The duties of cook and night-watchman came to each man once every week, and meteorological and magnetic observations went on daily. Then were able to devote a good deal of time to working up the scientific work accomplished during the sledge journeys. The wireless watches kept two men well occupied, and in spare moments the chief recreation was reading. There was a fine supply of illustrated journals and periodicals which had arrived by the Aurora and with these we tried to make up the arrears of a year in exile. The “Encyclopedia Britannica” was a great boon, being always the last word in the settlement of a debated point.

“Again, whenever the weather gave the smallest opportunity, there were jobs outside, digging for cases, attending to the wireless mast and, in the spring, geological collecting and dredging. If the air was clear of drift, and the wind not over fifty miles per hour, one could spend a pleasant hour or more walking along the shore watching the birds and noting the changes which were always occurring along our short length of rocky shore.”

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