Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, February 11, 1915: “. . .Shackleton may get across this year. . .”

–from Ernest Joyce’s account “The South Polar Trail”–

[Members of the Ross Sea Party are out on the Barrier heading south, to place depots for Shackleton and the men of the TransAntarctic Expedition to pick up on their way north, after having reached the South Pole from their base at the Weddell Sea]

“February 11. Mack [Captain Mackintosh] camped beside us about 11.30 a.m. We beat them by two days; that means a magnum of champagne some day. Owing to the hard struggle, some of the dogs caved in, one dying. He [Mackintosh] proposes to trek to 80º South. I tried to persuade him not to take the dogs farther south, as they were feeling the effects of the hard sledging. However, he decided otherwise. I quite see his point of view, that Shackleton may get across this year, and expect to find the depot laid at 80º S. The Padre, Jack and Gaze, with five dogs, are to return to Hut Point. Mac, [Ernest, brother of Frank] Wild and self are to trek south with the remaining nine dogs. The sledges were repacked. The Padre’s party taking one week’s provisions’

“Wishing them good-bye, turned south, putting in some good work before we camped.”

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