Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, June 2, 1915: “The hut to us seemed like a palace.”

–from Ernest Joyce’s diary—

“June 2nd. Under way for Cape Evans [having departed from their exile at the Discovery hut], 13 ½ miles away. When we started the moon was shining brightly In an hour it was obscured. This was unfortunate. About eight miles from Hut Point is a Glacier Tongue, a huge formation about one mile wide, jutting out for five miles to the west from Mt. Erebus. Through the darkness the moon hiding under a cloud, we found ourselves in the ice-pressure around the glacier, an awkward predicament, as we were liable to fall through the broken ice. Our sledges overturned several times. It was uncanny in the dark, trying to find solid ice. A huge mass loomed ahead, which was Inaccessible Island. Wild remarked, ‘I think I hear the barking of dogs.’ When the atmospheric conditions are calm sound vibrates many miles across the ice, as in this instance. Cape Evans was easily five miles away.

“On reaching there the dogs were full of delight. They greeted us making as much noise as twenty instead of six. This ovation brought the inmates of the Hut out to find the reason of the commotion. We were welcomed by the Padre, Stevens, Richards and Gaze. On entering the hut, the acetylene light proved too brilliant for our eyes, necessitating putting on our snow-glasses. The hut to us seemed like a palace.”

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