Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, August 1915: “. . . the busiest period of our stay at Cape Evans.”

–from R. W. Richards’ account–

“The months of June, July, and August 1915 marked probably the busiest period of our stay at Cape Evans. On Joyce and [Ernest} Wild devolved the main share of making the canvas trousers and blouses previously mentioned. About 500 calico bags, with attached string around the mouth, had to be made to contain sledging rations, and this task was undertaken by them. [Keith] Jack and I were deputed to weigh out sledge provisions, and at times when seals were abundant all took a share in the never-ending job of securing sufficient blubber for fuel. In addition, the scientists continued their routine observations and fitted in such other work as could be carried out.

“The exact weighing of sledge rations is important. Weight is the predominant consideration in man-hauled sledge journeys, so the diet is restricted in bulk as much as possible and designed to give just sufficient energy and heating values for efficient work.

“We found the rations when sledging quite adequate for the performance of hard physical work. However, we were always hungry and the body lost condition even when we were in good health, and after about three months the first signs of scurvy showed themselves in the gums, although physical strength was still maintained.”

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