Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, mid-August 1915: “We must do everything possible with the remnants at our command.”

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

“We must do everything possible with the remnants at our command. Every day it is getting lighter, and we exercise a few hours on ski, making ourselves fit in readiness for sledging.

“Richards and Jack are engaged in weighing the sledging stores [for the depots along the Barrier road, for Shackleton to pick up on his way across the continent]. This requires initiative, for each ounce tells. . . . Over 3,000 pounds weight of stores will be required.

“About the middle of August, Mack and Stevens went north to Cape Royds Hut, seven miles distant. While there a rough inventory was taken of the stores left by the Shackleton Expedition in 1908. A quantity of dried vegetables was found, and if we are not relieved, this will see us through another winter.

“To our regret, nothing serviceable for sledging made its appearance, but to our joy, one tin of Navy Cut tobacco, one box of Lifebuoy soap (the only one in the container), and finally one box of Henry Clay cigars, one of which was delicious when smoked after dinner that evening. Needless to add, the stumps we retained for the famous Hut Point Mixture.”

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