Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, October 19, 1915: “. . . impossible to get under way. . .”

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

October 19th, Tuesday. Up at 5.30. Had a bad night, shivering. Temp. during night, -26. Under way at 8. Light strenuous for the eyes. Passed over the last crevasse [i.e. southbound clear of the crevassed area east of White Island] 10.30. There were over 80 of them ranging from 2 feet to 30 feet in width. These crevasses are caused by the impinging of the Barrier ice on the land to the west. The Barrier movement is about 1,500 feet a year, in an E. N. E. direction (I discovered this in 1908 whilst laying Shackleton’s depot.) Lunch usual time. Wind increased to blizzard force during lunch; all land obscured; decided to camp; impossible to get under way. My second pair of finneskoes worn out and beyond repair; have only 2 pairs left, to last 5 months, and another 1,500 mile trek. Temp. -20.

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