Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, October 26-27, 1915: “So ended our first depot laying journey.”

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

“October 26th, Tuesday. Up 5.30. Slept the sleep of the just. Temp. -26. Under way as usual. Sighted our Corner Camp (10 miles south of Safety Camp) 10.25, reaching same 12.25. Lunch. Here we had left a large quantity of stores on the way out. Now we were in possession of full and plenty. Under way 1.40. Sighted a sledge on end to N.W. Made for same, reached there 4.10. I decided to investigate.

“Found the sledge buried 8 feet, came across an ice pick, with a note attached to it. On opening it, found it to be from Cherry Gerrard, dated March 12, 1912. ‘Dear Sir, We leave here this morning with the dogs for Hut Point. We have laid no depot on the way in. I have not been able to leave a note before. Yours sincerely, Cherry Garrard. . . .On the above date, March 19th, Capt. Scott, Dr. Wilson and Lieut Bowers were crawling along, feet badly frostbitten, trying to reach the Depot ‘One Ton Depot,’ which was 15-1/2 miles distant. They were found dead 11 miles from here [One Ton Depot] in latitude 77.50 South, about 100 miles from where we picked up this note.

“October 27th, Wednesday. Up 5.45. Weather fair, with a haze to the orth. Under way [north again and back to Hut Point, having established the first depot at Corner Camp] 8 o’clock. . . . Left at Safety Camp all spare gear, tents, etc;, left 5 o’clock for Hut Point amidst a howling northerly blizzard. Very difficult light for steering. . . .We arrived at Hut Point at 7.30. After a severe buffeting. Found Capt. Mackintosh returned. We soon enjoyed a seal steak. Then slid into our bags into the land of Nod. Temp -4. So ended our first depot laying journey.”

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