Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, February 29, 1916: “. . . we had the feast today. . .” –from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees—

“29 February. Leap Year Day. In honour of our wives and sweethearts, we had the feast today which was originally planned for Sir Ernest’s birthday. For breakfast we had large tender seal steaks and a spoonful of fried dried onion each, tea and one Antarctic biscuit (Huntley and Palmers, 1-3/4 oz in weight. Luncheon: penguin livers, one dot-pemmican bannock each, one-quarter of a tin of Lox (smoked salmon in oil) each and a pint of dried skimmed milk. Supper: a stew made from seal meat to which was added six 1 lb tins of Irish stew and one of jugged hare, which we had been keeping for weeks especially for this occasion, and a pint of cocoa and mild made from 24 oz of Trumilk and our last ½ lb of cocoa, also especially reserved for this occasion.

“That finishes our tinned meat and our cocoa for good.”

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