Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, March 16, 1916: “We are nothing but a bag of bones.”

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

“March 16th, Thursday. Turned out in the dark about 4.30. We had a cold uncomfortable night, being wet with perspiration from our long trek [“20 miles—our record”] yesterday. It is remarkable how one perspires in these cold temperatures. We are nothing but a bag of bones, very little flesh on our limbs. Under way at 6.15. Going along splendidly, about 3 miles an hour.

“Passed the Padre’s grave 10.45. Had lunch at the depot. Climbed on top of the cairn with the binoculars, and sighted the Skipper’s [Macintosh had been left on the Barrier while the others had gone forward to secure more food at Hut Point] tent, he was outside, much to the joy of the party. What a relief to us! We arrived there 4.45. He was very surprised to see us, as I gave him the earliest possible date, the 17th.”

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