Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, Elephant Island, July 28, 1916: “Smoking mixtures are the order of the day. . . .”

—from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees—

“28 July. Wild has fixed up a very ingenious little glass window into the canvas sheet beside his bunk so as to have more light to read by. It consists of the 6n square glass and mahogany frame of a chronometer box. It is cleverly sewn in.

“Smoking mixtures are the order of the day and the smell of some of the more experimental ones is a bit trying. The sennegrass that we ram into our finnesko to insulate the feet appears to be prime favourite. It looks and smells like hay. Seaweed and lichen have also been tried but are not very popular with either the smoker or the other inmates. Reindeer hair and sleeping bag scrapings are the most esteemed, but the supply is practically exhausted.”

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