After 2 days of frustration spent in their tent, waiting for the high winds to pass, the team set off early today and covered a new daily record distance of 16.2 nm. Their spirits are high and I sense they are relieved to be underway again.
An important milestone was achieved today with the crossing of the 80° line of Latitude.
1. Sitrep No 17 as at 0855 hrs GMT 30 Nov 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 16.2 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 171.1 nm
4. Daily Average to Date: 10.06 nm
5. Hours travelled: 7
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 41
7. Distance to RV: 522.69 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 619.69 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 12.75 nm
Distance to Go
In Henry Worsley's sitrep he talks about his GPS showing that they have 597 nm to go the Pole. That of course assumes a straight line, rather than their actual route, which involves he Beardmore Glacier which adds about 22 miles to the straight line distance.
We started at 8 A.M. this morning. Quan very shaky and seemingly on his last legs, poor beast. Both he and Socks are snow blind, so we have improvised shades for their eyes, which we trust will help them a little. We took turns of an hour each hauling at Quan's sledge, one at each side, to help him. Socks, being faster, always gets ahead and then has a short spell, which eases him considerably. We advanced very slowly today, for the surface was as bad as ever till the afternoon, and the total distance covered was 12 miles 150 yards. Quan was quite played out, so we camped at 5:45 P.M. We give the ponies ample food, but they do not eat it all, though Quan whinnies for his every meal time. He is particularly fond of the Maujee ration, and neglects his maize for it.
Again today we saw new land to the south, and unfortunately for our quick progress in that direction, we find the trend of the coast more to the eastward. A time is coming, I can see, when we will have to ascend the mountains, for the land runs round more and more in an easterly direction. Still after all we must not expect to find things cut and dried and all suited to us in such a place. We will be thankful if we can keep the ponies as far as our next depot which will be in latitude 84° South. They are at the present moment lying down in the warm sun. It is a beautifully calm clear evening; indeed as regards weather we have been wonderfully fortunate, and it has given Marshall the chance to take all the necessary angles for the survey of these new mountains and coastline. Wild is cook this week, and my week is over so I am now living in the other tent. We are all fit and well, but our appetites are increasing at an alarming rate. We noticed this tonight after the heavy pulling today.
A great deal of the land we are passing seems to consist of granite in huge masses, and here and there are much crevassed glaciers pouring down between the mountains, perhaps from some inland ice sheet similar to that in the north of Victoria Land. The mountains show great similarity in outline, and there is no sign of any volcanic action at all so far. The temperature for the day has ranged between plus 16° and plus 12°F, but the hot sun has made things appear much warmer.
This is the story of the “Farthest South” expedition, told by its leader. After enduring biting winds, short rations and crevasse-ridden glaciers for over a year, Shackleton’s party faced a desperate forced march to return to their ship, The Nimrod, or face being marooned on the ice.
Taken from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s own compelling chronicle of his first Antarctic expedition, written on his return in 1909.
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