A good day with nearly 10 nm covered. Listen to Henry Adams's report to hear the challenge of trying to navigate when the horizon is completely blank.
If anyone has any difficulty in trying to comprehend the magnitude of the distance that the team are attempting look at the map below showing the comparative size of Antractica to the USA!
1. Sitrep No 4 as at 0730 hrs GMT 17 Nov 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 09.80 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 35.7 nm
4. Daily Average to Date: 8.93 nm
5. Hours travelled: 7
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 54
7. Distance to RV: 658.09 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 755.09 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 12.19 nm
Lying in our sleeping bags all day except when out feeding the ponies, for it has been blowing a blizzard, with thick drift, from south by west. It is very hard to be held up like this, for each day means the consumption of 40 lb. of pony feed alone. We only had a couple of biscuits each for lunch, for I can see that we must retrench at every setback if we are going to have enough food to carry us through. We started with ninety-one days' food, but with careful management we can make it spin out to 110 days. If we have not done the job in that time it is God's will. Some of the supporting party did not turn out for any meal during the last twenty-four hours.
Quan and Chinaman have taken their feeds constantly, but Socks and Grisi not so well. They all like Maujee ration and eat that up before touching the maize. They have been very quiet, standing tails to the blizzard, which has been so thick that at times we could not see them from the peepholes of our tents. There are great drifts all around the tents, and some of the sledges are buried.
This evening about 5:30 the weather cleared a bit and the wind dropped. When getting out the feed boxes at 6 P.M. I could see White Island and the Bluff, so I hope that tomorrow will be fine. The barometer has been steady all day at 28.60 in., with the temperature up to 18°F, so it is quite warm, and in our one-man sleeping bags each of us has a little home, where he can read and write and look at the penates and lares brought with him. I read Much Ado About Nothing during the morning.
The surface of the Barrier is better, for the wind has blown away a great deal of the soft snow, and we will, I trust, be able to see any crevasses before we are on to them. This is our fourth day out from Hut Point, and we are only twenty miles south. We must do better than this if we are to make much use of the ponies. I would not mind the blizzard so much if we had only to consider ourselves, for we can save on the food, whereas the ponies must be fed full.
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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