1. Sitrep No 6 as at 0745 hrs GMT 19 Nov 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 09.40 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 56.4 nm
4. Daily Average to Date: 9.60 nm
5. Hours travelled: 7
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 52
7. Distance to RV: 637.39 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 734.39 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 12.26 nm
Got up to breakfast at 6 A.M., and under way at 8:15 A.M. During the night we had to get out to the ponies. Quan had eaten away the straps on his rug, and Grisi and Socks were fighting over it. Quan had also chewed Chinaman's tether, and the latter was busy at one of the sledges, chewing rope. Happily he has not the same mischievous propensities as Quan, so the food bags were not torn about. All these things mean work for us when the day's march is over, repairing the damage done. The ponies started away well, with a good hard surface to travel on, but a bad light, so we, being in finnesko, had frequent falls over the sastrugi. I at last took my goggles off, and am paying the penalty tonight, having a touch of snow blindness.
During the morning the land to the west became more distinct, and the going still better, so that when we camped for lunch, we had covered nine and a half statute miles. All the ponies, except Quan, showed the result of the Maujee ration, and are quite loose. Directly we started after lunch, we came across the track of an Adelie penguin. It was most surprising, and one wonders how the bird came out here. It had evidently only passed a short time before, as its tracks were quite fresh. It had been traveling on its stomach a good way, and its course was due east toward the sea, but where it had come from was a mystery, for the nearest water in the direction from which it came was over fifty miles away, and it had at least another fifty miles to do before it could reach food and water.
The surface in the afternoon became appallingly soft, the ponies sinking in up to their hocks, but there was hard snow underneath. At 6 P.M. we camped, with a march for the day of 15 miles 1550 yards statute. The sun came out in the afternoon, so we turned our sleeping bags inside out and dried them. Today's temperature ranged from plus 3°F in the morning to plus 12°F. at noon. At 8 P.M. it was plus 5°F. There is now a light north wind, and I expect Erebus will.be clear soon; bearings and angles put us sixty miles from our depot, where lies 167 lb. of pony food.
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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