The weather was less good this morning but cleared by lunch time, and the team achieved a good 10.8 nm.
New photos and a video have been received from McMurdo which I am publishing in the "diaries" section. I have also updated the day report for Day 3 to include this new footage.
1. Sitrep No 7 as at 0745 hrs GMT 20 Nov 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 10.8 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 67.2 nm
4. Daily Average to Date: 9.60 nm
5. Hours travelled: 7
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 51
7. Distance to RV: 626.59 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 723.59 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 12.29 nm
It was 8:40 before we got under way this morning, for during the night the temperature dropped well below zero, and it was minus 12° when we got up and found our nnnesko and all our gear frozen hard, just like spring sledging times. We had to unpack the sledges and scrape the runners, for the sun had melted the snow on the upper surfaces, and the water had run down and frozen hard during the night on the under sides.
The surface was again terribly soft, but there were patches of hard sastrugi beneath, and on one of these Quan must have stepped, for to our great anxiety he suddenly went lame about 11 A.M. I thought it was just the balling of the snow on his feet, but on scraping this off he still was lame. Fortunately, however, he improved greatly and was practically all right after lunch. During the night, the snow always balls on the ponies' feet, and it is one of our regular jobs to scrape it off, before we harness up in the morning. The snow was not so thick on the surface in the afternoon, only about 5 in., and we got on fairly well.
The Bluff is now sixteen miles to the northwest of us, and all the well known land is clear, Erebus sending out a huge volume of steam, that streams away to the southwest right past Mount Discovery, fifty miles from its crater. Again this afternoon we passed an Adelie penguin track. The bird was making the same course as the one we had passed before. At 6:30 P.M. we camped, having done fifteen statute miles. After dinner we got bearings which put us forty-seven miles from our depot. I do trust that the weather will hold up till we reach it. It is cold tonight writing, the temperature being minus 9°F. The land to the south southwest is beautifully clear.
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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