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LIEUTENANT SHACKLETON'S NARRATIVE., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 73, 26 March 1909
LIEUTENANT SHACKLETON'S NARRATIVE.
■ The following supplementary narrative !*2s specially supplied to the Press Association by Lientenant Shackleton: — "Jfe started from Cape Eoyds on October 29 -with provisions for 91 days. Those provisions were pemmican, biscuits, cheese, caocolate, plasmon and small bottles of emergency oxol. We had also four ■sledges, four ponies, two tents and four onAman sleeping bags. The tents were Bade of light Willesden duck, and the whole, including poles, etc., weighed only 301b. The sledges were lift sledges, ea«h weighing 60lb, equipped with straps, sm a bos for carrying oil and instrutaents. The instruments ware theodolites, prismatic compasses, cameras, thermometers, and boiling-point thermometers. The food of the four ponies was maize and a ration called manjes ration —a dried ration consisting of carrots, currants, jKgar, plasmon and meat. J DEPARTURE FKOM HUT POINT. ■'. "We left Hut Point on November 3 Mtk a supporting party, provisioned for .■l4 days. They were to go nine days !Wit& us, and return in five days, but owing rto the soft snow and a four days' ■Jrazzard I sent them back on November J\ We were in a maze of crevasses »g White Island, about 30 miles south of 'put Point. Joyce, who had been on the SKscovery, was in charge of "the supporting party. When the supporting party left the weather cleared for hali-an-hour, tad we were under way, when one of the ponies (which was being led by Adams) pddenly got on to a .hidden crack, and went $own to its middle, with its leader, pthe soft snow. Wild, who was going astern with the other sledge, saw the .dan- . feer, and pnlled the sledge along, enabling ■JAdams to haul his pony out just where :|bq crack opined into an apparently botITi 8 cmera ' Another three or four .feet and we would.have lost Adams, the J ipojiy and half our provisions. We were ■ going the non-an apparently level plain, jfiiil of crevasses radiating in all direerilcn *ko weather cleared we were ■F w'see where theso were. We camped 3aere for a daj, when the- weather cleared,'
. PITCHING CAMP. "In pitching camp .the ponies have first to be tethered out, and for that purpose . there is a wire made fast on to one sledge, then another sledge is brought up about 25ft away, and the wire stretched between these two sledges. The ponies are tethered by the heels to the wire. The reason for this is that if we had an ordinary tether they would bite through it and eat . the rope. These Manchurians prefer buckles and leather and each other's tails in preference to good, ordinary food. Quan, my pony, was particularly keen on these dainties. Having got the ponies tethered they are brushed down, and the horsecloths put on, and then fed. They get 10lb of food per day, and if they finished that, and seemed to want more, they got it. Wβ then pitch our tents. Each tent has five bamboo poles, three poles put to windward, and two poles for the door, and all made fast at the top. Then the tent is hauled over the top like a bell tent, only with five poles. With a shovel we dig snow and put it on the snowcloth around the bottom of the tent. This keeps the tent from blowing away. In a blizzard the harder it blows the more drift gets round and the more secure the tent becomes. PKKPAREsG THE MEALS. "Then come the meals. The cook for the week would spread the cloth inside the tent, light a primus, and the cooker (made of aluminium) was passed in to him, then the food bag, and generally in half an hour the food was ready. We made what we called "hoosh." That was made of pemmican and powdered biscuits, and each man got a pannikin full A pannikin would hold about a pint. Then tea was made. We put the tea in with the snow in a strainer, and when it boiled we served it with sugar. Sugar is one of the staple things, because it is heat-giving, and all our food is calculated by Dr. Marshall according to its food value and heatgiving properties. The ration when we started was 320z of food a day. We all got into one tent for the meal—the cooking tent—and it was the best tent to be in-in cold weather. The meal over, the men belonging to the other tent filled the cooker again with snow, and if there was any water over, that helped to melt the snow an 3 save a certain amount of oil by the time the next cooking was required. IN THE SLEEPING BAGS. The sleeping bags were spread, and the men got inside them, clothes and all. I never took off my clothes for 126 days. While we had the ponies we marched nine hours a day—from about 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. —allowing one hour for lunch. It Was always 8 or 8.30 p.m. before we get into bed, and we got up at 4.40 a.m. It was daylight, of course, all the while. The ■weather being so cold, it took us all this time to get dressed, the meal cooked, and the ponies ready for another day's start. We had breakfast at 6 a.m., consisting of "hoosh," biscuit and tea; lunch at 1 p.m., consisting of chocolate or cheese, biscuit and tea; dinner at 7 p.m., consisting of 'Tioosh," biscuit and cocoa. rWINIDSWEPT SXOW AND SAM). "Ihiring this period we were going over windswept snow with sand furrows. We started in the morning, each man leading a pony, and taking turns every hour to break the trail. The other horses stepped in tfie tracks of the front horse. Evtry hour we had five minutes' spell. The work was hard both on man and horse, especially after the first 15 days, because the horses were sinking right up to their middles in soft snow. We were not walking in ski or snow shoes, but we wore finneskoe, that is, fur boote made of the skin of the reindeer, with ;he fur outside. We sank into the enow sometimes well above our ankles, and the horses, of course, sank in much deeper— they were dragging so much weight. It was monotonous work .travelling. The men would travel about 12f>t or 15ft apart, for fear of accidents with the sledge or ponie3. NEW LAM) SIGHTED. "The journey did not become particularly interesting until we began to sight new land. That .■was done about Novem-ber-22. Then we saw new mountains stretching away to the south beyond Mount liongstaff. We were separated from these by a broad expanse of plain. Wβ ihad different depqts. -One depot, 'A,' Oiad been laid out previously, and we' reached that on November 15, some days before we sighted the mountains. "Che depot was a mere spot ,pn the.great white plain. The next depot was made in la-t. Sldeg 4min south —that was to pick up on the way back. It was 'SS miles from depot "A." There we shot the first pony, cut him <up,-and .made a depot of oil, biscuit, and pony meat. Then we took about slb of pony meat to eke
out our provjeions. We saw at depot '' A.' that to do any big journey owing to the surface of .the snow being so bad we nra'st reduce our daily ration, and we supplemented -with, horse half a ration of ordinary food. "Wβ started using the horse meat about November 23. We were using up for the ponies 401b of food per day, and when one was shot the man who had been leading him, piit on his own harness, and helped to pull the extra load, given .to another pOny. Thesledge that had been emptied was made into a depot mark, placed end up in the snow, with a bamboo rod, and black flag attached. SACRIFICING THE PONIES. "On September 22 we had sighted the new mountains, and were still moving due south. On November 28 we shot another pony. Wβ were getting short of iood for the ponies, and it -was therefore necessary to decrease their number, in order that the others might be kept on full rations. We always made a point of keeping the ponies on full rations, so that they never needed the whip. The ponies were doing splendid work, and we treated them as well as possible. The third pony was shot bn November 30. By this time the mountains had trended out to the south-east, and, as our course was due south, we decided to take advantage of any gap. MOUNT HOPE. "From November 22 to 30 nothing particular occurred, excepting that we had very thick weather, and the snow was getting softer all the time. Then we made a reconnaissance up the mountain about 3000 ft high, leaving the tent and the last pony in camp. From the top of the mountain we saw an apparently smooth glacier rieing with a gentle gradient to what was apparently inland ice or a plateau. We at once decided to go up this glacier. We called the mountain Mount Hope, and the entrance between two mountains the Southern Gateway. The last pony we took with us. SIX HUNDRED YARDS IN ONE DAY. "We started on December 5 to go up the glacier. Our general direction now was between south-west and south-south-west, and at once we saw we were not going to have such an easy time of it, because the apparently smooth glacier was simply honeycombed with crevasses. We managed to get the pony in on the rocks. Of course, we could not draw the sledges over the rocks, as that would tear the wooden runners. On the 6th we had to unload the sledges and relay them with a little equipment, one at a time, and on that day we were all day doing 600yds—that was the slowest travelling experienced yet. Up to then we ■had been doing 12 to 15 statute miles per day. PONY LOST IN A CHASM. "On the 7th one section of the party (three men) went on ahead with one sledge, whilst Wild, leading the pony, followed in our -wake with the other sledge, we looking out for crevasses, and altering our course to avoid them. The object was to get a perfectly safe course for the pory. Suddenly we heard a shout during the afternoon from Wild, and on stopping and looking round we saw the sledge tilted, and Wild with his arms and shoulders on the edge of the crevasse. He was sunk to the shoulders right on the edge of the crevasse, and keeping himself up by the arms. No pony was to be seen. We at once went, to his assistance, and found that the.pOny had stepped on the snow lid of a hidden crevasse, and gone straight down an enormous chasm, snapping the swingletree, and thus saving both Wild and sledge. There was no sound to be heard below, and Wild said he felt a sudden rush of wind and then it was all over. CONTINUALLY GROSSING CREVASSES. "From this time onwards we were crossing crevasses the whole time. The under-runners of the sledges suffered badly iby the hard ice tearing the wood. Now, a sledge -to travel well on a snow surface such as we had eventually on the plateau, ought to be absolutely smooth, because the friction is so great. Ultimately we had only one whole runner—and that worn—on our last sledge, the runner on the other side having worn away almost from the middle, and the pulling then became very arduous. We reached 6500 ft up (altitude) the glacier, about December 19, and there we could see the plateau ahead of us. A CONSTANT BLIZZARD. From 9000 ft upwards we had a constant blizzard wind from the south dead in our faces, with the temperature always below zero. Sometimes we had 60deg. of frost}. The iclothes we were now wearing consisted of two pairs of socks, two pairs of joager pyjama trousers (we wore tihese 'because they did not chafe so much), a singlet, a shirt, and a guernsey, then -burbery overalls. The whole outfit weighed about 91b to 101b. By this time we had reduced our daily ration of food to 20oz per man per day, and in this climate, with the temperature and twinds prevailing, coupled with the high altitudes, it was not sufficient to keep the necessary heat in our bodies. All this time we, were sighting new mountains. DISCOVERY OF COAL. Adams was continually taking meteorological observations, and it was in lat. 85deg. smin. south that Wild discovered, on going up a mountain to look at a plateau, seven distinct seams of coal. This was a most interesting discovery, as showing that Antarctic regions once had a very different climate. Dr. Marshall, who had charge of the surveying, had a very cold job at every camp. He was taking theodolite angles and putting in a great deal of time on this work. He also took all the photographs on this journey. "TRUST TO PROVIDENCE." "On January 4 we decided to risk leaving a depot on the plateau. We had,no land then to take bearings by, and had to trust to Providence to find our depot, with, the help of guiding poles. These we made by all hands using one tent, and dividing the tent poles of the second tent for posts. On the poles we put flags made from provision bags. Thus lightened, we pushed rapidly south, till, on Janua-ry 7, we had reached latitude 88deg. smin. south. The constant blizzard from the south-south-east developed then into one of extreme violence, the wind travelling at 70 miles per hour. The temperature was down to 72deg. of frost. This continued for 60 hours, and many times we had to take our feet out of the eleeping-bags to have them restored .to feeding after being frostibitten. We were very cramped in the one little tent, the four of us being in a tent made to accommodate three. By this time our food was getting very low, and when the blizzard was over we realised that it would be impossible for us to continue sledging further south, both from lack, of food and our diminished strength. Our body temperature showed only 93deg/ ...UNION JACK HOISTED. It was therefore decided to leave the c?.mp and make a forced march to tho south, taking food -with us, and in 88d«g.
23niin. jvre hoisted theTJnion Jack ■which Her, Majesty had; given ji? .in England; before leaving." • I
LIEUTENANT SHACKLETON'S NARRATIVE., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 73, 26 March 1909
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