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THE RETURN JOURNEY., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 73, 26 March 1909
THE RETURN JOURNEY.
"On our return journey we picked up our outward sledge tracks,' iand this was fortunate, because the blizzard, had blown away the flags from the poles. After that, with a sail upon''the eledge (the sale being improvised out of one of the floorcloths of the tent), we did marches daily, assisted By the -wind, of distances ranging from 20 to 29 miles a day, crossing crevasses at full speed. We reached the upper glacier depot on the lath January." The travelling down the glacier -was not so easy a job as we had expected. We had left four days' food , to carry us to the depot at the foot of the glacier, but, owing to the bail crevasses, rendered -worse by the snow -which covered them lower down, our travelling was very slow. FOOD SUPPLY EXHAUSTED. "On the morning of the 26th. January we had finished all our food. Our last meal consisted of boiled ponymaize. Seeing the absolute necessity of reaching the depot, we tried to make forced marches, but, through the deep Bnow and amongst the crevasses, we only succeeded by 2 a.m. on the morning of the 27th in covering 16 miles in 22 hours' hauling. We eventually reached within a mile of our depot on the afternoon of the 27th, and, whilst some of us pitched camp, Dr. Marshall went on and got some food, consisting of horse meat and biscuit, from the depot. Adams fell half an hour before we came to camp in his harness, but directly he had. recovered a little he went on again, pulling. After leaving the depot we got soon on to the ice barrier again, and reached Gresi depot on the 3rd February. UXSOUND HORSE JiIEAT. "Wild, during- this time, was suffering from dysentry, due to something being wrong witl. the horse meat. After leaving Gresi depot the whole party was similarly affected, and for one whole day we were unable to leave camp at all. Helped by strong southerly winds wo eventually reached Chinaman depot with no food. Remaining at Chinaman depot we loaded horse meat, and, digging down in the snow, found the frozen blood of the horse. This we added to our stock of food. STARVATION RATIONS. "The daily ration now consisted of (for the whole day) one pannikin of half-cooked horsemeat, with blood and four biscuits, two pannikins of tea and half a spoonful of cocoa per man. We reached depot 'A' with no food left. We reached the Bluff depot, ■helped by strong southerly winds, cm the 3rd February. This depot was made by Joyce in January, and here, for the second time since the middle of November, we had - A SQUARE MEAL. "The other time was on Christmas Day on the plateau, when we had a full feed, consisting of pemmiean, pony rations, emergency oxol, and a small plum, pudding weighing about half a pound. We boiled the plum pudding in the cocoa water. A FORCED MARCH. "Leaving the Bluff depot, we made a forced inarch the second day of 24 miles, as "Dr. Marshall had a. relapsr of dysentery, and we were very anxious to get to the ship as early as possible. Though he was suffering much he kept going in his harness all that day. On the 17th, in the afternoon, he was too ill to proceed, but, though he wished us to go on, I decided to leave him in camp with Adams in charge, whilst Wild and I pushed on to the ship for relief. We reached Hut point in a blizzard on the night of the 28th. On the morning of March Ist we heliographed the ship, which had been lying at shelter at Glacier Tongue. At two o'clock the same afternoon, with a Telief party of three men (McKay, Mawson and McGillan) we started back to pick up the rest oi our party. Wo found Dr. Marshall much better, and eventually wo all arrived at Hut Point late on the 3rd of March. SAFE ABOARD AGAIN. "Wβ toumt a flare to the chip, which picked us up early on the 4th.. During the morning we sailed north, and, only just in time, for we were two days pushing through heavy new pancake ice. We tried to push to the westward beyond Cape North, but v/ere held, up by heavy old pack ice. Not, however, before we had found 45 miles of new coaat mountains ranging from 5000 to 7000 feet in height. After a boisterous passage we arrived at Half-moon on the 23rd March. THE MAGNETIC POLE. "In answer to a question regarding the expedition that resulted in the attaining of the magnetic Pole, Lieutenant Shackleton said that this had been a very important part of the work, and was a most difficult one for those who engaged in it. This party did 800 miles ci relay work over the sea ice. They hauled one. sledge for a certain distance, then returned, and hauled up the other sledge, and they did this from the 6th October to the 15th December, and,under the relay system, every mile of ground had of course to be covered three times. The surface of the sea ice was vary sticky with salt, and this made the sledge travelling extremely laborious. EKING OUT THE PROVISIONS. "What about the provisions?" asked. the reporter. "The party had," Lieutenant Shackleton said, to eke out their provisions by living on seal and penguin meat. One of them, tasting the seal oil in the blubber Is; rap, pronounced it excellent, and from that time on seal blubber was always part of the menu. The party was entirely unsupported by ponies, and their > provisions were much the same as o«irs, excepting they had dried milk instead of plasmon. The equipment was similar to ours. "Could you say a word as to the importance of the attainment of the Pole?" "Mawson, with the Floyd-Crean dip. I circle, absolutely fixed the position, of i the South Magnetic Pole, which is a matter of great interest to science, and helps the forwarding of that branch of knowledge. It is a matter of great importance in all magnetic survey work. This party arrived at a point on the sea coast on a glacier 180 miles from winter quarters, with practically no provisions except a few biscuits on arrival. There they obtained seals and penguins. MANOEUVRING IN BLIZZARDS. "I had left instructions at the winter quarters that if they had not returned there by Ist February, the shin was-to search the coast for them. This seems a fairly simple thing' to do, but one must realise that it was a practically unknown coast, with heavy pack-ice extending out from it, and Captain Evans hitdl si most trying job manoeuvring in blizzarde 'and through the pack-ice whilst going up that coast to search, for a black flag only, about two feet wide.
He went as far as , Cape- Washington,' and then, keeping inshore again on' the way south', searching every inlet and iiook, le arrived at the-spot where the northern party had come to camp only sixteen liouts earlier. Hβ sighted the tent, fired a double detonation, and the-' three men came rushing out. - ■ ■ f A CREVASSE. "Mawson immediately fell down a crevasse, but was-held up on'a show abutment twenty feet below, and was rpulled out by the party, from the ship, so that in a moment the gloomy prospect in front of them was changed, and they were in comfort. THE GEOLOGICAL "WORK. "Previously to picking up the northern party," continued' Lieutenant Shackleton, in answer to further questions, "as the Nimrod was steaming across Mc■Murdo Sound on the 24th January, a heliograph was observed flashing in the western shore. Pushing through the broken ice, Captain Evans picked up the western l pai-ty, consisting of Axmitage, Brockleburst, and Priestly. Thie party had been exploring and doing geological work in the west. On the 22nd they were camped off Butter Point, on the apparently fast ice." ADRIFT ON AN ICE FLOE. "Waking up on the morning of the 23rd they found the ice had broken up in the night, and they were drifting north on a floe. Fortunately the current set south that night, and at midnight one corner of the floe touched the land ice, and in three minutes they had all their equipment across into safety. Immediately after the floe went north to the : open sea for good. Next day they observed the ship in the distance, eleven miles off, and heliographed to her. A PERILOUS EXPERIENCE. "When the ship first arrived in McMurdo Sound, on January sth, Captain Evans dispatched a party of four men, with Melntosh in charge, to convey the mails to Cape Royds over the apparently fast ice. The same night two of the men returned to the ship, and, continuing the next day, Mr. Melntosh found the ice breaking up. By jumping from floe to floe they just managed to reach the land ice with the mail bags in safety. After remaining nearly a week by Mount Bird they decided to push overland across the mountains to Cape Eoyds, 28 milee distant. They got into very much crevassed oountry, and McGillan went down a cravasse, being hauled out by Melntosh, who improvised a rope out of a belt and a bit of line. All the equipment wae lost in the crevasse except a camera and a stick of chocolate. However, they pushed on, glissading down- ice slopes amongst crevasses, and eventually reaching the vicinity of Cape Royds in a blizzard. The following day they were found, greatly exhausted, by Day, who happened to have left the hut. At the time they were not aware that they were so close to the hut, and were walking round and round in a circle, trying to keep warm. Captain Evans, with the Nimrod, had arrived at Cape Royde on the Oth March, and, hearing that Molntosh " was not there, left at once in seach. CAUGHT IN THE ICE. "The Nimrod was caught in the pack, and subjected to severe pressures ior ten days. Eventually she was extricated, and returned to Royds." RBStJLTS OF THE EXPEDITION. Asked regarding the general results of the expedition Lieut. Shackleton said: "The geology of the country was naturally well looked after, as we had three geologists on board—Prof. David, F-R.S., Sir. Douglas Mawson, BiE. and BJ3c., and Mr. Raymond Priestley. Very good collections were made, but afthe present moment we cannot say the full value otE the various .finds, because they have to be examined microscopically in the biological department. There is a distinct new featn r e in the finding of the microscopic anivpals in the lakes. Murray, the biologfst, is an authority on this particular branch. One peculiar thing about the rotiferas is that, instead of laying eggs, as they do in temperate climates, they bring forth their young alive, and they can exist in the veTy lowest temperatures, and even in ice. And yet water of 200deg. heat will not kill them. RECORDS. "Professor David considers that the meteorological records and information gained are one of the moat important features of the scientific work, and will be especially important to New Zealand and Australia, as the upper currents of the atmosphere have an effect on Australasian weather. Observations of the eteain cloud on Mt. Erebus have beenof great importance in determining the direction of movements of the upper currents of the atmosphere. Other physical and scientific branches have been carefully worked at. It is interesting to note that the New Zealand and Australian nvagneticians predicted good auroral displays in the south, and we had exceptional brilliant aurorae; in fact, wo have a photograph taken with an ordinary camera which shows distinctly the auroral light. As regards zoology, Ah , . Joyce looked particularly aftor this branch, and we have a good collection of penguins, seals, etc. The v&jrious museums in Australasia will be given specimens of the fauna and geological collections, also of the marine animals. THE GEQGRAPHICAX. POLE. "As far as exploration is concerned, the expedition has been eminently successful. No one, of course, is ever satisfied with his work, but, certainly, as adding something to our knowledge of the Far South, the expedition has been successful. It has drawn back the veil a little more from the four million square miles that have been hidden from man up to the present. There ds one thing we are certain of, that the geographical pole is situated on a high plateau, which experiences the coldest and stormiest weather in the world, where in the height of summer it is possible to have 70deg. of frost, and one can realise a little from this what the weather must ibe like in the winter." WOKK OF THE STAFF. In answer to a question regarding the work of the staff, Lieut. Shackleton said that everybody got on splendidly together. Every man was not only interested in his own department!, hurt ready to help in other departments when the need arose. Men who .had gone down there to engage in a particular branch of science were quite willing to give a hand wherever it was wanted. "Yes, it is always possible to do everything in the world," said Lieut. Shackleton, "even to reach the South pole. We gained a great deal, naturally, from the Discovery's expedition, and the next man will gain much from this expedition. There remains only 97 miles to-be done. One thing is certain, that the food must •be increased if the .party are to do the distance, because *on a plateau , such as that, with intense cold, our food tvas not > - ■ • . . ■. ■ k.. <■- [(Conthraeoj <ru Fage 2.)} .P" ~
THE RETURN JOURNEY., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 73, 26 March 1909
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