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Scott's Last Expedition

Sunday, December 11th 1910

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The ice grew closer during the night, and at 6 it seemed hopeless to try and get ahead. The pack here is very regular; the floes about 2 1/2 feet thick and very solid. They are pressed closely together, but being irregular in shape, open spaces frequently occur, generally triangular in shape.

It might be noted that such ice as this occupies much greater space than it originally did when it formed a complete sheet – hence if the Ross Sea were wholly frozen over in the spring, the total quantity of pack to the north of it when it breaks out must be immense.

This ice looks as though it must have come from the Ross Sea, and yet one is puzzled to account for the absence of pressure.
We have lain tight in the pack all day; the wind from 6 A.M. strong from W. and N.W., with snow; the wind has eased to-night, and for some hours the glass, which fell rapidly last night, has been stationary. I expect the wind will shift soon; pressure on the pack has eased, but so far it has not opened.

This morning Rennick got a sounding at 2015 fathoms from bottom similar to yesterday, with small pieces of basic lava; these two soundings appear to show a great distribution of this volcanic rock by ice. The line was weighed by hand after the soundings. I read Service in the wardroom.

This afternoon all hands have been away on ski over the floes. It is delightful to get the exercise. I’m much pleased with the ski and ski boots – both are very well adapted to our purposes.

This waiting requires patience, though I suppose it was to be expected at such an early season. It is difficult to know when to try and push on again.

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