Camp 12. North 22 miles 1996 yards. I scattered some oats 50 yards east of depôt. The minimum thermometer showed -16º when we left camp: inform Simpson!
The ponies started off well, Gran leading my pony with Weary Willy behind, the Soldier leading his with Cherry’s behind, and Bowers steering course as before with a light sledge.
We started half an hour later, soon overtook the ponies, and luckily picked up a small bag of oats which they had dropped. We went on for 10 3/4 miles and stopped for lunch. After lunch to our astonishment the ponies appeared, going strong. They were making for a camp some miles farther on, and meant to remain there. I’m very glad to have seen them making the pace so well. They don’t propose to stop for lunch at all but to march right through 10 or 12 miles a day. I think they will have little difficulty in increasing this distance.
For the dogs the surface has been bad, and one or another of us on either sledge has been running a good part of the time. But we have covered 23 miles: three marches out. We have four days’ food for them and ought to get in very easily.
As we camp late the temperature is evidently very low and there is a low drift. Conditions are beginning to be severe on the Barrier and I shall be glad to get the ponies into more comfortable quarters.