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Scott's Last Expedition

Thursday, March 23rd, 1911

No signs of depot party, which to-night will have been a week absent. On Tuesday afternoon we went up to the Big Boulder above Ski slope. The geologists were interested, and we others learnt something of olivines, green in crystal form or oxidized to bright red, granites or granulites or quartzites, hornblende and feldspars, ferrous and ferric oxides of lava acid, basic, plutonic, igneous, eruptive – schists, basalts &c. All such things I must get clearer in my mind.

Tuesday afternoon a cold S.E. wind commenced and blew all night.

Yesterday morning it was calm and I went up Crater Hill. The sea of stratus cloud hung curtain-like over the Strait – blue sky east and south of it and the Western Mountains bathed in sunshine, sharp, clear, distinct, a glorious glimpse of grandeur on which the curtain gradually descended. In the morning it looked as though great pieces of Barrier were drifting out. From the hill one found these to be but small fragments which the late gale had dislodged, leaving in places a blue wall very easily distinguished from the general white of the older fractures. The old floe and a good extent of new ice had remained fast in Pram Point Bay. Great numbers of seals up as usual. The temperature was up to +20ยบ at noon. In the afternoon a very chill wind from the east, temperature rapidly dropping till zero in the evening. The Strait obstinately refuses to freeze.

We are scoring another success in the manufacture of blubber lamps, which relieves anxiety as to lighting as the hours of darkness increase.

The young ice in Pram Point Bay is already being pressed up.

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