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Scott's Last Expedition

Tuesday, May 2th 1911

It was calm yesterday. A balloon was sent up in the morning, but only reached a mile in height before the instrument was detached (by slow match).

In the afternoon went out with Bowers and his pony to pick up instrument, which was close to the shore in the South Bay. Went on past Inaccessible Island. The ice outside the bergs has grown very thick, 14 inches or more, but there were freshly frozen pools beyond the Island.

In the evening Wilson opened the lecture series with a paper on ‘Antarctic Flying Birds.’ Considering the limits of the subject the discussion was interesting. The most attractive point raised was that of pigmentation. Does the absence of pigment suggest absence of reserve energy? Does it increase the insulating properties of the hair or feathers? Or does the animal clothed in white radiate less of his internal heat? The most interesting example of Polar colouring here is the increased proportion of albinos amongst the giant petrels found in high latitudes.

To-day have had our first game of football; a harassing southerly wind sprang up, which helped my own side to the extent of three goals.

This same wind came with a clear sky and jumped up and down in force throughout the afternoon, but has died away to-night. In the afternoon I saw an ominous lead outside the Island which appeared to extend a long way south. I’m much afraid it may go across our pony track from Hut Point. I am getting anxious to have the hut party back, and begin to wonder if the ice to the south will ever hold in permanently now that the Glacier Tongue has gone.

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