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Scott's Last Expedition

Wednesday, May 10th 1911

It has been blowing from the South 12 to 20 miles per hour since last night; the ice remains fast. The temperature -12º to -19º. The party does not come. I went well beyond Inaccessible Island till Hut Point and Castle Rock appeared beyond Tent Island, that is, well out on the space which was last seen as open water. The ice is 9 inches thick, not much for eight or nine days’ freezing; but it is very solid – the surface wet but very slippery. I suppose Meares waits for 12 inches in thickness, or fears the floe is too slippery for the ponies.

Yet I wish he would come.

I took a thermometer on my walk to-day; the temperature was -12º inside Inaccessible Island, but only -8º on the sea ice outside – the wind seemed less outside. Coming in under lee of Island and bergs I was reminded of the difficulty of finding shelter in these regions. The weather side of hills seems to afford better shelter than the lee side, as I have remarked elsewhere. May it be in part because all lee sides tend to be filled by drift snow, blown and weathered rock debris? There was a good lee under one of the bergs; in one corner the ice sloped out over me and on either side, forming a sort of grotto; here the air was absolutely still.

Ponting gave us an interesting lecture on Burmah, illustrated with fine slides. His descriptive language is florid, but shows the artistic temperament. Bowers and Simpson were able to give personal reminiscences of this land of pagodas, and the discussion led to interesting statements on the religion, art, and education of its people, their philosophic idleness, &c. Our lectures are a real success.

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