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Scott's Last Expedition

Sunday, June 4th 1911

A calm and beautiful day. The account of this, a typical Sunday, would run as follows: Breakfast. A half-hour or so selecting hymns and preparing for Service whilst the hut is being cleared up. The Service: a hymn; Morning prayer to the Psalms; another hymn; prayers from Communion Service and Litany; a final hymn and our special prayer. Wilson strikes the note on which the hymn is to start and I try to hit it after with doubtful success! After church the men go out with their ponies.

To-day Wilson, Bowers, Cherry-Garrard, Lashly, and I went to start the building of our first ‘igloo.’ There is a good deal of difference of opinion as to the best implement with which to cut snow blocks. Cherry-Garrard had a knife which I designed and Lashly made, Wilson a saw, and Bowers a large trowel. I’m inclined to think the knife will prove most effective, but the others don’t acknowledge it _yet_. As far as one can see at present this knife should have a longer handle and much coarser teeth in the saw edge – perhaps also the blade should be thinner.

We must go on with this hut building till we get good at it. I’m sure it’s going to be a useful art.

We only did three courses of blocks when tea-time arrived, and light was not good enough to proceed after tea.
Sunday afternoon for the men means a ‘stretch of the land.’

I went over the floe on ski. The best possible surface after the late winds as far as Inaccessible Island. Here, and doubtless in most places along the shore, this, the first week of June, may be noted as the date by which the wet, sticky salt crystals become covered and the surface possible for wood runners. Beyond the island the snow is still very thin, barely covering the ice flowers, and the surface is still bad.

There has been quite a small landslide on the S. side of the Island; seven or eight blocks of rock, one or two tons in weight, have dropped on to the floe, an interesting instance of the possibility of transport by sea ice.

Ponting has been out to the bergs photographing by flashlight. As I passed south of the Island with its whole mass between myself and the photographer I saw the flashes of magnesium light, having all the appearance of lightning. The light illuminated the sky and apparently objects at a great distance from the camera. It is evident that there may be very great possibilities in the use of this light for signalling purposes and I propose to have some experiments.

N.B. – Magnesium flashlight as signalling apparatus in the summer.

Another crab-eater seal was secured to-day; he had come up by the bergs.

Capt Oates and Meares on ski. June 4th 1911
“Capt Oates and Meares on ski. June 4th 1911”

Flashlight Photograph of The Castle Berg. June 4th 1911
“Flashlight Photograph of The Castle Berg. June 4th 1911”

Flashlight Photograph of The Castle Berg. June 4th 1911
“Flashlight Photograph of The Castle Berg. June 4th 1911”

Flashlight Photograph of The Castle Berg. June 4th 1911
“Flashlight Photograph of The Castle Berg. June 4th 1911”

Flashlight Photograph of The Castle Berg. June 4th 1911
“Flashlight Photograph of The Castle Berg. June 4th 1911”

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