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Scott's Last Expedition

Monday, June 12th 1911

The weather is not kind to us. There has not been much wind to-day, but the moon has been hid behind stratus cloud. One feels horribly cheated in losing the pleasure of its light. I scarcely know what the Crozier party can do if they don’t get better luck next month.

Debenham and Gran have not yet returned; this is their fifth day of absence.

Bowers and Cherry-Garrard went to Cape Royds this afternoon to stay the night. Taylor and Wright walked there and back after breakfast this morning. They returned shortly after lunch.

Went for a short spin on ski this morning and again this afternoon. This evening Evans has given us a lecture on surveying. He was shy and slow, but very painstaking, taking a deal of trouble in preparing pictures, &c.

I took the opportunity to note hurriedly the few points to which I want attention especially directed. No doubt others will occur to me presently. I think I now understand very well how and why the old surveyors (like Belcher) failed in the early Arctic work.

1. Every officer who takes part in the Southern Journey ought to have in his memory the approximate variation of the compass at various stages of the journey and to know how to apply it to obtain a true course from the compass. The variation changes very slowly so that no great effort of memory is required.

2. He ought to know what the true course is to reach one depĂ´t from another.

3. He should be able to take an observation with the theodolite.

4. He should be able to work out a meridian altitude observation.

5. He could advantageously add to his knowledge the ability to work out a longitude observation or an ex-meridian altitude.

6. He should know how to read the sledgemeter.

7. He should note and remember the error of the watch he carries and the rate which is ascertained for it from time to time.

8. He should assist the surveyor by noting the coincidences of objects, the opening out of valleys, the observation of new peaks, &c.

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