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Scott's Last Expedition

Wednesday, July 19th 1911

Again calm and pleasant. The temperature is gradually falling down to -35º. Went out to the old working crack north of Inaccessible Island – Nelson and Evans had had great difficulty in rescuing their sounding sledge, which had been left near here before the gale. The course of events is not very clear, but it looks as though the gale pressed up the crack, raising broken pieces of the thin ice formed after recent opening movements. These raised pieces had become nuclei of heavy snow drifts, which in turn weighing down the floe had allowed water to flow in over the sledge level. It is surprising to find such a big disturbance from what appears to be a simple cause. This crack is now joined, and the contraction is taking on a new one which has opened much nearer to us and seems to run to C. Barne.

We have noticed a very curious appearance of heavenly bodies when setting in a north-westerly direction. About the time of midwinter the moon observed in this position appeared in a much distorted shape of blood red colour. It might have been a red flare or distant bonfire, but could not have been guessed for the moon. Yesterday the planet Venus appeared under similar circumstances as a ship’s side-light or Japanese lantern. In both cases there was a flickering in the light and a change of colour from deep orange yellow to blood red, but the latter was dominant.

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