The motor axle case was completed by Thursday morning, and, as far as one can see, Day made a very excellent job of it. Since that the Motor Party has been steadily preparing for its departure. To-day everything is ready. The loads are ranged on the sea ice, the motors are having a trial run, and, all remaining well with the weather, the party will get away to-morrow.
Meares and Demetri came down on Thursday through the last of the blizzard. At one time they were running without sight of the leading dogs – they did not see Tent Island at all, but burst into sunshine and comparative calm a mile from the station. Another of the best of the dogs, ‘Czigane,’ was smitten with the unaccountable sickness; he was given laxative medicine and appears to be a little better, but we are still anxious. If he really has the disease, whatever it may be, the rally is probably only temporary and the end will be swift.
The teams left on Friday afternoon, Czigane included; to-day Meares telephones that he is setting out for his second journey to Corner Camp without him. On the whole the weather continues wretchedly bad; the ponies could not be exercised either on Thursday or Friday; they were very fresh yesterday and to-day in consequence. When unexercised, their allowance of oats has to be cut down. This is annoying, as just at present they ought to be doing a moderate amount of work and getting into condition on full rations.
The temperature is up to zero about; this probably means about -20º on the Barrier. I wonder how the motors will face the drop if and when they encounter it. Day and Lashly are both hopeful of the machines, and they really ought to do something after all the trouble that has been taken.
The wretched state of the weather has prevented the transport of emergency stores to Hut Point. These stores are for the returning depots and to provision the Discovery hut in case the Terra Nova does not arrive. The most important stores have been taken to the Glacier Tongue by the ponies to-day.
In the transport department, in spite of all the care I have taken to make the details of my plan clear by lucid explanation, I find that Bowers is the only man on whom I can thoroughly rely to carry out the work without mistake, with its arrays of figures. For the practical consistent work of pony training Oates is especially capable, and his heart is very much in the business.