Lunch Height 10,390. Barometer low? lunch Lat. 89° 3′ 18”. Started on some soft snow, very heavy dragging and went slow. We could have supposed nothing but that such conditions would last from now onward, but to our surprise, after two hours we came on a sea of sastrugi, all lying from S. to E., predominant E.S.E. Have had a cold little wind from S.E. and S.S.E., where the sky is overcast. Have done 5.6 miles and are now over the 89th parallel.
Night camp 65.—Height 10,270. T. -22.5°, Minimum -23.5°. Lat. 89° 9’S. very nearly. We started very well in the afternoon. Thought we were going to make a real good march, but after the first two hours surface crystals became as sandy as ever. Still we did 5.6 miles geo., giving over 11 for the day. Well, another day with double figures and a bit over. The chance holds.
It looks as though we were descending slightly; sastrugi remain as in forenoon. It is wearisome work this tugging and straining to advance a light sledge. Still, we get along. I did manage to get my thoughts off the work for a time to-day, which is very restful. We should be in a poor way without our ski, though Bowers manages to struggle through the soft snow without tiring his short legs.
Only 51 miles from the Pole to-night. If we don’t get to it we shall be d——d close. There is a little southerly breeze to-night; I devoutly hope it may increase in force. The alternation of soft snow and sastrugi seem to suggest that the coastal mountains are not so very far away.