zondag 20 december 2015

Robert Falcon Scott -- 20 december 1911

Robert Falcon Scott (1868–1912) was een Brits marineofficier en ontdekkingsreiziger, die beroemd is geworden als leider van twee expedities naar Antarctica. Tijdens zijn tweede expeditie kwam hij samen met zijn vier metgezellen om het leven. Het onderstaande fragment komt uit zijn expeditiedagboek. De vier mannen uit dit fragment die Scott terugstuurt, overleefden de tocht, in tegenstelling tot Scott zelf.

Wednesday, December 20
Camp 42. 6500 feet about. Just got off our last best half march--10 miles 1150 yards (geo.), over 12 miles stat. With an afternoon to follow we should do well to-day; the wind has been coming up the valley. Turning this book** seems to have brought luck. We marched on till nearly 7 o'clock after a long lunch halt, and covered 19 1/2 geo. miles, nearly 23 (stat.), rising 800 feet. This morning we came over a considerable extent of hard snow, then got to hard ice with patches of snow; a state of affairs which has continued all day. Pulling the sledges in crampons is no difficulty at all. At lunch Wilson and Bowers walked back 2 miles or so to try and find Bowers' broken sledgemeter, without result. During their absence a fog spread about us, carried up the valleys by easterly wind. We started the afternoon march in this fog very unpleasantly, but later it gradually lifted, and to-night it is very fine and warm. As the fog lifted we saw a huge line of pressure ahead; I steered for a place where the slope looked smoother, and we are camped beneath the spot to-night. We must be ahead of Shackleton's position on the 17th. All day we have been admiring a wonderful banded structure of the rock; to-night it is beautifully clear on Mount Darwin.

I have just told off the people to return to-morrow night: Atkinson, Wright, Cherry-Garrard, and Keohane. All are disappointed--poor Wright rather bitterly, I fear. I dread this necessity of choosing--nothing could be more heartrending. I calculated our programme to start from 85 deg. 10' with 12 units of food and eight men. We ought to be in this position to-morrow night, less one day's food. After all our harassing trouble one cannot but be satisfied with such a prospect.



** In the pocket journal, only one side of each page had been written on. Coming to the end of it, Scott reversed the book, and continued his entries on the empty backs of the pages.

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