Sunday 5 November [Actually November 04]
At 4 a.m. the sun came out for a moment and we were not slow in getting out of our sleeping bags.
There the depot loomed up about 2 nautical miles ESE. The small flags were just as they had been left, standing out beautifully against the white background. This is a victory for us. We have shown that it is possible to put out depots on these endless expanses and mark them so that with careful navigation we can find them again.
expanses and mark them so that with careful navigation we can find them again. We took the depot’s bearings and went back to bed again. After breakfast we packed up and set off. The weather had then closed in again, but we had our bearing and after 2½ nautical miles’ march we stood by our southernmost depot. Everything was in perfect order. The surrounding snowdrift was ca. 1½ ft. high. The flag had broken off, but that was due to a weak bamboo pole.
We have spent the day getting the sledges in the same state as they were on leaving Framheim – in other words full to the brim. We are now fully fitted out for 100 days and everything – both men animals and equipment is in the finest condition.
The doggies are now in a far better state than when we started off. All the sore feet have healed, and a little of the superfluous obesity has gone. W. shot Uranus. It was worth nothing, and ate an unreasonable amount. It was fat as a pig.
The depot here was exactly the right size. No dog pemmican was left. Only Uranus. We have just enough human pemmican to take us back to 80°.
The day gradually became fine. Now this afternoon we have brilliant clear weather, almost calm, boiling sun and –10°. I am now sitting in the tent and writing and it is so warm that thoughts stray now and then to the tropics.
This transcript comes from “Race for the South Pole - The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen” by Roland Huntford. It appears by courtesy of the author and The Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.