Thursday 9 Nov. [Actually November 08]
Same fine weather. Yesterday we saw some wisps of cloud in the SW quarter, but thought little of it.
This morning however, they persisted in the same place, and upon closer examination with the telescope we could clearly make out land.
The bearing of the most prominent part – a dome-like peak – was ENE by ½ E (by compass). As far as we could see, the land ran from this peak – which was the N’most of the visible land – in a SE’ly direction. After having covered 20 nautical miles to the south today the bearing is exactly the same, although the mountain range seems closer and more distinct – but that might well be due to the light conditions. According to the map this must be the mountain range that Sh. saw and has surveyed, which ran SE from the Beardmore Glacier.
The last of the land that we can see towards the S. we observed NE by E ½ E (by compass) (S. by W. true). Right in our course – south – we can see not a trace of land and that promises well for the climb.
The skiing has been excellent but the surface considerably harder. It has assumed a gleaming, hard appearance everywhere. Quite small sastrugi. There is no doubt that it has blown persistently from the S. quarter. Probably no snowfall.
It is now absolutely clear as usual with a rather stiff breeze from the S. but t. is high –13°, and everything has the appearance of summer.
The dogs have kept the same speed today as usual – 4 miles [per hour] – and do not seem to be worn out any more.
We are now at 83° S.Lat. and stay put tomorrow to build a depot and rest. Took an azimuth observation this afternoon and fixed the compass error at 135° NE.
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.