Sunday 12 Nov. [Actually November 11]
Fine weather. Gentle breath of air from NW. Partly clear, partly overcast. The sky’s appearance changes very quickly. A few moments, and everything has altered.
On several occasions, the land seemed very clear today. Now we have travelled 60 nautical miles since we first caught sight of the B range and got a bearing on the northernmost summit of ENE by ½ E. Today we found the bearing of the same mountain to be E by N – i.e. only a ½ point difference. The distance must be very great. The dogs also saw land today. They swung round and headed for it, but HH managed to get them on to the old course.
Terrain and going have been the same. We have raced in wild career all day. We polish off our 20 nautical miles in 5 hours. With cairn building, 6½ hours in all. The night is thus long. It doesn’t seem to strain the dogs. They are a little thinner, but in better condition than ever. All feet have healed.
Here in the tent we hear some bangs in the ice this evening – the first bangs we have heard. But they are far away, probably near land.
– Took a stroll outside this evening at 9.45. A wonderfully beautiful sight met the eye. The land was bathed for us in the loveliest light, standing out clear and sharp. We could then observe considerably more to the West. The most important that we observed was W by ½ N (true) or the land round Sh.’s climb. Therefore the mountain chain we have had in sight for the past few days must be completely new land.
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.