On 4th December 1915 Jack writes: "Mentioned little time ago that I was waxing poetical – here is a sample after the R. W. Service style -
The Lone South Land
Land of The Great White Silence, grim land of
the polar night;
Land of the blighting blizzard, ice-field glittering
Land where the white fanged mountains,
Nameless + cleaving the sky…"
For a full transcript refer to the ‘Transcript’ section.
Where the dread antarctic winter
sweeps down with its awful gloom
Week after week of darkness, only the
light of the moon;
Naught saw the moon + the swinging
stars agleam in the heavens on high,
With the weird cu…. streamers (?)…
sweeping across the sky
And yet with it all there is something –
a wild beauty that seems to enthral
A mystery, s..tness + stillness and a
heaven-sent peace over all.
Wonder what they would say to this at home pretty rude of course but at times you feel as if you cannot help trying to put your feelings into a rhyme rough though it is. At all events don’t suppose anyone will ever see this so it doesn’t matter much.
Monday Dec 6th 1915 –
6.30 AM +16.5; +29.0; +11.0 Clear, fine, warm. Cloud Sts low down NE horizon. Wind O. Slight haze N. Erebus + Terra outlined clearly. Plume? (invisible).
Remarkable development of f…l xlts on snow … has been disturbed – some reaching over 1cm in length.
1.15pm Swing +24.0; Snow in Sun +23.0 Very hot; wind o ; cloud Cu along hor + over dark land value 1. Plume long drawn out NW.
6.30 pm: Swing +20; Snow in Sun +21.0
Wind 0, Cloud Str Cu over land masses to W. Str to E + NE value 2. Plume …? Sast…’s interlaced landing N = S Large snow crystals again noticeable.
Hours today 9.10 am – 12.45 pm + 2.15pm – 6.15 pm another hot day though not quite so warm as yesterday. Again we travelled in vest + underpants. Made direct from our camp which lay about opposite middle peak of White Is, for Petrol Depot, which we reached after lunch at 4.30 pm. We continued our march until 6.15 pm doing in all about 14 ¼ miles for day. Could not reach Hut Pt today as had hoped – distance about 25 miles or so too great. Will get in tomorrow though – weather permitting, in an easy march of 12-13 miles. It is a beautiful evening, in fact all day the weather has been simply perfect.
Tuesday Dec 7th 1915 –
6.30 am _12.0, +22.5, +4.5 Calm, clear, fine. Wind 6 S.Cloud Str Cu + Str + CU much as at last reading
12 noon Swing +22.0 Snow in sun +22.0
Fine wrm as at 6.30 am Cloud Str Cu + Ci with two or three small Whalebacks over Erebus. Terra value 3. Sasting (/) N + S direction 1 E from S to N
7.30 pm Swing +28.5 Snow in Sun +28.0
Wind 10N Cloud – h.. banks Str to W + N value 4