Monday, February 3, 2014

CHAPTER 7: PATIENCE CAMP

                  SOUTH! THE STORY OF SHACKLETON’S LAST 

                             EXPEDITION 1914–1917

 Two men sitting in front of a pointed tent; left-hand man in flat naval cap is skinning a penguin, right-hand man wears a wide-brimmed hat. Between them is a tall stove. Other equipment is visible in the background
"We were, of course, very short of the farinaceous element in our diet. The flour would last ten weeks. After that our sledging rations would last us less than three months. Our meals had to consist mainly of seal and penguin; and though this was valuable as an anti-scorbutic, so much so that not a single case of scurvy occurred amongst the party, yet it was a badly adjusted diet, and we felt rather weak and enervated in consequence.

“The cook deserves much praise for the way he has stuck to his job through all this severe blizzard. His galley consists of nothing but a few boxes arranged as a table, with a canvas screen erected around them on four oars and the two blubber-stoves within. The protection afforded by the screen is only partial, and the eddies drive the pungent blubber-smoke in all directions.”

After a few days we were able to build him an igloo of ice-blocks, with a tarpaulin over the top as a roof.

“Our rations are just sufficient to keep us alive, but we all feel that we could eat twice as much as we get. An average day’s food at present consists of ½ lb. of seal with ¾ pint of tea for breakfast, a 4-oz. bannock with milk for lunch, and ¾ pint of seal stew for supper. That is barely enough, even doing very little work as we are, for of course we are completely destitute of bread or potatoes or anything of that sort. Some seem to feel it more than others and are continually talking of food; but most of us find that the continual conversation about food only whets an appetite that cannot be satisfied. Our craving for bread and butter is very real, not because we cannot get it, but because the system feels the need of it.” 


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