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Aboard Endurance - "A four month's night!"

May 31, 1915

Changeable weather again. Temperature was 8F at 10:30 a.m., but -8F at noon, a drop of 16 degrees in 1 1/2 hours. Rather an unusual thing.

Imagine the temperature at home ranging from a degree above freezing point (33F) to 17F say in 1 1/2 hours. All the puddles would freeze solid in a few minutes, pipes would burst in every house and people would be getting frostbitten right and left.

General consternation and newspaper articles.

Here one grows accustomed to regarding this sort of thing with equanimity.

We are glad of the moon at noon now.

The place where the sun ought to be really gives no light worth speaking of, much less writing home about, at the same time (same time as the moon is shining) there is still a magnificent red and crimson line across the northern horizon at noon. Even this will be practically non-existent by mid-winter's day to which we are all looking forward with keen anticipation. It is the day that marks the beginning of the sun's return towards us, though we do not actually expect to see the great luminary until the middle of August! A four month's night!

It is not nearly so bad as one expected it to be. Certainly one notices a little grumpiness and irritability in one's comrades and they notice it very especially in theirs (that's the writer) and they don't forget to say so either. One has to exercise one's self-control. One may go a little further than this and try one's hand as intermediary in one or two little differences, with results that one's humble efforts as peacemaker occasionally bear fruit.

Resentment and estrangement are vile at all times but here they would entirely mar the harmony that, for the most part, exists amongst us.

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