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"Depressing in the extreme..."

Orde-Lees' Journal - 16 November, 1915

It’s a fine, warm, overcast day. N.E. wind persists.

Until yesterday, I had not been to the ship since abandoning her. The ship is now a deplorable wreck; hard down by the bows, almost water-logged, the ice has absolutely overridden her forward, her stern appears to have risen a little. The funnel leans over to starboard and will soon fall & all three masts are already gone.

It is as unpleasant sight as I have ever seen - depressing in the extreme. To think that this is all that is left of what we had just so recently reckoned up being such a stout little craft & on which so many happy days have been spent by all of us, on which we had pinned our faith as the means which we were shortly to be once more in touch with civilization & all that means to us, & now to have to face a problematical escape over the ice and through leads in open boats to land over 300 miles away trusting to finding seals & penguins sufficient to meet our needs and then with an ever more remote chance of ultimate rescue. It is not a pleasant thought & so we bear a cheerful mien & devise distractions for fear we might give way to forebodings.

For the present, we have ample food with plenty of provisions around us, warm weather & many comparative comforts that contribute largely to our peace of mind - but what of tomorrow? “It is a long way to Tipperary” says the song of the day when we were last in civilization but it is an awful long way to land just now for Snow Hill is 277 miles off, Paulet Island 290, and the very nearest land to the Westward at least 205. The depots at either Snow Hill or Paulet Island must be our obvious goals.

Breakfast: Beauvais pemmican hoosh (8 lbs.) tea, milk, sugar, 2 bannocks each.

Luncheon: Suet pudding, gooseberry jam, one bannock each, tea, milk, sugar.

Supper Distribution: One tin salmon & anchovy paste to each four men.


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