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"life on an ice floe has its pleasant hours"

Macklin's Journal - November 29, 1915

Did not make an entry yesterday as a large crowd gathered in our limited space to play or criticize several rubbers of Bridge. All smoked strong tobacco; so strong that Rickinson and I were almost overpowered and had to leave the tent - I with a severe headache. The tent ventilation is poor at any time. Yesterday morning Greenstreet and I went scouting for seals, but saw none. We went in the direction of the "Dump Camp" and picked up a few useful articles. I brought some strong leather, and spent my "explorer's Sunday" in making a new knife sheath. I had doubts of my capability, but the finished article quite surpassed all my originial expectations.

I have learnt very many things since I joined the poor old "Endurance" on Aug. 8th 1914. There is nobody here to do a job for anyone, and the motto of an old Yorkshire song is more that ever true here: "If you have anything you wish to be done, and done well, do it yourself." We have no women, no cobblers, saddlers or other artisans to do our darning, bootmending, harness repairing, etc.

This morning Blackboro' and I went down to where the ship sank. There we met Greenstreet and Clark. We found a few tins of lard, peas, and mustard, which had evidently floated up from the sinking ship. Also conspicuous amongst a mass of broken ice and wreckage was our football, that same that had helped us while away many pleasant and active hours on the floe round the ship.

Today we had large servings of food, and everybody had full and plenty. Everybody has turned in feeling happy and content. The sun has come out and is shining on the side of the tent, and we feel that life on an ice floe has its pleasant hours.

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