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"The hottest day we have had"

Orde-Lees' Journal - 15 November, 1915

Temperature +26

[In this journal entry, Orde-Lees notes in the margin: “In rereading this it sounds like exaggeration but, on the contrary, it is quite understated. The sun was really fierce.” ]

The hottest day we have had, and consequently wet underfoot.

The heat from the sun was so considerable that five of us who went to fetch some gear in the vicinity of the wreck with a sledge, marched in nothing but trousers and singlet & even then were very hot. I was afraid of getting [a few lines here are illegible but in his November 16th and 17th journal entries, Orde-Lees elaborates on his trip to Dump Camp.]

… my sleeves were rolled up above my elbow & my arms are red and sunburnt as the result. The great relative heat of the sun on a clear cold day is a very remarkable thing here.

[Illegible] … so that as one walks, one is continually breaking through the crust & sinking into soft snow from one to two feet deep.

It renders walking very exhausting and there are many places where one steps through into water-sodden places or actual holes and slush. This means wet feet & much discomfort. I had on finnesko. They are excellent as long as the upper layer of the snow holds but they get wet as soon as one begins floundering in the water.

Going to the ship we had to cross several small leads using the sledge as a bridge. I returned alone & took a bee line from the ship to the camp & did not have to cross any actual open water though I crossed several leads choked with consolidated frozen slush & small ice blocks. I carried an oar with which to bridge any cracks that I might have to cross but had no occasion to use it.

A latitude observation taken today shows that we have not drifted S in spite of 3 days N.E. wind.

Breakfast: Seal steaks, 2 bannocks each, tea, milk, sugar

Luncheon: 2 bannocks each, raspberry jam 1/4th, tea, milk, sugar

Dinner: Curried seal, 1 bannock, cocoa, milk, sugar, walnuts

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