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"The most beautiful day..."

Orde-Lees' Journal - November 26, 1915

The most beautiful day we have had in the Antarctic. A clear sky, gentle warm breeze, from the south, strange to say, & the most brilliant sunshine. We all took advantage of it to strike tents, clean out, and generally dry & air ground sheets, sleeping bags, etc.

I was up early - 4 a.m. - not because I wanted to be but because it was my watch. I was compensated by a most glorious sun burst, i.e. sudden change from overcast to bright sunshine. From the "look-out", spread before me, lay an extensive panorama of ice fields intersected here & there by small broken leads and dotted with numerous noble bergs partly bathed in sunshine & partly deep tinged with the grey shadows of an overcast sky.

The glistening white of the bergs in the sunshine is a magnificent sight but as I watched I saw the dark silhouette of a shaded berg is none the less striking; at times they exactly resemble dark rocky islands.

As I watched I observed a distinct line of demarkation between the sunshine & the shade about three miles away & this line gradually approached nearer and nearer lighting up the hummocky relief of the ice field bit by bit until at last it reached us and threw the whole camp into a blaze of glorious sunshine, which lasted nearly all day.

This afternoon we were treated to one or two showers of hail-like snow. Yesterday we also had a rare form of snow or rather a precipitation of ice spicules exactly like little hairs about a third of an inch long. We had the same thing once before in the poor old ship some six weeks ago.

The warmth in our tents at luncheon time was so great that we had our luncheon with all the side flaps up for ventilation, but it is a treat to get really warm occasionally & one can put up with a little stuffy atmosphere now & again for the sake of it.

The wind has gone to the best quarter this evening - S.E. & is freshening.

Observations place us seven miles to the northward during the last 48 hours.

Breakfast - Oatmeal (4 lbs.) & Pearl Barley (3 lbs.), porridge, Truemilk, 2 bannocks, no tea.

Luncheon - Cold corned beef (1/4 lb. each), 2 bannocks, tea.

Supper - Suet pudding & gooseberry jam (1/4 lb jam each), cocoa, 1 bannock.

Distribution per unit - 1 tin lobster paste & 1 bottle lime juice cordial.

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