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Thomas Orde-Lees' Journal "What thoughts are ours..."


We have been ready to leave South Georgia for the last week but Sir Ernest has been waiting for the arrival of a steamer - the "Harpoon" - from B.A. which would bring us our last news of the war, etc. As she had not arrived by today, Sir E. decided to leave forth-with and at 9 a.m. we set sail for the Antarctic, the goal of my life's ambitions. Shortly before sailing two little live pigs arrived on board and were accommodated with a neat little pen.

What thoughts are ours, setting out thus at such a time, with no chance of news from dear ones at home who are passing through the greatest national crisis of modern times.

What may we expect to learn on our return. The map of Europe may be greatly altered but God grant that England may stand where she is this day and that all those dear to me may be spared from any privations or sufferings.

It is a fine day and the sea is not very rough though I have been sea sick three times, but I have learned to take it philosophically and it will soon be over.

We passed our first iceberg - a beauty about noon. This is the first real large berg I have ever seen.

The sea got rougher in the afternoon and I got worse.

The upper deck is heavily encumbered with coal; there is coal everywhere and at present it completely blocks the main deck between the cabins and the wardroom.

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