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"We heard a distant crash"

Orde-Lees' Journal - 14 November 1915

Temperature +25 to 33.

Bother the thaw; one lives in a state of perpetually wet feet but, strange to say, it seems to do one no particular harm. Inside the tents the temperature rises at times to a mushy 50 degrees & when sitting still within ones wet boots visibly steam from the warmth of the feet, but they dry a little at any rate!

I am now wearing ordinary Norwegian ski boots, like normal walking boot instead of the big Burberry boots made of canvas with a leather galosh & Durox sole & fastened by webbing bands were fine boots in their way & no doubt were suitable for a trans-polar journey with minus temperatures all the way, as they are capable of accommodating four or even five pairs of socks but alas are unsuitable for the present temperature.

The wind persists from the N.E. & is as much as anything like the S.W. wind at home, warm, moisture laden & accompanied by overcast skies, so much so, that we have been unable to get an observation for position for the last three days. When we next do, we fully expect to find ourselves much set to the S.W. but there is no great harm in that for the more we keep to the west the better, for there lies the land we hope someday soon to reach. Any little southing we can soon make up when "leads" open up & we can take to the boats. There are already signs of much open water around us and a considerable wide lead has opened between in the wreck & us during the night.

Yesterday we noticed that the yardarm on the only remaining mast had slewed round & partly set the sail (roller top sail)(?); later in the day we heard a distant crash - the mast had gone. Nothing but the funnel is now visible from our camp. The hull of the ship has sunk several feet. Her end is near & soon she will be gone.

Breakfast - Tinned herring (1 each) 2 bannocks each, tea, milk, sugar.

Luncheon - Tinned peaches (1 1/2 each) custard, 1 sweet bannock, tea, milk, sugar.

Supper - Stewed seal & beans, cocoa, milk & sugar, 1 bannock each.

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