National Geographic : 1936 Jul
MY FLIGHT ACROSS ANTARCTICA Photograph courtesy Discovery Committee Colonial Office NEWS OF THIS MEETING AT LITTLE AMERICA WAS FLASHED AROUND THE WORLD A landing party from Discovery II reaches Byrd's abandoned ice village and finds Ellsworth and Kenyon safe. Ellsworth (center) had been suffering from an infected foot caused by freezing and could not go, as Kenyon did, to the Barrier face to meet the visitors. "Have you anything to eat ?" were almost the first words uttered by the hungry newcomers, unaccustomed to arduous exercise on shore, when they found the flyers (page 32). During the whole mid-section of our flight-that is, from the time we left Eter nity Range until we started on the down grade to the Ross Barrier-the prevailing winds blew from the east and southeast. Only twice did we have a north wind, and that lasted only for a few minutes. We never had a west wind. Eight days-that is, until December 4- the storm held us prisoners in this cheerless camp. We accumulated grease and dirt, for we were never able to heat enough snow on the little cooking primus to wash with. We had to bring the gasoline gen erator for the radio into the tent to get it started. The exhaust soon blackened the tent and us, too. Our only excursions outside during the blizzard were to use the wireless on our schedule three times daily and to fill our gallon bucket with snow for water in which to cook our morning meal of porridge and boiled bacon, and the evening meal of pemmican. Our food ration was 34 ounces a man each day, but we were not obliged to adhere to the allowance, as we ate only twice a day. Even then we were never very hungry. In the morning, we again had a mug of oatmeal with chunks of bacon boiled in it, milk, sugar, and oat biscuit with butter on the side. In the evening we had a mug of pemmican, oat biscuit and butter. WHEN LIFE OR DEATH DEPENDS UPON AN AIRPLANE I thrived on this simple diet, just as in 1925 with Amundsen I never grew tired of our menu of hot chocolate morning and night, and pemmican at noon. Intense in terest and enthusiasm for the task have a strange influence upon one's mental atti tude. One evening, over a mug of pemmican, Kenyon voiced what was in my mind when he said, "Maybe this is all meant to try us out," and I remembered the beautiful promise in the old hymn: "So long Thy power hath blest me, Sure it still will lead me on."