“…delirium, induced by gazing too long on this damned infernal pack that seems like Vanderdecken [The Flying Dutchman] in a less desolate sea doomed to drift to & fro till the Crack of Doom splits N. & S. E. & W. into a thousand million fragments — & the sooner the better. No animal life! — no land! — no nothing!!!”
— Frank Worsley
“Exercise dogs in sledge teams. The young dogs, under Crean’s care, pull as well, though not so strongly, as the best team in the pack. Hercules for the last fortnight or more has constituted himself leader of the orchestra. Two or three times in the twenty-four hours he starts a howl—a deep, melodious howl—and in about thirty seconds he has the whole pack in full song, the great deep, booming, harmonious song of the half-wolf pack.”
— Ernest Shackleton
“Partly persuaded, mainly driven, they pursue a devious & uncertain course, even more erratic than the poor ship’s, across the Weddell Sea.”
— Frank Worsley
“…we are living quite well, though we shall not be sorry to get some fresh seal meat. It is quite extraordinary how one’s tastes differ from what they are at home. Nearly everyone eats more fat here — fat in any form, dripping, suet or anything.
“We have some powdered dry milk called True Milk. At first nearly everyone reckoned it rancid and quite a lot of it was, unfortunately, given to the dogs! Recently I began having it in my porridge at breakfast, then my three neighbours tried it and acclaimed its virtues and now on-one will touch anything else. They all declare that it must have been mixed wrongly at first, but as a matter of fact it is mixed in precisely the same way, for I mix it myself. So it is merely a change of taste or a prejudice overcome without knowing it. It may be that it contains some vital necessity that is absent from our other food. Similarly the consumption of all sorts of things such as jam, treacle, potted meats, cocoa etc varies enormously from time to time.”
— Thomas Orde-Lees
Herbert George Ponting. Captain Scott’s Antarctic Expedition 1911-1912. Ice-blink over the Barrier. Jan. 3rd 1911. (Ross Sea)
“Then I saw a singular light in the northern sky, brightest down at the horizon, but stretching far up towards the zenith. I had not noticed this before, and as I looked I heard a curious murmur to the north like that of breakers on a rocky coast, but more rustling and crisper in sound. The whole made a peculiar impression upon me, and I felt instinctively that I stood on the threshold of a new world. What did all this mean? Were these the fields of ice in front of us and to the north? But what were the sound and light? The light was the reflection which the white masses of ice always throw up when the air is thick, as it was that night, and the sound came from the sea breaking over the floes while they collided and grated one against the other. On still nights this noise may be heard far out to sea.”
— Fridtjof Nansen, Pa Ski over GrØnland
“During the night take flashlight [pictures] of the ship beset by pressure. This necessitated some twenty flashes, one behind each salient pressure hummock, no less than ten of the flashes being required to satisfactorily illuminate the ship herself. Half blinded after the successive flashes, I lost my bearings amid hummocks, bumping shins against projecting ice points and stumbling into deep snowdrifts. Pack quiet, but away to the distant north clouds of sea smoke arise like a distant fire.”
— Frank Hurley
“Took color camera to lead again this morning amidst the similar gorgeous conditions of yesterday, more glorified perhaps for a fine crop of ice flowers have sprung up on the lead and were illuminated by the morning sun, resembling a field of pink carnations.
“I secured some fine coloured reproductions. Ice flowers probably owe their origin to the presence, in the surface layers of the newly formed ice, of small inclusions of saline solution, which freezing under the influence of low temperatures, with consequent extrusion of the salt, act as nuclei for the disposition of rime from the relatively humid air adjacent to the ice surface.”
— Frank Hurley
“A wonderful mirage of the Fata Morgana type was visible. The day was clear and bright, with a blue sky overhead and some rime aloft.
“The distant pack is thrown up into towering barrier-like cliffs, which are reflected in blue lakes and lanes of water at their base. Great white and golden cities of Oriental appearance at close intervals along these clifftops indicate distant bergs, some not previously known to us. Floating above these are wavering violet and creamy lines of still more remote bergs and pack. The lines rise and fall, tremble, dissipate, and reappear in an endless transformation scene. The southern pack and bergs, catching the sun’s rays, are golden, but to the north the ice-masses are purple. Here the bergs assume changing forms, first a castle, then a balloon just clear of the horizon, that changes swiftly into an immense mushroom, a mosque, or a cathedral. The principal characteristic is the vertical lengthening of the object, a small pressure-ridge being given the appearance of a line of battlements or towering cliffs. The mirage is produced by refraction and is intensified by the columns of comparatively warm air rising from several cracks and leads that have opened eight to twenty miles away north and south.”