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Sport 9: Spring 1992

Diary Extracts from Scott's Voyage — to Discover the West Pole

page 90

Diary Extracts from Scott's Voyage
to Discover the West Pole

—'The sea is a woman who never grows old.'
The crew sing to keep their spirits up.
Yet song cannot silence our disappointment
at being forestalled to the Pole by a bear.
Although this Pooh is, of course, a stout English bear.

—The sea can never be judged too quickly.
It is never as it appears / as it reappears.

—We ate our last pony today——'Bolger.'
I shot the brave little beast myself.
Oh but he was lost and lame with no sea legs.

—Sun, salt, and more sun.
How the green waves boil!
How I long for ice and a cool breeze.

—I see the future as uncertain
with my deteriorating humour.
Yet our struggles are already immortal.
Knock Knock we say.
Amundsen who?

—Food is short.
The tractors were not a good idea.

—This tropical heat does not agree with us.
We have become argumentative.
I am constantly having to cite the Concise Oxford.

page 91

—The most wondrous wave formations today!
Like sastrugi. But in this humidity
our photographic apparatus fails to function.

—We have lost Oates. We had gathered on deck
during a particularly bad bout of calenture.
He simply stepped over the rail to pick flowers.

—All hope is fading.
The sea is just there, it shines and shines.

—For God's sake look after our people.