Skip to content

Part 3

Hobart Tasmania to Commonwealth Bay Adelie Land, first experience of the Land of the Blizzard, working with the sled dogs
What follows is a page by page copy of Stanley Gordon Roberts Taylor’s original diary of his voyage as a crewman on S.Y.Aurora to Antarctica with Sir Douglas Mawson’s 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Exploring Expedition.   The voyage described here is that of 1912-1913, which was sailing to Cape Dennison Adelie Land Antarctica to bring the expeditioners back to Australia.
Part 3 details the Steam Yacht (S.Y.) Aurora’s voyage to Commonwealth Bay and Cape Dennison in Adelie Land Antarctica where they expected to meet Dr Mawson and the rest of the expeditioners only to find that some of the expeditionary parties were yet to return.
The scan of each page is accompanied by a transcription of the words for ease of reading. This document remains the property of Stanley Taylor’s family and their descendants. Readers are welcome to read, study and share the document, but it may not be used for commercial or financial gain. Copying is permitted provided that the source is cited. © 2011 Irene Gale

Dad's Diary p15 by SpearLily

Well to get on with the story we got away from the quarantine station at 11.45 AM and as soon as we got outside we started diving into it, and the poor sheep were sliding from one side of the ship to the other.

Next morning 27=12=1912 there were two had their legs broken and one had its neck broke, so we had to kill, skin, clean & hang them up in the rigging.

The Sea is still very boisterous and wind blowing a Gale.

Dad's Diary p16 by SpearLily

28=12=1912    Seas still boisterous.   Wind changed from Starboard bow onto Starboard beam so at 10 AM we set fore sail, also lower fore top sail, it helped us along a treat.

Had our Ice clothes issued out to us.
They consisted of one suit of very thick cloth, the coat lined with a sort of blanket stuff.   Three woollen under vests, three woollen under trousers, four pairs of thick woollen socks, one thick woollen hood, fits on head and over shoulders, leaving only mouth, nose, and eyes to be seen.    Two pairs of woollen mittens and one pair of leather mittens to fit over the woollen ones.
We also got two Grey army shirts, one blue jersey, one pair of leather sea boots, one pair of working blutchers.    One lb. [454g] of tobacco and one packet of matches which we receive monthly.

Dad's Diary p17 by SpearLily

29=12=1912   Seas very boisterous.   Wind changed onto starboard quarter so at 8 AM we set the Spanker.
At 2.30 PM. the wind changed right round on to Starboard bow almost dead ahead so we had to take in all sail.
We then stopped and took sounding.   1617 Fathoms White Clay bottom.

It rained heaven’s hard in the afternoon and kept showery all night.

Two more sheep had the misfortune to slip and break their legs so we had to kill and skin them, then hang them up to the ratlins.

Dad's Diary p18 by SpearLily

30=12=1912   This day brought about as rough weather as I have ever experienced.   The Seas were like great mountains.   They swept the decks, and sea after sea came down the stokehold ventilators and Engine Room, fairly flooding the place out, we were in sea boots up to our knees in it.

My little Chum, Dick Bradly by name, said (when he had his sea boots given him) that they ought to make the length of the boots in comparison to the size, as his boots are four sizes smaller than mine but the same length.   When he comes along the deck we cannot see him, we only see two sea boots.   The 2nd Engineer is the same.   He stands 2 two inches shorter than my Chum.

The Captain has been on the bridge all yesterday, last night and today.
Through the bad weather we had to kill two more sheep today.   The poor things get thrown about the deck something cruel.

Dad's Diary p19 by SpearLily

31=12=1912

This is the last day of the Year but not a very pleasant one, as we have to hang on for Dear life every minute.   Nearly all hands have nailed boards up to their bunks leaving little hole at the bottom to crawl in.

The Dogs are having a rough time of it as they are out in all the weather.   They are fast all round the deck with chains.   Last night two got carried away, broke their chains.   I caught one as he was being washed by the Galley door and a Sailor caught the other as it was being washed about the well deck aft.
He brought it into the Galley.   The two started fighting as soon as they see one another.   Being knocked about the way they are, it is no wonder they get so savage and they are so powerful.   That is the reason we cannot put them under shelter.    We are cramped up for space and we dare not put them within reach of one another.

All night through the wind howled unmercifully through the rigging.
What with the Wind, Dogs, and great Green Seas crashing over her, I can tell [you] we were all feeling pleasant.
But still all the same what I think the men were worrying most about

Dad's Diary p20 by SpearLily

was all the good Beer & Wiskey that would be drunk ashore tonight, wondering if there would be any left for us when get back (but of course your humble was not amongst that lot).

Yesterday, Monday, for twenty-four hours we weighed the coal and found she was burning 5 (five) tons 14 hundredweight per day of twenty four hours.

This morning we found one sheep dead and two others had to be killed.
We now have nine carcases lashed up to the ratlins.
If we keep going on this way when we get to the ice, and the parties that are there see her coming, they will take her for a travelling butcher’s shop.

They are starting to rig the wireless apparatus up.
We have two wireless operators at Macquarie Island and a station rigged up by the Chief Operator, a Mr Sawyer born in Vancouver B.C. and received his schooling at Berlin.
With his station at Macquarie Island, he holds the world’s record of sending a clear Message

Dad's Diary p21 by SpearLily

through to Suva, Fiji Islands. 2304 miles.
We have also a station on the ice connected with the expedition, but whether the fault lies with the Operator or Apparatus I cannot say, but he cannot send a message through.
That is how we have heard nothing of the Parties down on the ice since this ship landed them there.

Well the wind has eased down a lot this afternoon; there is a tidy sea running but not near as bad as through the night.

We took a sounding 4 PM.     2000 Fathoms.     White Clay bottom.
Then a nice steady breeze being on our Starboard beam we unfurled the Lower fore top sail.

At 7 PM we had the Wireless Aparatus fixed up and the Operator sat all night listening to receive any messages.    I do not know if he did or not.   He cannot send any messages as he has no machine to do so with, he has only a receiver on board.     They do not want him to send any messages, as they want no information whatever as to what we are doing, where we

Dad's Diary p22 by SpearLily

are, or where we are going, to leak out before we get back again to civilisation.

Well to get on a little with the tale, nothing exciting happened till midnight when the Third Officer got on the bell on the bridge.

The man at the wheel had a rope tied to the whistle cord and made fast to his foot.    Another man got on the big bell forward, and two men got on the Capstan.     I brought a shovel up from the stoke hold, and stood outside the forecastle scuttle.    At about half a minute to twelve the 3rd Officer on the Bridge rang eight bells, then we rang eight bells forward, then rattled the old year out, then stopped.
The 3rd Officer then rang eight bells, then we rang the eight bells forward again.    Then we rattled the New Year in.    The relieving watch came on deck then and the row started in earnest.
The dogs started yelling like anything, about the only things that were quiet were the sheep.

We are just about 700 miles from Hobart.

Dad's Diary p23 by SpearLily
Dad's Diary p24 by SpearLily

First of January 1913 Wednesday

A Happy New Year

I thought, we will now turn over a new leaf.

Well we started the New Year with a nice steady breeze on the starboard beam, and a heavy swell on we are rolling pretty heavy.

We took sounding 9.30 AM. 2170 Fathoms.   We do not know what was on the bottom as we lost line and sinker.
It is a common occurrence especially last trip, we lost over one hundred sinkers, two chronometers, and 16000 Fathoms of wire.
The wire is made of pure steel about the thickness of thread.

We had to stop the engines twice to do a little repairing but nothing serious, the job only took about quarter of an hour on each occasion.
At midday the wind and sea went round on the Starboard quarter.
We set the fore sail and lower fore top sail.

So we are making good headway, but roll.     She rolls herself right

Dad's Diary p25 by SpearLily

under every sea that comes along.
I can tell you she very often makes what is left of my poor little heart drop right through the soles of my boots.

We had two bottles of Imperial Rusian Stout given us today, also a medium glass of pure Wiskey.
The stout is very strong.    When I came aboard first I could not stand the smell of it, but when we got in the cold weather last trip several times I was on deck wet to the skin and an ice cold wind blowing, sometimes snowing, the stout came in very acceptable.
Well, it is only on such occasions that I can drink it now.

It is beginning get a bit chilly now.    It is a very cold wind that is blowing.
We expect to be among the ice in about another four days’ time.

Well, I think that is all there is of any interest that has occurred today so Good night all.    I am going to turn in now.

Dad's Diary p26 by SpearLily

2/1/1913    It is beautiful weather this morning.    The sun is out making everything look nice.

We cleared nearly all the coal off the deck and put it in the bunkers.   So that has made a lot of room on deck.
We also let the dogs loose and we had some great sport with them.
We had them in harness.     One very powerful dog was standing by me in harness, when along came two sailors drawing a bag of coal by a sling between them.    I just dropped a hook in the loop of the harness on the dog – never said anything to him, [and] he started pulling for all he was worth.
You could see the muscles of his legs and body working.   But to put a top on it, it was in the waist of the ship where this was going on, and the ship was rolling heavy.    Well another dog was sitting on his haunches with his head held high watching every movement of the interesting performance, when all of a sudden, the ship gave a good roll and

Dad's Diary p27 by SpearLily

took over a big sea.   It landed right on top of this dog and shot him across the deck, his stern went partly through a hole in the bulwarks, but the hole was not large enough to let him through.
The ship then rolled back again, and the water carried him bang again the bulwark the other side, where he regained his feet.    He just got up, shook himself, had a look round then walked off as if nothing had happened.

We were over our knees in water, our sea boots filled up.   All the time this was going on, the one I had hooked on to the bag he was still pulling away there, part of the time he was under water.   I had a job to pull him off.   He is the most powerful also faithfulest dog of the lot, also the ugliest brute you ever set eyes on.   He has a great head, with flaps of skin hanging over his eyes, also from his cheeks, and the sides of his top lip hang down below his lower jaw.   He has also two great tusks in the lower jaw and they stick up one each side of his snout and he fights like a demon with some of the other dogs.    Some of the dogs can go and play with him, pull his hair and lay

Dad's Diary p28 by SpearLily

on him, while others again dare not go near him.
We had to chain him, also two or three of them, up over night, but left most of them loose.    When I was coming along the deck tonight dodging the sprays, this big dog had his chain stretched across the gangway.
I tripped over it and fell on him.    He just howled and crawled away as soon as he could get free.    He was as much frightened of me as I was of him.

I had a bit of a mishap just now.   The ship gave a roll just now and threw me, seat, book, ink and lamp in a corner.  The light went out, the hot lamp glass laid on the back of my hand and I could not get rid of it before it burnt me.   The kerosene nearly all run out over me, some on the book, but not much.

Well, to get on a bit further with the story, the weather took a turn for the bad this afternoon at four o’clock PM.
The wind was blowing a gale on the Port Bow so we had to take in all sail.
At 5.30 PM we took sounding 1815 Fathoms.    We never received any result from the bottom as we lost the sinker and a good bit of the line.

Dad's Diary p29 by SpearLily

3=1=1913   It was snowing nearly all through the night.
When I turned out this morning it was beautiful weather 8 AM.
The wind had changed round onto the starboard beam.

At 8 AM we set the fore sail and at 10 AM we set the lower fore top sail and the fore top sail.

Ten sheep were down this morning so we killed them.    Three of them were black all over with bruises from being knocked about.   We give them to the dogs.

Everybody has been working getting ready for whaling.  We only want to catch one whale.

At two o’clock PM the weather took a change again.   The wind went round on to the starboard bow, and sea ahead, the ship fairly buried herself.
We took sounding at 4 PM.   1800 Fathoms,   and lost the line and sinker.
The temperature at 4AM was 41°F,   at noon 42°F,   at7PM 37.5°F.
The water at 7PM was 36°F.      [32°F = freezing point = O° C ]

Midday Longitude 151° East,   Latitude 54° South.   At 9 PM the wind dropped, the sea calmed down a little, but there is a tidy swell on.

Dad's Diary p30 by SpearLily

Well we are having long days now.   We only have about two hours darkness.

At 11 PM the sun was just sinking over the horizon and at half past eleven we see the Aurora Australis.
It was one long thin streak right across the sky but it soon spread out, it was pure white at first, it then went yellow, then it went all colours, changing and flashing about quick.
It is caused by the reflection of the sun off the ice into the sky.
It is very pretty.   They tell me it will be prettier still when we get down amongst the ice.

Well the next and most important event of today that I can think of is to turn in, so Good Night.

Dad's Diary p31 by SpearLily

4=1=1913   We caught a passing Wireless message just after midnight from the HMS Drake lying in Sydney Harbour, of course they will not let any of us forward know what it is.

At noon the Longitude 149° East,  Latitude 56° South.
At 1 PM we took a sounding    1570 Fathoms.    White clay bottom.
In the forenoon we reeled all the old wire off the sounding machine and put on 4000 Fathoms of new wire.

In the afternoon we had to kill two more sheep.
The temperature at 9.30 PM was 35°F.    We had beautiful weather up till 8 AM this morning.    It then started raining till midday, [and] at 5 PM it started again for half an hour.    We had two more showers between 8 PM and midnight.     There is very little wind out, but there is a good swell on causing us to roll good-oh.

Dad's Diary p32 by SpearLily

5=1=1913   It has [been] beautiful weather all day to day.   A light breeze on the starboard bow, also a light swell, enough to keep the ship rolling.
We have practically no night now.
It was twilight from 11.30 PM last till 1AM this morning.

I was just thinking it is a good job that we did [not] sign on to work from daylight till dark.    We would have a pretty long day if we did.

Well, this is the second Sunday out and nothing very important has happened.

It is getting a bit chilly now, so the sailors have rigged up a (boggey) in their forecastle and a fine one it is too.    It throws off a grand heat.
We took two soundings today.   One was at 9 AM. 1900 Fathoms.    Bottom White Clay.       9 AM.  1900 Fathoms.    Bottom White Clay.
Temperature 8 AM 34°F.      (PS. A bogey is an oil drum with holes all around the sides and a fire built in it and needless to say plenty of smoke)

Dad's Diary p33 by SpearLily

6=1=13   When I turned in this morning at 3.30 AM it was beautiful weather, but when I turned out at 7.30 AM the wind was howling through cruel, and great seas breaking right over the ship.
The wind changed round from the Starboard bow on to the Starboard beam so we set the fore sail also the lower fore top sail at 4.45 AM.
At 7.30 AM the sleet was coming down cruel, fairly cut through you, then at 8 AM it started snowing and kept on till midday.

We had to kill five more sheep this morning.
We took in the fore sail at 2 PM.    The lower fore top sail we took in at 3 PM.

We took a sea aboard about 3.30 PM broadside on.   It came over us from stem to stern and filled up every corner it could get in.   It came down the forecastle scuttle and in our room and filled it up to the low bunk, in which I was sleeping.    I can tell you it did not take me long to wake up.

Well the seas are still very boisterous.    Temperature 8 AM 36°F.

Dad's Diary p34 by SpearLily

Tuesday 7th January 1913
Seas very rough and wind blowing a gale on the Port bow.
At 8.30 AM we stopped engines and took sounding.   2230 Fathoms.   Clay bottom.    At 9.30 am we took the air pump adrift and in the bucket we put four new valves.    The new valves were one inch thick – the old ones were a quarter inch thick.
We got the job finished at one o’clock PM, and at 1.30 PM we got underway. [page repeated due to spilled ink]

Dad's Diary p34a by SpearLily

Seas very rough and wind blowing a gale on the Port bow.
At 8.30 AM we stopped engines and took sounding.   2230 Fathoms.   Clay bottom.    At 9.30 am we took the air pump adrift and in the bucket we put four new valves.   The new valves were one inch thick – the old ones were a quarter inch thick.
We got the job finished at one o’clock PM, and at 1.30 PM we got underway.

It was very cold and snowing all day until about 7 PM, then the wind dropped, and it got warm and the air was so thick and damp it was suffocating when I came off watch at midnight.

The ship is leaking like a sieve, especially when the engines are stopped.
The pump in the engine room could not make any headway on the bilges, so we had to start a pump on deck which is a hand pump, but we fix a chain on it and connect it to a spool on one of the winches.
It is a good pump and soon shifts some water.     Temperature 8 AM 35°F.

Dad's Diary p35 by SpearLily

Crossed out due to spilled ink

Dad's Diary p35a by SpearLily

Wednesday 8th January 1913    I had a serious mishap this afternoon when I was writing on the other page, the ship is very near turning over, well she give a good roll and sent me flying into my bunk with the Diary and ink following.

The ink upset over the book, my face and the pillow, making a fine mess, so I have had to copy yesterday and today’s diary out again.

Well, we are two weeks out today, and by jove it was cold this morning when I turned out, snowing all the morning up till time of writing, 1.30 PM. when the wind changed round on to the starboard bow, very light it is though, but a heavy swell on, we had to keep the deck pumps going for two hours.

Temperature 8 AM 35°F      Longitude 150° East     Latitude 62° South.
We took a sounding at 11 AM. 2252 Fathoms.
The sample of the bottom was yellow clay, and some black stuff like coal.

Dad's Diary p36 by SpearLily

Page crossed out due to spilled ink

Dad's Diary p36a by SpearLily

This morning as the bildges were full up over the stoke hold plates, we got the water down in the bildges, but they soon filled up again.    So we had to start the deck pumps for an hour from 1.30 till 2.30 PM then again from 4.30 till 5 PM, also from 8.30 till 10 PM.

Well, this is the fourth go I am having at writing yesterday’s diary, after making three false starts [due to ink covering the pages each time].
I thought it was time to knock off for that day.

A very amusing incident occurred last night to break the monotony of the voyage.    We sighted a barrel and after an hour and a half manouvering we managed to pick it up.    All hands made certain that it contained a message of some description, especially as one time we passed right close to it and see it was securely corked up.    Well when we did get it aboard, they could not get it opened quick enough.    The mate broke the first chisel in his hurry and anxiety to cut the iron bands.    Well, all the barrel had in it was some oil.

I reckon if anyone tries to read this diary they will have a job on.
I think it will take me all my time to read it myself.

Dad's Diary p37 by SpearLily

Thursday 9th January 1913   By jove, I am feeling so happy with the ship rolling so.

Last night just before midnight I filled up two buckets of hot water for washing in and had one in each hand when the ship rolled me from one side of the stoke hold to the other five times.
I could not hold on as I had a bucket in each hand.
Then the tools and two ashpit dampers started to roll with me and over I went, water on top of me, and then you can bet your sweet life on it the air was blue, black and green for about five minutes.

This darned tub is beyond all reason.    She rolls for breakfast, rolls for dinner, rolls for tea, and then rolls for sleep.   I can tell you I am just about fed up with it – roll, roll, roll ever since we left Browns River Hobart.
If you could see me trying to write this you would take pity on me.
When she rolls she dips her fore sail yard under every time.

Dad's Diary p38 by SpearLily

Well we do not get any darkness now, at midnight last night it was broad daylight.
We have the engine room bildge pump working all right so we have had no trouble with the bildges today.
We are making about 24 inches per day of water.
We took a sounding at 9.30 AM.    2500 Fathoms,    bottom yellow clay.

The wind was on the Port bow all the morning but changed round onto Starboard bow in the afternoon, 2 PM.    A very light breeze blowing, but a nasty swell on that keeps her rolling cruel.

We had to kill two sheep yesterday and three today.   Two of them when they skinned them, they were black from the knocking about they have received.
We give them to the dogs.    We have 23 carcases hanging in the ratlins now.

The wind changed at 5 PM onto the Port bow and the snow started coming down and it snowed right up till midnight and at 8 PM it started blow a gale.
At midnight it was howling cruel.     By jove, it has got cold today.
We took a sounding at 10 PM   2150 Fathoms,    no sample of bottom.

We are not rolling so much tonight as we were this afternoon.

Dad's Diary p39 by SpearLily

Friday 10th January, 1913    There is one good point in trying to keep a diary.
We keep account of the days and know one from the other, but a bad point about it is we keep counting the days and they never seem to pass.

When I turned out this morning it was bitterly cold.
One of my mates and I went to give the cook three bags of coal.   Each bag holds two hundred-weight.
They have been laying in water ever since we left Hobart and they were covered with snow.
It was snowing at the time we were doing the job, and I had just turned out of my blankets, so you can bet I felt the cold extra.
By Jove, it was cold from about 2 AM till 10 AM.

Our room is so small.    It is eight feet long, six feet wide and six feet high.
We have three bunks in it, a chest of drawers with three drawers in it.
We also have three sea bags, a tin trunk, three boxes with stores in, a table that folds up to the wall, a form, the chest of drawers stands under one bunk, the space between the top of it and the bunk is one and a half feet.
In this space, we keep a small box of stores and my

Dad's Diary p40 by SpearLily

Gramaphone at the back.
In front we have a box of sugar, plate of butter and bread, also a cheese.

I have to use my ‘phone records for a pillow.    I have taken the oilcloth off the floor and nailed it to the bottom of the top bunk and let it hang down over the side of mine to keep the water out as the water leaks through every seam in the deckhead.
So you see, we have not a square inch to spare.
Along the top of the wall on one side of the room, there is an opening one foot wide.    It has gauze wire nailed up there.
Well through that opening the cold wind howled all last night.

This morning I cut a board, nailed it up there then got some newspaper and pasted it over the cracks, so that will make it a lot warmer.

I have three blankets, a rug, no bed and records for a pillow so I reckon I am well off.    The space between the top bunk and the deckhead is two feet.
There would be plenty of room if we had not so much clothes.
What with the clothes we brought with us, Ice clothes, oilskins, sea boots and other boots, all the room is taken up.

Well in my watch below this afternoon I have been doing several odd jobs to pass the time away.

Dad's Diary p41 by SpearLily

I give the sailmaker a hand for a while, to clean the motor launch out, then I set to and skinned a sheep, then cleaned our room out, had a read, then started writing.

I forgot to put in yesterday’s log that we see two whales, also several porpoises, some with a white mark down from their chin to their tail and their backs are jet black.    They are called a Right Porpoise.

We took sounding 2 PM.    2150 Fathoms.    Clay bottom.   Temperature 4 PM 33°F     12 PM 32°F     Longitude 150° East,    Latitude 64° South midnight.

We passed several Icebergs through the day.
We were abreast of the largest one at midnight, they looked a fine sight too.

We also have several different species of birds, some very pretty ones, too.
One was the Wandering Albatross, you meet them anywhere south of the Equator.   There were two Sooty Petrols, they are jet black.   Two night birds, we just came across them last night for the first time, they are only seen in the Southern Antarctic.    They are grey with white stripe round the edge of the wings, white tail and little yellow on the back of the head.   There were also a lot of Blue

Dad's Diary p42 by SpearLily

Billies, they are a little blue bird with a black ring around the neck, black stripe on wing and a black tail.
Also some Cape Pigeons, and Mother Carey’s Chickens or Storm birds, they are only seen during a storm or when a storm is brewing.

The cause of so many birds following is on account of us dumping so much eatables.

We have killed the last of the sheep today, and no one is more pleased to see them killed and out of their misery than I am.    It is better for the dogs too, they can be let loose.

Us dumping the sheeps’ heads, trotters, entrails and other general refuse causes the birds to stick to us.

The wind has been on the Port bow all day but toward midnight it worked round to dead ahead.

Dad's Diary p43 by SpearLily

Saturday 11th January 1913   We started this day with very cold winds.
The wind is on the Starboard bow and the temperature at 2 AM was 30.5°F.
That is 1.5° below freezing point, and at 8 AM it was 34°.

The weather was grand this morning.    At 9 AM we sighted a lot of drift Ice.
We got up to it at 12 noon and it was a beautiful sight as far as we could see.
Nothing but pieces of ice, all shapes and sizes.    One large piece came right close and it had on it two very large seals.  They just laid there and looked at us as we passed.

We also see a lot of snow birds, they are a little larger than a pigeon, and are snow white.   They are only seen in the Southern Antarctic.

We battled through one thick floe of ice, but the second lot was too thick so we banged away at it for about an hour, then we had to pull out and travel along the outskirts of it till we came to where it was more open and got through.

It is worth the little bit of hardship that we have been through to see this sight.
It is too beautiful to describe.

We took a sounding at 4 AM.    1950 Fathoms.    mud bottom.
At 12 noon it was   1620 Fathoms.   mud bottom.
Longitude 150 ° East,   Latitude 65.8° South.   noon.

Dad's Diary p44 by SpearLily

We took another sounding at 5.30 PM.   1480 Fathoms.   rocky bottom.
At 8 PM the temperature was 32°F and at 12 midnight it was 30.5°F.
We took in the tagallant yard and made it fast on deck.
That was for to take a little top hamper off her, as by the time we get on our way for home, we will be getting pretty light.

Sunday 12 January 1913    This is the third sunday out.
It is beautiful weather, this morning we run into a lot of drift ice at 8 AM, but soon fought our way through it.
We took soundings at                           Temperature                             at
4 AM    350 Fathoms                               8AM 34°F                        12 midnight
8AM     224 Fathoms                              12noon 35°F                          it was
10 AM 350 Fathoms                                3PM 32 °F                              28°F
1 PM     320 Fathoms                               8PM 30.5°F
No sample of bottom

About 3 o’clock in the afternoon, a strong breeze sprung up and by Jove, it did blow.   It would pick the water up and blow it right over the ship, above the funnel.    At 8 PM we opened the engines out to their utmost speed.
I was on watch at the time, till midnight.    During that time we passed some very large Icebergs and some of them looked absolutely beautiful.

Dad's Diary p45 by SpearLily

Monday 13th January 1913    About 1.30 AM we came across the best looking berg I have seen yet.    We passed it about a ship’s length away.
On it were millions of penguins and seals.
There were hundreds of penguins swimming under our bow.
They dive out and in the water like porpoises, and when they swim along just beneath the surface, you cannot see them, you only see a streak, they swim so quick.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Don Crowder permalink
    08/08/2011 10:56 AM

    Boy how tough were these guys under such brutal conditions, he must have been a special person to persevere with this diary under these hardships. What a great record for the family to keep, extremely valuable and relatives must be very proud to be a decendent of Standley.Looking forward to the following pages….Don

  2. Heather Rossiter permalink
    10/08/2011 2:59 PM

    Just love his understated humour.

  3. 24/08/2011 5:51 AM

    That’s kind of… abrupt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: