It Was Good to Return to the Camp . . .
On 14 January 1911, Scott spent the day crossing from ship to shore as ballast was coming on board and to observe the finishing work on the hut. Both efforts were coming along to his satisfaction, along with other details at the winter camp. But looming now is the "depot journey" of 1911. The company has been ashore in Antarctica for little more than a week now and already Scott's enthusiasm for the ponies is waning. "Some of the ponies are not turning out so well as I expected," Scott reported. There were inconsistencies in the teams and a dawning anxiety that they can stand up to the cold. Added to these worries, Scott noted, is the obvious risk that one of the ponies would be lost through thin ice or made lame by injury. (Journals, p. 90, Carrol & Graf ). More evidence of the mislaid confidence in the Manchurian ponies would be coming. On all the evidence, Ranulph Fiennes would conclude that "dogs were better suited to the polar cold." But in Scott's defense, he noted that "the fact remained that Shackleton held the Antarctic travel record using ponies, not dogs, ..." (Ranulph Fiennes, Race to the Pole, p. 192, Hyperion ).
Posted by Russell Miller at 6:06 PM