TONY QUINN

CHRISTCHURCH

NEW ZEALAND

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BASE JOURNAL

STONINGTON ISLAND
BASE E

 

1960/61

COPY FROM I
BRITISH ANCARCTICA SURVEY ARCHIVES |

Document reference: AD6/2E/196/B

Not to be reproduced without permission or ‘
acknowledgement

 

1.

MAY 1960

21st. SUNDAY....The first day in our new abode. Breakfast was eaten in the semi-darkness under the light of a Tilley lamp, an ironical situation on our first morning of "civilisation", having spent the last two months with Tilleys and candles.  Mike Tween was giving the diesel a check over, this was completed by lunchtime. During the morning everyone turned out to bring all the years food supply to the hut where it was stacked. in appropriate piles. The afternoon was free for people to do whatever they wished.
Brian Sparke continues building his surgery. Arthur Fraser continued to
sort out food while John Cunningham was sorting out stationary and trying
to find. room to stow it away in his office. The day has been overcast, cool with temps at 15F ( -10 C). At lunchtime it began to snow and has continued
since.

22nd MONDAY..... A dull overcast day with snow during the night and all
morning. Temp 11F. Work continues sorting stores, and cleaning up the rubbish around the hut. Brian Sparke has spent the day fixing up his surgery, Howard Chapman is getting the darkroom dark ready, while Bill Tracy is putting shelves in the old hut for the sledging gear.

 

23rd TUESDAY.... Light snow all day with a slight breeze. Temp 4F. Work
continues sorting stores and storing them in old hut. A bonfire has been
burning all day and much of the building rubbish has finally been
disposed of.

 

24th WEDNESDAY... Snow all day with temp at 7F. Members continue at the
various jobs in which they had been engaged. Contact was made with Fossil
-Bluff this afternoon for the first time since the new transmitter was
installed.

 

25th THURSDAY,.. A more pleasant day than those of late. There has been no
snow and this afternoon the sky cleared considerably. Temp 9F. Work continues getting stores opened and packed in old hut.

 

26th FRIDAY…. A slight wind first thing this morning gradually increasing
until in the evening it was gusting to between 60 - 70 knots. Despite the
wind the sky was clear and for the first time in over a week we were able
to see the suns rays on the tops of the mountains beyond Neny Fiord. John
Cunningham took his team, the "ADMIRALS" for their first run since we
arrived on Stonington.

 

27th. SATURDAY... The "Fumigator" continued to blow all day with considerable force. Our first scrub out took place today. This evening we had a house warming party.

26th. SUNDAY... Doc Sparky did nothing all day (his own words). Harness making is the rage at present, similarly "thumper" production thrives.
Weather calm and civilised most of the day. Bob Metcalfe busy drawer building in the survey office now he is off cook. John Cunningham took 2 of  his doge out and they were to be seen trotting over Back Bay at phenomenal speed. The "ARMY & NAVY STORES" of Stonington is growing under the influence of Bill Tracy and Brian Wigglesworth

 

MAY.

29th • MONDAY... Oh Boy what a day- the met man was seen up at 8.50 to do the first met ob of the season.  Mike Tween seemed to spend the day waiting around with Xmas pudding tins in an attempt to make lamp shades.
John Cunningham team training again in evidence in Back Bay, Arthur Fraser was "a martyr to science’ and continued planetabling the anemometer hill, forgoing lunch in the process. Another breezy day but still civilised.

 

30th . TUSDAY…Another windy day , but good enough to allow dogs to be
taken out. The sledge workshop in the old hut getting more organised and more like a clothing store every day. Battery lighting is well on the way now too - a wonderful thing gas. The survey office should be in use soon after Bob Metcalfe’s carpenterial works reach completion. Temps still 6 – 10F range

 

31st WEDNESDAY... Jobs continue and the main topic of conversation seems to be the beginning of the physiological programme, tomorrow (early) with a call for a Spartan act of being weighed in pyjamas and going without tea in bed. Wind dropped off during the day and gave way to a calm manky afternoon and evening. Brian Bowler went up the glacier to check the supply depot up at the landing strip ( by Muskeg of course)and found all in order. Tony Quinn spoke to Fossil Bluff on phone both ways and all seems to be in order there still.

 

 

JUNE

lst  THURSDAY.,, A day of terror for the boys. Brian Sparke started his
physiological programme with weighing and finger freezing. A calm day
but cold - temp minus 2.5 F( - 19 C) - our first minus . Roger Matthews very
thrilled at finding a new "nine group" - whatever that may be - when the temp rose suddenly to plus 12 F., the wind rose to 30 knots and other strange metrological things happened in the afternoon.
Otherwise work continues - Bob Metcaife, John Cunningham and Brian
Sparke went across to Neny in the afternoon. Sea ice is thick apparently. Battery lighting has now definitely arrived and is (we hope) here to stay , this is now a most desirable residence.

 

2nd. FRIDAY... Calm and- clear today- dog training and the like during
the day, Brian Bowler skied to to the Debenhams in the afternoon.

 

3rd, SATURDAY... Another good calm day, usual activities.

 

4th. SUNDAY... Coldish day with nothing much happening except usual activities.

 

5th MONDAY,.. Fair day with wind later at night, All dog teams out for the first time. The pup ‘Gino’ out for first time - Bill Tracy says ‘he’s good. ( the pup not Bill). Arthur Fraser grinding rock slides. Howard Chapman in the darkroom. Mike Tween put battery light in kitchen.

 

6th, TUESDAY... Bit windy inside and out. Gusts of up to 70 knots. Everyone who did not have to go out stayed in and made things for the dogs and sledges.
Arthur Fraser still grinding rock slides.

 

7th WEDNESDAY... Snow, clag, and clammy, temp 16 F. Glad that sea ice
still with us and Bob Metcaife says ice in Neny fiord still there "but
not safe for travel, Sked with Deception and John Cunningham spoke with
Ron Lord. Mike Tween installed a street lamp outside the front door.
Arthur Fraser now grinding other side of rock slides- suppose we will have to go through it all again

 

8thTHURSDAY... Manky day with some snow and temps about 0 F. Minor engine breakdown when fuel injection pipe burst.

 

9th FRIDAY... Windy and drifting. Another power failure - -this time a water pipe.

 

10th SATURDAY... Calm, clear at first - cloudy later, Usual Saturday scrub out .

 

11th. SUNDAY,.. The infiltration of warm air appeared to have a toriphic
effect on base members and it was a quiet day. In the morning John Cunningham and Brian Sparke took out the ADMIRALS’ & ‘MOOMINS’ whilst Arthur Fraser continued his scientific martyrdom. Everyone else as per usual Brian Sparke celebrated his birthday and produced some medicinal aids for the occasion. Blowing a gale in the p.m. Fossil Bluff began sending met obs. to us for Port Stanley,

 

12th. MONDAY... Blowing hard in a.m. dull p.m. Most of the chaps were indoors in morning, but went forth later, John Cunningham, Howard Chapman. Brian Sparke and Bob Metcalfe had. a mountaineering expedition and climbed up the ice cliff accompanied by the pups. Bill Tracy and Brian Wigg, were over in the sledge workshop as usual while Arthur Fraser was once again planetabling. Brian Bowler was in or on the Muskeg. No dogs out except for a lose foray by Brian Sparke with Cocky. Mike Tween began the job of getting No.2. engine in action.

 

13th. TUESDAY... Weather calm, John Cunn. and Brian Wigg. took their
teams out accompanied by Arthur Fraser and Bob Metcalfe. Howard Chapman making a map case for the survey room. Bill Tracy had the unpleasant but necessary task of putting away "Babe", one of the "ADMIRAL", she was eight,

 

l4th. WEDNESDAY.., Calm weather continues. John Cunn, took his dogs out as far as Neny Fiord - reported slush there, Arthur Fraser was dumped out in the snow by Messrs Sparke & Bowler. Bill Tracy and Brian Bowler preparing for sledge trip, hoping to leave tomorrow but weather does not look too promising. Tony Quinn gave Fossil Bluff a record hour.

 

JUNE,

15th. THURSDAY... As anticipated it began to blow during the night and.
by morning was howling at 50 knots. Obviously any thoughts of
sledging were out of the question, Outside work reduced to a ‘bare minimum
though the wind frequently abated in the evening, Darkroom in operation
at last but not entirely successful, the enlarger being at fault. Bob
Metcaife spreading maps over the table doing (D 0 S language) a preliminary

map recce.

16th, FRIDAY.., Bill Tracy and Brian Bowler left after smoko. Snowed
quite heavily during the night but firm surface underneath. They are
thought to have reached the Debenhams . Arthur Fraser did 10 pull ups ??
John Cunningham and. Brian Sparke had teams out in the evening. Cold front passing through with temps well down into the minuses.(F). Tony Quinn emerged immaculately clad after a bath. (Printers note…HE AWAYS IS).

 

17th. SATURDAY… . Base looking immaculate after scrub out. Big news fromthe diesel shed, Mike Tween reports No 2 engine in action, purring just like No 1.  Howard Chapman finished his illustrious map case. John Cunn. took ‘Kitty’ out for first time, also Brian Sparke out with his dogs

 

18th. SUNDAY... Up late - Roger Matthew decided to have a long lie in
and failed to waken the cook at 6,30, however no complaints from the
cook or anyone else, for that matter. Moomins and Admirals out today.

 

19th, MONDAY... Brian Sparke and. Arthur Fraser went out to Edisto Rocks
or at least to look for them if they exist. No success so they returned to find, out
where they really had been ??.. John Cunn, and Roger Matthews went out with the
Admirals’ including Alpha - no fights. Roger Matthews and Bob Metcalf exercised three of the "Churchmen".

 

20th. TUESDAY.. Brian Sparkes and Arthur Fraser took some of the ‘Moomins"
out - Stella ran reasonably well for her second time out. John Cunn. included Kitty, the other bitch pup, in his team and went out with a few doge on a training ran. Fids programme was heard tonight for about 20 minutes but South America finally won and we gave up trying to sort the English from the Spanish.

 

21st .WEDNESDAY..  Mid winter’s day... Long sked with Stanley Met and bases in morning- the "trill of Debby laughter" was heard from Stanley DINNER WAS SERVED from 2 p.m. onwards, usual celebrations later. Heard from Bill Tracy and Brian Bowler who had made it to the old Base Y hut yesterday afternoon. A fine stirring heart warming message from John F. Kennedy - we all concur.

 

22nd, THURSDAY... John Cunn and Howard Chapman out with dogs also
Brian Sparke and Bob Metcalfe. Roger Matthews said Good Morning to the
’Churchmen".  Howard Chapman making a 35mm negative holder - a true FID

 

23rd. FRIDAY,.. Fumigator blowing - highest gust observed. 72 knots - by
Arthur Fraser. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke over at old hut overhauling
sledges. Bob Metcalfe still poring over maps. Fids request programme
from Stanley - we got two requests only one of which was altered from
the original. Tony Quinn preparing himself for next week – his turn as base cook

 

24th. SATURDAY... Brian Sparke ski-joring with ‘Cocky". Wind still blowing - normal indoor routine. Brian Wigg. had a bath.

 

 

25th. SUNDAY... And now my cook week begins. Usual lazy Sunday, everyone doing the same - sleeping. Arthur Fraser and Brian Sparke out with dogs, as usual didn’t know where they were, lost a picket hammer -How long is Brian’s sledge going to stay together ? ? ?. Delicious meals served all day.

 

26th. MONDAY... Temps still high. Star-sighters and rock basher writing
reports - what on don’t know, as they haven’t done anything. Brian Wigg. and Bob Metcalfe circum-navigated Neny Island and so were late for lunch - that excited when they finally arrived back they could not eat. Our intrepid sledge arrived back from Horseshoe Island (Base Y) with loot. Arthur Eraser stayed in bed until 11.00am,
said doctor held him in bed and put his hand in cold water - afraid that doctor’s water torture has started again.

 

27th. TUESDAY... Another sweltering day. John Cunn. was doctor’s victim
for hand torture this morning, claims "went to sleep and felt nothing"
which can be easily understood in this case. Arthur Fraser still planetabling the island, now in 2nd month, might soon be finished ? ? ?. Star gazers set up shop to look at the stars but at dinnertime nature called and they came in to feed and so ended another attempt to fix our position. Cook still going strong but think he is fading.

 

28th. WEDNESDAY.,  Our familiar little breeze is blowing, 40-50 knots
i.e. litter is blowing about* Brian Bowler still playing about with
Muskegs. Arthur Fraser determined to be mentioned in another diary entry
so was out planetabling for an hour or so. Reports of cracks in the
ice - cannot verify myself.

 

29th. THURSDAY... Wind drops and so does the temp - now minus 4 F (-20 C)
Recce trip south by John Cunn. and Brian Sparke being prepared for, hope to get away tomorrow ? ?, still deciding on co-pilots. Doctor removing ‘sideburns" from various people who have been carefully tending them this past month, claims he can measure amount hair has grown - doubt it.

 

30th. FRIDAY... Expeditionaries still at base - discovered they had holes
in tent - probably didn’t want to leave excellent cooking. Might leave
tomorrow. ???. John Smith at Fossil Bluff broke rib - medical sked – result- dinner nearly burnt. Everyone out playing with either dogs or Muskegs. In evening playing with a bit of rope, tying trick knots, curtsey of John Cunn. Didn’t hear such outside news as busy but now have only one cook day to go.

 

JULY

1st SATURDAY.. Temps down again - minus 3F. Expedionaries finally set out • reached Refuge Islands by nightfall - hope they are warm Power cut again today - another fuel pipe burst. Bob Metcalfe also gone south with the ‘explorers’ as gash hand and dog watcher. Arthur Fraser did not go as ‘pressure of work too great’. Nothing more from me for 10 weeks (I hope).

 

2nd. SUNDAY… Wind. increasing throughout the day to 40 - 50 knots in the evening
apart from this a quiet Sunday. Brian Wigg. continues his sledge construction. John Cunn, Brian Sparke, and Bob Metcaife moved on across Rymilll Bay.

 

3rd MONDAY... Calm, temp down to minus 16F. Arthur Fraser still plane-
-tabling. Tony Quinn ‘boasting he had made best sledge radio box ever.
Brian Wigg, and Roger Matthews went out with a few ‘old. dogs’ in the
early afternoon and I pottered peacefully later. Howard Chapman playing with maps and nearly took a photograph of a ‘fabulous’ sky’ but when he found it impossible to do through the window gave up in disgust. No contact with sledge today. Mike Tween remained hidden for most of the day after ‘getting at' me for leaving door of diesel shed open in the morning, in my haste and terror to get away from these mechanical monsters.

4th. TUESDAY... Clear calm day temps minus 14 F. Arthur Fraser still
doing ‘you know what’ (and I don’t mean telling Aberdeen anecdotes)
Brian Wigg. nearly completed his sledge and seems to be in immediate
danger of being forced into the field on Friday. Roger Matthews and
Howard Chapman out with dogs. Fids programme came through rather poorly although we managed to gleam from its warbling that "they know how much we depend on it" - Oh ye accursed, ingrates.-. No contact with sledge,

 

5th WEDNESDAY.., Temp minus 11 F. Clear morning, snowing by nightfall
Jobs continue. No contact sledge.

 

6th THURSDAY,.. Temp rose to plus 25 F. Snowing all day and quite
large drifts forming. Wind varying from calm to 50 knots. No contact
sledge.

 

7th, FRIDAY... Slight wet snow temp plus 32 F, - Horrid - Mike Tween ‘inadvertently’ ran diesel generator on petrol all day with no apparent adverse effects?? Telegram from Stanley, biggest ever, .5600 words of Antarctica Treaty and could have teen read by all from I960 Polar Record - well why shouldn’t Quinn work for his money. Running bloody battle all day in true sisterly fashion between pups ‘Brownie’ and "Faerie’ with ‘Pixie’ as a not toe impartial bystander. They agreed to continue the ‘battle for supremacy' tomorrow.

 

8th, SATURDAY... Mild. day – many leaks appearing in the hut. 36 drums
of diesel fuel transferred up to the diesel shed. ‘Brownie’ and ‘Faerie’
exhausted after a day fighting and ‘Faerie’ has large swelling on
left foreleg , looks like a strain as no sign of a wound. No news of sledge

 

9th SUNDAY… Mild and clear with some fog at times. Bill Tracy and
Brian Wigg. out with Brian’s dogs and preparing for their trip to
Millerand. Brian Bowler in darkroom all day. Tony Quinn, Roger Matthew
aid Arthur Fraser say they didn’t do much all day. Howard Chapman still
making his Eiderdown jacket and taking photos- the cook after being
rather ‘anti’ was in a better mood today. ? ?

 

10th MONDAY... Still warm "but cloudy and snowing most of the day’ Bill
Tracy put ‘Brownie* and ’Pixie’ on the span much to their dismay.
’Faerie’ still free because of her bad leg. The other three pups were
released, from their pen and immediately made their way into this hut
and one promptly made his tour of Inspection inside the hut. Bill Tracy
had some of his dogs and ‘Tess’ out, the first time ‘Tess’ has been
out at Stonington. Bill Tracy, Brian Wigg. and Arthur Fraser still
preparing for their trip. Tony Quinn still doing Base traffic, Brian
Bowler working on Muskeg sledges. Howard Chapman reckons he has
nearly finished his jacket. Roger Matthews had the ‘Churchmen out
No news of sledge.

 

11th* TUESDAY... Calm and cloudy but temps dropping, at 0 F in evening.
Bill Tracy, Brian Wigg and Arthur Fraser still preparing for their trip, rumour has it that they are leaving tomorrow - which from the cooks point of view is goodo. Some new tents which were marked as three man ones have been found to be two man ones which isn’t so good. Brian Bowler working on a Muskeg. Roger Matthews just puttering apart, from patching an anorak - although its more like patching new material with an old anorak. Tony Quinn has been teaching Arthur Fraser how to be a sledging type WOP, he better make a good job of it as he will have to try and understand Arthur’s tappings. Howard Chapman trying to do some printing without any interference from Newton’s Ring but unsuccessfully I think.

 

12th* WEDNSEDAY... Calm manky and freezing drizzle (met type term)
temps around zero F. ‘Faerie’ now on the span and probably glad to get
away from the three little horrors roaming around the hut. Bill Tracy
etc still preparing for trip. Arthur Fraser restocking food store.
Although I don’t believe it, Howard Chapman says his Jacket has chance of being finished tomorrow. Brian Bowler working on Muskeg and Roger Matthews had some of the ‘ Churchmen’ out. Tony Quinn sending off air letters. Part of Fids shopping service will now consist of a ‘Shopping List’ of goods Stanley traders receive on each
ship, read by one of Fids office girls. The cook managed to do a bit of cooking in between repairing fuel injector pipes and playing Hi – Qi.,
(Solitaire or Chinese Checkers or what have you)

 

13th THURSAY.,. Wind on and off all day, still freezing drizzle this
morning, but it soon turned to snow. There was a crust of ice on top of
new snow and when anyone tried to walk on it they broke through, what
with this falling snow and poor visibility the Millerand trip was again
put off .Brian Bowler still working on muskegs, Arthur Fraser printing,
and the cook developing in the kitchen . Howard Chapman’s jacket nearly finished now. Tony Quinn’s aerial fell down after breakfast, which was not surprising since its diameter must have been 1.5 Inches thick with ice.

 

14th FRIDAY... Fine day, clear, temps down to minus 10 F. Most people
just pottering this morning. About 2.30 pm Bill Tracy came in and said "three
more for dinner" and our long lost sledgers had returned after a hard slog back from Compass Islet . Tony Quinn still getting cheeky notes from Ted Clapp
who it is said, must have a ‘Power Complex’ now he is acting Secfids The three pups hare been named the ‘Three Musketeers’ Athios, Aramis and Porthos.

 

15th. SATURDAY…Manky, temps rising, wind rising, snow level rising,
"bar falling, scrub out. Roger Matthews took the ‘Churchmen’ out and had
a fight on his hands. Howard Chapman’s jacket still not finished.
John Cunn. and Brian Bowler printing in the darkroom, Arthur Fraser ‘rock hashing’ again, only small lumps off his specimens this time.
Most others just pottering, I think. The 'shopping list’ was broadcast
this morning, from what little 1 heard of it most items seem to cost $$$$$.

 

PS The jacket was announced as "being finished "at 25.05 this evening.

l6th. SUNDAY.., Dreadful day, waist deep drifts around the base. Roger
Matthews out with the ‘Churchmen’, after a fight at the tide crack
continued on his way, no one else astir.

 

17th» MONDAY,., Still poor, not much activity around base. Bill Tracy
out with the ‘Churchmen’ in the aftemoon. The ‘power complex’ struggle
between Ted Clapp and Tony Quinn seems to have fizzled out. Howard
Chapman’s darkroom technique seems to be improving as "Mr. Newton"
has not made his appearance of late.

 

18th. TUESDAY... White out today, but nevertheless the place was a hive of activity. Tony Quinn was out with the .303 using a 40 gallon drum for target practice, managed to hit it every time, bar once from 20 paces (from 50 yards from the hip position…EDITORS NOTE) Howard Chapman started on a no pass, no fee driving course, Brian Bowler "being the Instructor of course ( failed ) Arthur Fraser refused to allow Brian Bowler to take the muskeg over one of his geological stations as he has already plane tabled the position of the rock
Hair cuts in the evening, Arthur Fraser insisting on a ‘London Bob’.

 

,19th WEDNESDAY.. A bit manky today (inside), but also poor outside, temp plus 3 or thereabouts. Bob Metcaife spent most of the evening repairing tattered windproofs, claims a very successful job (we shall see), Brian Bowler and Bob Metcaife and a Muskeg went up the glacier to the depot, whilst Howard Chapman watched anxiously from the living room window. After the muskeg had broken down the travelers
returned on foot, then Brian, Bob, and Howard set off on the other Muskeg to rescue the first, fortunately everything went OK the second time. The weather cleared briefly in the afternoon and the sun was observed shining a few hundred feet up Neny Island,


20th THURSDAY... Beautiful day with a beautiful sunset, or was it a sunrise ? ?. All the base photographers were out, even Tony Quinn, Roger Matthews and Howard Chapman were out with the ‘Churchmen’ returning at 2.50 pm, just in time to avoid the winds which sprung up in the late afternoon. The Muskeg was out again today (broke down), Brian Bowler and Bob Metcalfe being driver and assistant, Sked with Base T at 5 pm.

 

21st, FRIDAY... One more day to go. Calm day temp in the upper 20"s.
Bill Tracy and Brian Wigg. out with dogs in the afternoon, Muskeg out
today (not a break down), Brian Bowler, Howard Chapman, Bob Metcalfe,
and Arthur Fraser were drivers and co-drivers. The ‘man of power in Stanley
gets married today and following limerick was sent to be read at the reception,

There was a young fellow named Clapp,

Who fell into the old fashioned trap,

When admonished he said.,

Well I like it in bed,

And now there can be no mishap

 

22nd SATURDAY... Scrub out. Bill Tracy and Brian Wigg, set off on
recce south, returned about four hours later having ‘depoted’ their
loads 2 miles away - bad surfaces. The ‘little red buses’ took Avgas
up to glacier depot (no break downs).

 

23rd SUNDAY.., For some inexplicable reason everyone up early this morning, it was suspected that it was all part of a conspiracy to try and put the cook off balance. If so it wasn’t a success ???, More Avgas drums taken up the glacier, John Cunn. was driving one of the muskegs and it refused, to obey him: - perhaps these machines are human ???. Bill Tracy out with his dogs laying a trail for another attempt tomorrow. Brian Sparke also out with his doggies.

 

24th. MONDAY...Today has seen the base relieved of two of its illustrious members. At crack of dawn (10.50 am) Bill Tracy and Brian Wigg. made a second attempt to get away. This tine they were successful and were at the penguin rookery at Red Rock Ridge by evening. Today, also saw the completion of the depot on the glacier (things are certainly moving apace) The muskegs were out on the sea ice for the first time and evidently negotiated the tide crack with the greatest of ease, This was all in preparations for tomorrows trip to Bar Island. John Cunn. had his dogs out this morning. He was on gash too and amongst other things (with Roger Matthew’s help) let the bonfire go out. Brian Sparke also took his dogs out - or they took him - for a joy ride. Weather
fine and not too cold, windy in the evening - first good blow for some time.

25th. TUESDAY... Wind increasing steadily overnight and today has been real grim with gusts of 70 knots. Much drift, and temps were pretty low too, making it distinctly unpleasant outside. The poor met man had a poor time of it today. The traces on the hygrograph and. Thermograph were 2 inches thick "before they gave up altogether. The max thermometer was also blown away. When going out to do the met obs. Roger Matthews looked like an astronaut ready for a flight - he also took off several tines before getting to the screen? After carefully sealing up the diesel shed with Sisalcraft, Mike Tween was horrified at the amount of drift in it today, you can’t win in this place at all. The surveyors are jubilant, they found a new mountain in the Battersea group -.its quite "beside the point of course that this discovery was made 200 miles from the place.
No muskegging today, Brian Bowler has made a rubber-lined container for
his Thermos flash.

 

26th. WEDNESDAY.«. A magnificent day with clear skies and temps around
zero. The sun nearly shone on the base today - the surrounding countryside was "bathed in golden splendour, As soon as light permitted Brian Bowler, Bob Metcaife, John Cunn, and Howard Chapman set off with 2 muskegs to lay a depot on Bar island or thereabouts. They set off in fine style returning in the afternoon, with the news that Bill Tracy and Brian Wigg. were returning to base - poor cook, he hasn’t a dog’s life in this place. During yesterdays gale large leads opened up to the west of Red Rock Ridge, one big one stretching to the west end of Millerand island. Bill and Brian arrived back at nightfall and waxed eloquent as they described ‘their nights of terror’ in the gale.
Roger Matthews was a ‘martyr to dog sledging’ today - forsook lunch in order to go to the Debenhams .

27th. THURSDAY... I’ve been told to keep the size of these entries down so here goes, weather dry - later very mild and breezy. Highest recorded July temp for Stonington. John Cunn. and. Brian Sparke made trip to Millerand, reported lead from Red Rock Ridge to Adelaide.  Bill Tracy and Bob Metcaife over to Neny Island, to investigate lead. Pixie out for first time. Everyone pottering around. doing odd jobs. Mike Tween spilled acid in diesel shed. Cook kept gash. hands busy - was it coincidence that they were both surveyors ???•

 

28th FRIDAY..."Water water everywhere and not a hut to sink" (with apologises to Samuel Coleridge)» with the overnight temp near plus 40F the place Swimming with water this morning and had breakfast to the accompaniment of ‘plink, plonk, plunk, ‘ as water dripped into buckets, pails and kitchen utensils placed at strategic points i.e. everywhere. Apart from this it was an eventful day - a seal was spotted and an array of bloodthirsty men went to kill it - Brian Wigg. intended to be away first but his dogs decreed otherwise, I don’t know’ really what happened but anyway Brian’s shoulder was dislocated, but it was soon right again, those not seal hunting tried to remedy
the leaking hut by sweeping the snow from the roof, catwalk, and stairs.
Roger Matthews fell down the stairs during this operation but he’s pretty resilient. Their efforts were crowned by - more snow. Cook’s morale dropped as on entering the kitchen, he found water all over the place with the bread sodden wet, but it didn’t deter from the usual high standard, which has prevailed all week ????????
Looking forward to tomorrow night.

 

29th, SATURDAY... It’s all over now - whoopee, fortunately little of
note has taken place today so I don’t have to write much. Scrub out in
forenoon, and dog training in afternoon.

 

30th, SUNDAY... John Cunn., Tony Quinn, and Howard Chapman climbed
Neny Island. Roger Matthews with dogs around Neny Island, .Bill Tracy
ran taxi service to bring Neny climbers back. Mike Tween cleaning up
diesel shed.

 

31st MONDAY. . .Arthur Fraser’s ‘official’ birthday. Very warm. Preparations for trip tomorrow. Snow in evening.

AUGUST

1st. TUESDAY…Still very warm. John Cunn., Arthur Fraser and Roger Matthews off to Millerand Island. Camper near Argie Refuge. Roger returned by 4.30pm.

 

2nd WEDNESDAY…Two Muskegs with Brian Bowler and Mike Tween driving with Bill Tracy and Roger Matthews as crew and the two surveyors off to Pyrex Island. Everyone back except for the surveyors- 2 for lunch, 7 for dinner.

 

3rd THURSDAY.. Surveyors return, done "fix" already, quick work or were they afraid of the "Neny Blow". Tony Quinn and Bill Tracy away before smoko for their big trip. Brian Wigglesworth now stand in radio operator. Only 2 for lunch.

4th FRIDAY… Normal routine

 

5th. SATURDAY.,. Scrub out, otherwise normal routine. Howard Chapman
discovered his hairs broken (in theodolite).

 

6th. SUNDAY… Everyone showed reluctance to get out of bed this morning, complaining it was cold – temp was minus 26 F ( -32 C). Got lower during the day until it reached a rugged 38 F (- 39 C) . Pity the poor sledgers (Tony and Bill). We all went cross-eyed this afternoon looking at 3 suns. John Cunn. And Arthur Fraser climber Millerand for survey work. Brian Sparke preparing to sledge up there tomorrow and see the "battered wrecks". Howard Chapman issued a triumphant cry this evening that "The Pyrex Island " readings had given an excellent fix, proving that the surveyors are worth their keep ?? Meanwhile Bob Metcalfe had a bath and broke the sluice pipe (maybe I spoke too soon about surveyors).

7th MONDAY..A cloudy day with temps around minus 15 F. Brian Sparke reluctantly agreed it was not cold enough to give him an excuse not to leave base, for Millerand so he left after smoko. Brian Bowler spent the afternoon repairing the damage in the bathroom caused by Bob Metcalfe. Howard Chapman spent the evening in the bathroom repairing the damage caused by Brian Bowler. The soft static members lingering in the luxury of base decided to show their appreciation of their rugged
fellow members who were sledging by giving them a record programme this evening but failed as -Base F were using our one and only frequency.

8th TUESDAY.. Much warmer today with temps up to plus 20 F. Brian
Bowler therefore decided that it was warm enough to venture outside -
which he did. Things then went to his head and he stripped and repaired the dynamo on one of the Muskegs - then for the fun of it he changed a fan belt. A wiser Brian entered later and declared he would never charge a fan belt again.  Fids programme boomed in and we heard the startling news that Stonington as photographed by J. Green is going to be the only picture on Fids calendar next year, - still there is no other base worth putting on it. Brian Bowler spent an evening writing.

 

9th, WEDNESDAY.,. John Cunn. arrived back from Mlllerand just after
lunch. Brian Wigg. took Epellon and Brownie for a short run. Roger
Matthews took the Churchmen to Bear Island this morning, then walked
there in the evening, for his gloves. Brian Bowler spent the day digging holes
outside the kitchen. window. Howard Chapman was seen reclining on the
bench in the living room hidden by a huge drawing board. The cook did nothing all day - some people weren’t up to see whether the cook did anything or not ???

 

10th. THURSDAY,.. Dull and manky day but the base was enlivened by the return of Tony Quinn and Bill Tracy from their rugged trip to Refuge Islands. Everyone glad to see them except Brian Wigg. who has to relinquish his command of the radio office. Howard Chapman busy gathering and packing gear for Fossil Bluff, Brian Bowler has
started loading sledges with Nutrician.

 

11th. FRIDAY... A typical Stonington day – temps at zero and. 50 - 60 knot winds .Everyone mooching around indoors until this afternoon when John Cunn, and Roger Matthews had to be intrepid and venture forth to feed the dogs. Black smoke issued from every oven in the cooker and everything got "a nice golden brown" without even putting it in the oven.

 

12th SATURDAY... Our usual Saturday morning exercise - scrub out. Brian Bowler had even more exercise digging his sledges out. Howard Chapman packing survey gear. The rest spent the evening preparing for their return to UK by practicing showing their slides, had a very enjoyable evening watching the "masterpieces" of Howard Chapman, Mike Tween and John Cunn.

 

13th SUNDAY..4 dog teams out this morning. Bill Tracy established that Bear Island was where I was supposed to be. Brian Bowler smashed his way into an alarm clock in an attempt to get to the main spring. Weather cold , calm and manky. Radio sked with Hope bay from 4.30 till 5.45 for a "chat" between Bill Track and "Manky" Winham.

 

14th. MONDAY.. .Fairly calm, with temps at zero, dropping to minus 15 F. in evening. Players out on fan trace – doing well apparently. Other teams out in evening to meet Brian Sparke and Arthur Fraser on their way Back from Mlllerand. Arrived "back at 3.15 pm with Arthur looking as fit as ever ??????’!. Evening spent in discussion about move
south and some decisions made on first steps. Arthur Fraser bathed, to everyone’s delight.

 

15th. TUESDAY.., Roper Matthews is gash hand - this cones about by the news
that the met programme is discontinued. A glorious day with temps at minus 15 F. and clear skies. Many camera shutters in action, Roger Matthews took Churchmen to Debenhams. Arthur Fraser "back in form trimming his tons of specimens, to shippable proportions and leaving the rest around the survey office in a heap of debris,

 

l6th. WEDNESDAY... A day of Momentous decisions - the main one being
3-day cook now. Don’t know the temp (no met man on base), cloudy and
calm. Main point of the day was the evening discussion, about the move south when it was decided that Bill Tracy, Brian Wigg. And Roger Matthews would leave with the first trip south of the muskegs (next week ???), with the Players and Spartans. –A disaster was discovered at 11.45 pm when the kitchen stove was found to
be out (Arthur Fraser’s influence again),

 

17th THURSDAY.. The camera kings went mad and our group photograph was taken, everyone was taken by everyone else except for a couple of members who seem to have borrowed their clothes from someone in the UK. Day was clear but cold, minus 31.254 F approximately. "Grain" was rediscovered in the darkroom. Brian Sparke set fire to the gash sledge.

 

18th FRIDAY.. Also cold, minus 27.5 F (-33 C). John Cunn. Took Phi out for a run – "cold pie". Mike Tween removed generator from old hut and worked on it in new diesel shed.

 

19th SATURDAY.. Dog feeding day. Quote "Bill Tracy worked all day", "Roger Matthews was packing", "Howard Chapman did nothing", John Cunn. Worked hard all day", "Brian Sparke helped Howard Chapman". Think only two told the truth.

 

20th SUNDAY…All the dog teams out

.

21st Monday… Fine weather continues. Mountaineering expedition in the afternoon, practicing on the ice cliff, a goodly number participating or photographing. Dean transferred from the Churchmen to the Moomins. Mike Tween and Arthur Fraser hunting for seal meat in the seal pile

 

22nd Tuesday.. Little red buses go up the glacier. Note that loading time for one Maudhiem sledge is one hour. Late night session in workshop with Brian Wigg and myself (Roger Matthews) driving the Singer with skill. The "three little men" (3 pups) followed the Muskegs with great interest up the glacier, had to be carried down again as exhausted. Once again a beautiful day.

 

23rd Wednesday.. Preparations for depot laying completed today so parties will leave in the morning (I hope). A rather hectic day with people running all over the place packing boxes, giving away clothes etc – just like as if the ship was coming to take us home. Cloudy day, seems as if the goof weather has ended.

 

24th THURSDAY.. Cavalcade finally left this morning. Bill Tracy, Brian Wigg and Roger Matthews with two dog teams and Brian Bowler, Howard Chapman, Bob Metcalfe and Arthur Fraser with two Muskegs. Reached a point 11 miles north of the Terra Firmas in deep soft snow by evening. Only 4 left on base - very quiet. John Cunn. And Brian Sparke digging out petrol drums, said they "were tired" in the evening.

 

25th FRIDAY.. Cloudy and foggy morning, visibility improved later and temps very high, sweltering heat ??? Everyone ( all 4) disappeared to different corners after smoko, Brian Sparke working on sledge, John Cunn. To talk to the dogs, Tony Quinn to the radio room and the cook to the kitchen. Pups had a walk up the glacier. "Advance Probe South" is in deep snow and pressure ridges, not much progress in the "white out" conditions.

 

26th SATURDAY.. Poor visibility and high temps. None of the sledgers moved. Scrub out day. John Cunn. Heard a strange noise upstairs and found the "three little men" enjoying themselves in Tony Quinn’s bunk.

 

27th SUNDAY.. A fine day but lot of fog patches, temp 15 F. Wonderful Kodakchrome sunset. Sledgers now all together at Compass Island. Bathroom water tank boiled during the night.

 

28th MONDAY.. Manky again with temps around 10 F. Sledgers stationary. John Cunn. Printing in the darkroom. Brian Sparke and John Cunn. spent the day working in the old hut. Tony Quinn had a busy radio day.

 

29th TUESDAY.. Manky again, temps in the 20’s. Sledgers still stationary. Puppy race today and the prize for the winner was a dish of nutritious kitchen scraps. The winner was Porthos, I think, or was it Athios, or maybe it was Aramis. Fids programme in the evening with messages for Bill Tracy and Mike Tween.

 

30th WEDNESDAY.. Still claggy, temp 25 F. Muskegs etc still at Compass Island. Mike Tween out with the Churchmen, or what is left of them. The pups devoured a delicious dessert, which had been left "safely hidden" in the snow to set by the cook (Tony Quinn)

 

31st THURSDAY.. Weather still the same ‘horrid. Muskegs etc still at Compass. Dogs fed Nutrition today to conserve our meager seal supply.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

1st FRIDAY Fan on generator gone u/s, no spare so have to swap between generators. Manky weather still.

 

2nd SATURDAY.. John Cunn and Tony Quinn sledged up to the Debenhams to check the cargo sledges there. After being lost in the mist for about an hour they eventually returned to base. No radio contact with the sledgers this evening, probably on the move at last.

 

3rd SUNDAY John Cunn. and Brian Sparke out with the dogs in beautiful weather. One of the pups fell off the catwalk, no apparent damage. Muskegs and sledgers arrive at Mushroom Islands

 

4th MONDAY.. Cloudy day. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke still packing to leave, maybe will finish in a week or so ??. John Cunn. had upset tummy due to drinking too much ?? but his safety valve seems to be working OK. John Cunn. had radio chat with Ted in Stanley. Mike Tween "got up steam" on his model engine, ran ok but had a couple of leaks.

 

5th TUESDAY.. Lovely day at base but bad with Muskeg/sledgers, did not move. Frankie and Liz put down, old age. Brian Sparke saved Liz’s pelt for a mat. Mike Tween’s engine boiler now passed its leak tests, now finding out what makes the wheels go round ?? John Cunn. on gash, enough said, seems to have spent his day talking to Ted in Stanley.

 

6th WEDNESDAY.. Cloudy day, wind rising. No word from sledgers. Mike Tween returned exhausted after taking the dogs for a run on the sea ice. Two gulls seen so must be open water close. People seem to be off their food, can’t be the cooking ???

 

7th THURSDAY Wind and drift most of the night and day. Cleared in the evening, temps around 20 F. Due to the weather nobody felt like doing much and they didn’t. In the afternoon John Cunn. and Brian Sparke fed the dogs and dug out some more petrol drums.

 

8th FRIDAY.. Alternating strong winds and calm, fairly bright. John Cunn. in his office typing. Brian Sparke too his head out of the water i.e. his seal head. After lunch John Cunn. took dogs for a run towards Neny Fiord, saw a seal so returned to collect Tony Quinn and his rifle and he knocked it off. As they didn’t bring the guts back, Brian Sparke went out after smoko with his dogs and collected the spleen and jawbone. Fresh seal liver was on the menu for dinner. Muskegs complaining voltage regulator on the blink, don’t know where the sledgers are, could hear them but they could not hear us which is very unusual. John Cunn. cut Brian Sparke’s hair and vica versa, result, two handsome men walking around base ???.

 

9th SATURDAY.. Strong wind and drifting snow from the S.E. with some sunny periods. Scrub out day again. Brian Sparke and John Cunn. making harnesses and gloves. Tony Quinn continuing his project of putting sledging radios into sledge ration boxes. Sledgers are between Mushroom and Puffball Islands in deep soft snow. No word from Muskegs. Argies at Hope bay requested a radio sked to discuss whether we could check the condition of San Martin.

 

10th SUNDAY.. Excellent day except for 60 knot wind and drift. Not much doing today. Muskegs still at Compass, report leads opening up around the island so have moved their tents onto the island.

 

11th MONDAY Still excellent weather, fresh breeze from the N.E. Tony Quinn and Brian Sparke set off to climb to summit of Neny to do an ice recce. The "Three little Men" decided to accompany them. All returned in time for lunch but the "Three Little men" were somewhat exhausted.. The dog sledgers have reached Bugge Island at the south of the Wordie Shelf.

 

12th TUESDAY.. Still excellent weather, only change is wind now gusting up to 80 knots. Nothing much doing beyond normal routine. The pups are a bit perkier today. Dog sledgers held up by bad weather at Bugge Island. On fids programme, in addition to personal message had a pep talk by "Bunny" (Fuchs).

 

13th WEDNESDAY… Wind and more wind. I am told, on good authority, that the food served today was superb. Muskeg party reports that the ice is still breaking up around them; their old campsite is now open water. Mike Tween took the diesel engine to pieces; hope it goes together again easier then his steam one.

 

14th THURSDAY.. Dogs taken out for runs, wind decreasing. Interesting radio sked with Ted to put him in the picture regarding situation with Muskeg party. Mike Tween is now washing his hands before every meal, bet he wishes he never started on the diesel engine. No movement discernable from those at the Bugge islands.

 

15th FRIDAY.. The wind blew here, there (i.e. Bugge Island) and everywhere. The ice is being more scoured and broken up, how much longer can this insane resistance to "The Rescue of Compass" operation be kept up.

 

16th SATURDAY.. Wind still blowing 40 – 50 knots. Not much outside work. Kennel dug out for expectant mother, Dot. No word from sledgers.

 

17th SUNDAY.. Wind still strong. Muskegs now safely on Compass Island. Dog sledgers back at Mushroom Island. Mike Tween still working on overhaul.

 

18th MONDAY.. Wind and still more wind. Everyone working indoors. Sledgers still at Mushroom. Brian Sparke writing poems ??.

 

19th TUESDAY.. At last the wind has dropped, only gusting up to 30 knots this morning but dropping by afternoon. Temp 16 F. Ted sent congratulations to Muskeg men on their good work in saving the Muskegs and all that sort of tripe. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke making final preparations for their recce trip south. Tony Quinn producing QSL cards by the dozen in the darkroom. Dog sledgers have made it back to Compass and are leaving 5 ration boxes for the Muskeg men. Uniak enlivened the evening by escaping from her collar twice in a quarter of an hour and causing havoc in the dog lines.

 

20th WEDNESDAY..A fine sunny day with no wind, temps down to 0 F and below. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke got away like rockets, though John stopped after 20 yards when a furious fight broke out. Tony Quinn skied to Neny Island to see if he could find his jersey, which he had left half way to the summit last week. He didn’t find it; it had probably blown a few hundred miles away. Muskegs still at Compass. Dog sledgers still at Mushroom. No news of Cunn./Sparke sledge. Governor of Falklands sends his congratulations to Muskeg men.

 

21st THURSDAY.. Another fine windless day with temps around 0 F. Tony Quinn spent the day digging out food boxes and stocking up the larder. Cook spent the day sorting out a pile of seal heads from the old seal pile and collecting blubber from around the dog spans. When he got the sledge of blubber to the tide crack to dump he found the "Three Little Men" rummaging amongst the rubbish plus a fourth dog i.e. Dot who had enlarged a gap under her pen and escaped again. Dog sledgers exploring leads around Mushroom and Muskegs still at Compass (they have little choice), report ice forming again, 4 inches thick up to 3 miles from island. Cunn/Sparke sledge report a mile wide lead from Bertrand Ice Piedmont to Red Rock Ridge covered by 3 inches of slushy ice.

 

22nd FRIDAY.. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke return from their recce trip. Long messages to Stanley and London to report on situation. Rest of food boxes removed from around the door.

 

23rd SATURDAY Radio skeds with SecFids. Now possibility of aircraft help for Muskegs. Tony Quinn shot a seal so fresh meat again.

 

24th SUNDAY Perfect day. Brian Sparke stripped to the waist cutting snow blocks – incredibly tough ???. radio sked with Ted regarding the "Compass Affair".

 

25th MONDAY.. Bright sunny day with Diamond Dust banks moving back and forth. No. 1 generator going again – for how long ? – however Mike Tween seems satisfied. Tony Quinn handled 6423 words of traffic today, very flushed and excited. John Cunn. Went looking for a seal and fell in the tide crack. He and Tony Quinn then went pistol shooting, little success. Dot moved house and no longer wails – we hope.. Most of the day was spent on the radio to Ted in Stanley regarding our stranded travelers. Latest is that Brian Wigglesworth and Arthur Fraser return to base and the remainder go to Fossil Bluff whilst John Cunn. and myself stay here.

 

26th TUESDAY.. Fine morning but cloud crept in during the afternoon. Temps still around 0 F. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke spent the day sorting out gear for the Muskegs. Another radio sked with Ted who insists that a met man return to base but can be either Brian Wigglesworth or Roger Matthews. Muskegs have escaped from Compass and are now at Mushroom Island.

 

27th WEDNESDAY.. Manky day. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke still with us. Spent day burning rubbish – left a large black hole in the snow – still burning at bedtime. Overhauled engine started and stopped today but only stopped for a few minutes. NO RADIO WITH SECFIDS TODAY.

 

28th THURSDAY.. Windy day with driving drift. Brian Sparke out with his team for 15 minutes before the high wind and heavy snow drove him back.

 

29th FRIDAY.. Weather still foul with high winds from the N.E.. Not much doing around base.

 

30th SATURDAY.. Fine sunny day, no wind, temps around 0 F. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke got off to a fine start and made good time to Safety Col but could not get up so are trying Red Rock Ridge tomorrow, Tony Quinn dug out food boxes and stocked larder. Cook did not do much except cook.

OCTOBER

 

1st SUNDAY.. Manky day with snow .Monk, Vicar and the 3 bitch pups taken out for walk by me, or rather they took me. Dog sledgers moved a few miles, no news from the Sparke/Cunn. sledge.

 

2nd MONDAY.. Fine at first, changed in the afternoon to cloudy, then snow then drift from the N.W. – most unpleasant, Sledge Charlie (Mushroom island) made no move today, sledge Baker (Cunn./Sparke) tried to reach Bertrand Ice Piedmont but bad weather turned them back to Refuge Island. They report that water lead has opened to 15 feet again but hope this westerly wind will close it again.

 

3rd TUESDAY.. A day of low and ever lower pressures, minimum 941.7mb – is this a record? Mike Tween preparing for a photography session, his first this year. He is making a heater for the darkroom, then drilled some holes in the darkroom as he decided it was too smelly. Sledge baker now reached the Piedmont. Baker has not moved.

 

4th WEDNESDAY.. Pressures returned to normal. Weather cleared up after a dull start. Sledge Baker at Moraine Cove, returning tomorrow, others still stationary. Mike Tween now printing his photos.

 

5th THURSDAY.. Weather bad, cleared in the afternoon. Sledge baker still at Moraine Cove, no word from the others. Mike Tween still printing. No sign of Dot’s pups yet ?? Regained contact with the team at Base T.

 

6th FRIDAY.. Weather very mixed today, manky – wind-drift-and then clear skies. Sledge Charlie now at the Terra Firmas, Baker in Rymill Bay, literally as the ice very bad and they are breaking through. The "Three Little Men" found a new place to play, under the hut.

 

7th SATURDAY.. Weather still bad, wind, snow and drift from the north and N. W. No sledges moved and the Muskegs did not come up on their sked.

 

8th SUNDAY.. Weather bad all day, temps rose from 15 F to 32 F. Dot put back on the span as her time is long past and no sign of pups. Due to the high temps leaks have appeared in various parts of the hut. At 9.30 pm the generator stopped due to the cooling water getting too hot. Sledge Baker back at Refuge Island, reckon they will be back tomorrow but Tony Quinn hopes not, as he goes on cook then.

 

9th MONDAY.. Another day of dripping water, Weather still bad. Sledge Baker still at Refuge Island and the others at Terra Firma. Mike Tween digging for "treasure" around the hut. Unearthed the fire extinguishers, also experimented with a wind scoop. Pups don’t seem to like this warm weather, are exhausted.

 

10th TUESDAY.. Temps still high, water has all dripped – I hope. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke returned tonight-bringing two Emperor penguins – dead. Now a washing and shining session in full swing. Pups helped themselves to a tin of washers from the diesel shed – Mike Tween very enthusiastic ??

 

11th WEDNESDAY Weather improved at last – a very fine evening. One seal shot by Tony Quinn – dogs are glad I’m sure. John Cunn. made a shelf for the record player with curtains, frills etc. Had the first aid box beside him for some reason – thought it showed lack of confidence ? Brian Sparke preparing for going home ? – ironed all his shirts and made an asbestos mat for the iron – will make someone a good wife one day.

 

12th THURSDAY… Fine day, no clouds. Tony Quinn and Brian Sparke went to the Debenham Islands to pick up some items. Sledge Charlie moved from the Terra Firmas to Moraine Cove and back to terra Firma with the depot.

 

13th FRIDAY.. An unfortunate day for the local inhabitants, Tony Quinn and Mike Tween, when investigating the snout of the glacier for photographic reasons, saw a seal and pup, so in the afternoon went back and a male, female and pup were shot and brought back by Mike Tween and Brian Sparke’s dog teams. John Cunn. then went to Neny Fjord and brought back another seal. Sledge Charlie returned to Mushroom Island to pick up stockpiled Emperor penguins. We also had Emperor for dinner. Included in this black day was the fact that the "Three Little Men" were put on the dog span for the first time but they are making us pay for it with their constant wails of protest.

 

14th SATURDAY.. Mank all day with temps up to 20 F. More leaks in the hut. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke preparing to leave – put it off due to weather so instead, cleared all the rubbish out of the survey and met rooms. Tony Quinn started fixing up the bridges Workshop Set in the Met room.

 

15th SUNDAY.. A changeable day, bright spells, then cloudy. Warm so dripping water as usual. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke sledged to Moraine Cove today – 35 miles- to lay depot. Bill Tracy has snow blindness so sledge Charlie did not move. Pups released from span – spent day sleeping as wailed all night.

 

16th MONDAY.. Very Warm – up to 42 F. Alternate periods of sunshine and cloud. Sledge Baker now at Terra Firma – a grand reunion with the others. Mike Tween trying to stop holes in the catwalk with mastic gun – good luck to him. First sunbeam ever to appear in the radio room was seen at 8.40 pm so summer is getting closer.

 

17th TUESDAY.. Temps still high and snow levels falling. John Cunn., Brian Sparke, Roger Matthews and Arthur Fraser at Refuge Island. All well with the Muskeg party.

 

18th WEDNESDAY.. Wind and drift from the west most of the day, cleared up in the afternoon. Four sledgers returned at 9 pm, much to the cook’s dismay.

 

19th THURSDAY.. Bright day but not much sun. A bit cooler outside but still warm indoors. John Cunn. sorting out tents and sledging gear. Brian Sparke and Roger Matthews checking contents of sledge ration boxes. Tony Quinn in the darkroom.

 

20th FRIDAY.. Manky and snowing much of the day, cleared in the evening, temps around 20’2 F. John Cunn. and Brian Sparke clearing out old hut. Arthur Fraser looking for maps to try and plot a route to the east coast. Monk and Johnny put down – old age. Message from SecFids asking us to start the met program again. Nobody thinks much of this idea least of all Roger Matthews. Trying to have it delayed until after east coast geology trip.

 

21st SATURDAY.. Weather clearing and surfaces getting firmer. Brian Sparke gathering equipment for east coast trip. Arthur Fraser working non stop with same idea in mind. Sledge Charlie moved south to Puffball Island and waiting there for the Muskegs.

 

22nd SUNDAY.. Weather still clear and people still preparing for geology trip. Brian Sparke manufacturing steel tent pegs etc. Mike Tween spent most of the evening developing colour films.

 

23rd MONDAY.. Windy day with some drift. Bonfire was lit – three times. No movement from Muskegs. Mike Tween finished his colour films. Gymnastic school, second session, took place in evening.

 

24th TUESDAY.. All of us semi confined to base by the weather. John Cunn. and Ted in Stanley had an "interesting" radio conversation this morning re the Muskeg situation. Tempers barely controlled both ends. Mike Tween held slide show to show off his latest achievements in the darkroom. Muskegs have managed to get themselves onto The Wordie Ice Shelf but have lost the dog sledgers – or maybe vica versa. United nations day suitably celebrated in the evening.

 

25th WEDNESDAY.. Weather fine with lots of sunshine. John. Cunn and Brian Sparke preparing for depot laying trip to Snowshoe Glacier. Cocky, Brian’s erstwhile leader had to be shot, post mortem showed lobar pneumia, or something of the sort. John Cunn. climber lower peak of Neny to do ice recce and photograph the sunset. A big lead has opened up again with big pools to north and west. Tony Quinn skied to the Debenhams. Sledge Charlie reached the Muskegs so they are all together again on the Wordie Ice Shelf.

 

26th THURSDAY.. Dullish day with low cloud, the pattern of the open leads and pools being perfectly mirrored on the clouds. Despite the bad weather, John Cunn., Brian Sparke and Mike Tween finished preparations, but much to the cook’s disgust, did not leave till after lunch. They found the depot at the Ramp and are backpacking it up to the top. Muskegs and sledge Charlie moved today and thought they had found their way out of a maze of icebergs, but they still don’t know where they are and two surveyors with them as well ???. These same surveyors reckon they have found some new islands, perhaps they have re-found the Puffballs ???

 

27th FRIDAY.. Tony Quinn did some target practice, then went tobogganing on the glacier. Landed in a shattered heap at the bottom, still complaining about his bruises. The intrepid Arthur Fraser put on his crampons and climbed on Neny – failed to reach the summit by 50 feet ?? Did an ice observation and reported the two sledges had rounded the top bend on the Snowshoe Glacier. Tony Quinn had another accident in the evening (not his day) – tried to blow himself up when 3 detonators prematurely blew up in the radio room. Looked as if he had been hit by a shotgun.

 

28th SATURDAY Weather mild, windy and altogether ‘orrid, but improved in evening so Roger Matthews left to try and find the sledgers on Snowshoe Glacier and bring Brian Sparke back to exercise his skills on Tony Quinn, who is fairly comfortable but understandably apprehensive of the amateur doctors.

 

29th SUNDAY.. Turned out a very nice and warm day. Sledgers returned form depot laying trip in the afternoon, Tony Quinn sighed with relief and so did the amateur doctor

.

30th MONDAY.. Rather breezy day but still very warm. Brian Sparke removed Tony Quinn to the surgery where he worked on him removing metal splinters. Mike Tween driving the typewriter doing indents. John Cunn. on gash, Arthur Fraser on geology. In the evening Riccardo-Armstrong-Arthur Fraser held an exhibition of his photographic work.

 

31st Tuesday.. Cloudy with snow in evening. John Cunn. killed a seal in the afternoon. Dog spans dug out – mucky job. John Cunn. trying to improve inside appearance of the hut – he will be lucky. Tony Quinn coming along nicely under Brian Sparke’s treatment. Despite bad conditions in radio room (main transmitter and receiver non operational due to shrapnel damage) we learned that Muskegs and sledge Charlie are at Cape Jeremy.

NOVEMBER

 

1st WEDNESDAY ‘Perfick wevver’ or so I am told. The seal which was shot yesterday was brought in today. Porthos and Aramis taken for a run in harness for the first time but without a sledge. Roger Matthews clearing up the seal pile, it appears we have 12 – 14 seals left. Brian Sparke still busy with his patient.

 

2nd THURSDAY Snowing in the morning, cleared in the evening. Roger Matthews still at the seal pile covering himself with glory and blubber.

 

3rd FRIDAY Low cloud and calm all day, temps around 22 F. The barometric pressure is dropping and Arthur Fraser forecasts bad weather. Big session weatherproofing the hut with creosote. Muskegs etc not moved.

 

4th SATURDAY The bad weather certainly turned up with a vengeance, wind blowing 50 – 60 knots all day with gusts up to 75, temps around 20 F. Apart from the scrub out, nobody did very much. Tony Quinn allowed up for a few hours, spent some time in the radio office supervising repairs to the transmitter and receiver, before we know what’s happening he will be slipping in taking traffic again.

 

5th SUNDAY More creosoting and digging. John Cunn. and Roger Matthews killed two seals off Neny and brought them back. Guy Fawkes night celebrated modestly ??

 

6th MONDAY Demolition gang ‘earthquaked’ the Muskeg shelter. Two black stinkers seen flying nearby. Open water cannot be far away. Painting and woodwork proceeding apace. Two seals stalked and killed. Today we had as much weather as anywhere else has had this year. ??

 

7th TUESDAY Dullish day, creosoting of hut continues off and on. John Cunn. brought in another seal. Brian Sparke put his dogs on new snow. Mike Tween began overhaul of No. 2 generator.

 

8th WEDNESDAY Manky day with some snow. Snow digging and creosoting goes on despite the weather – or is it because of it ?? John Cunn. doing some joinery work in his office – raising the desk high enough so he can write at it. Muskegs etc still stationary. Air letters arrived – about time too.

 

9th THURSDAY Normal routine carried out.

 

10th FRIDAY Weather still unpleasant, wind 25 – 30 knots and drifting so the chaps decided not to leave until tomorrow. Grim news in the evening – one Muskeg lost , went through the ice but no one lost thankfully.

 

11th SATURDAY What a perfect day, cloudless, windless and temp 11 F. Radio sked with Muskeg this morning regarding lost Muskeg, then sked with Ted in the afternoon to discuss safest plan of action. Roger Matthews painting upper hut, then looking for seals in the afternoon. The Moomins took Brian Sparke and Arthur Fraser for a run.

 

12th SUNDAY John Cunn., Brian Sparke and Arthur Fraser left this morning on the delayed east Coast geological trip. Weather manky and calm. Sledge Charlie moved 10 miles towards Muskeg – it was Hell ?? Tony Quinn removed an obstinate piece of metal from his thumbnail – that also was Hell.

 

13th MONDAY Fine morning but clouded in later. About 3.30 this afternoon two sledges were seen approaching – John Cunn. and Co. were back from their trip, well not exactly back as they had not got there but they couldn’t get their radio to work so returned to get it fixed . They had got as far as Snowshoe Glacier. Will this trip ever be accomplished ??

 

14th TUESDAY.. Another manky day with temps around 30 F (-1 C) John Cunn. and Co. away again. The power kept cutting in and out during this morning’s radio skeds. Fault traced to burnt out wire in generator change over switch. Tony Quinn stocked up larder again. Roger Matthews continues creosoting the hut and complaining about the heat at the same time.

 

15th WEDNESDAY.. Blowing again, sledge Baker held up on Snowshoe Glacier, sledge Charlie moved 12 miles and now quite close to Muskeg. Mile Tween still doing overhaul on No 2.

 

16th THURSDAY.. Temps soared up to 40 F ( 4 C), stayed there all day. Quite a bit of melt water and pups looking dirty. Bit news.. Lady Chatterley’s Lover has sold three and a half million copies since court case a year ago.

 

17th FRIDAY.. Another perfect day, though a bit hot. Tony Quinn dressed up in anorak and balaclava to go to old hut, then complained about the heat, however he emerged triumphantly with John Smith’s missing tape recorder. Mike Tween did gash hand ‘par excellence’ then back to No 2. generator. It has now become tradition for cook to spill a tin of tomatoes on their last cook day. Muskeg men still rotting in their pits.

 

18th SATURDAY.. Dull till evening when it cleared and "Neny blow" started. Temps around freezing. Roger Matthews took Brownie for a run.

 

19th SUNDAY.. Cloudy but bright, blowing about 30 knots, temps just below freezing. Sledge Charlie and Muskeg moved 25 miles. Sledge Baker held up by the ‘Neny blow". RRS Shackleton arrived at Signy today – Roger Matthews wrote two letters home.

 

20th MONDAY.. Sunny but still blowing, temps just below freezing. Muskeg and Sledge Charlie have come to the rift across the Sound, which was seen, from the air last summer. Roger Matthews went to Neny Fjord to check ice thicknesses.

 

21st TUESDAY The dry warm windy weather seems to have finished for a while and the afternoon turned out quite nice. Mike Tween busy flicking flywheels on and off. Shackleton due at Deception on Friday. Yours truly, against his better judgment, went up Neny for ice recce – ice situation much as before only more so.

 

22nd WEDNESDAY.. First place for effort awarded to our gallant comrades down the Sound who managed to move 35 miles today and are now poised 50 miles from Fossil Bluff. More perfect weather. The ‘Baker Boys’ are 10 miles from the Traffic Circle, what a horrible name for a geographical feature.

 

23rd THURSDAY.. Mike Tween another year older and completed overhaul of No. 2 in celebration. Muskeg men did another 30 miles whilst sledge Baker still at Traffic Circle – just the place to be for another blow ?? Tony Quinn 23 air letters in all shapes and form. Good weather all day but wind veered SE in the evening.

 

24th FRIDAY.. Another Neny blow started last night and continued all day. Clear skies, temps around 30 F. Muskeg and sledges arrive at Fossil Bluff – six weeks behind schedule – what a disastrous trip – but the four Fossil Bluffers were glad to see them as they had run out of much of their food some weeks ago. Sledge baker at Mobiloil Inlet. Roger Matthews started his met diary and report. No 2 generator running all day with not much bother except an oil leak from one bearing.

 

25th SATURDAY.. Still blowing, cloudy, temps around 30 F Sledge baker near Crabeater Ridge. Everyone else busy doing nothing.

 

26th SUNDAY Still blowing, bright this morning, cloudy this afternoon.

 

27th MONDAY.. Still blowing. Ice observer filling in his charts. No movement from the ‘Baker Boys’.

 

28th TUESDAY.. Still blowing. Roger Matthews calculated, with the aid of ‘Hints to Travelers" that the ice edge is 7 miles away. Lots of open water to be seen. Unsuccessful attempt at measuring the ice thickness as drill not long enough.

 

29th WEDNESDAY.. Ice observer out again, another unsuccessful ice thickness attempt, then did ice recce from Neny. Reports open water on other side of ice edge. At last, the long awaited news of the John Biscoe’s movements, should be in Marguerite Bay in a fortnight or so. ( a lot of ice would have to move for that to happen ?)

 

30th THURSDAY.. Mike Tween had a grand clearance along the front of the hut, then had a bath.

 

DECEMBER

 

1st FRIDAY.. Tony Quinn driving the typewriter continuing the epic history of Stonington. Snowed all night – 4 inches fell- but had virtually all disappeared by evening.

 

2nd SATURDAY.. The usual immaculate scrub out. Mike Tween bullshitting, i.e. laying lino in the diesel shed. Sledge Charlie laid depot "somewhere south of Two Step Cliffs". Sledge Charlie lost in the clouds.

 

3rd SUNDAY.. Dull, temps up to 40 F with a half hearted Neny blow during the day. Roger Matthews painting the outside window frames red. Bill Tracy and Co. on their way back to Fossil Bluff after successful photographic trip – laid a depot somewhere, I believe.

 

4th MONDAY.. Windy at times, high temps, dull. Nothing much happened at base. John Cunn. and Co. are "camped at the foot of a 4000 foot mountain " but don’t know where – a poor state of affairs I must say. Ron Lord and SecFids had a radio sked this afternoon, apparently the planes are still burning a lot of oil.

 

5th TUESDAY.. Brighter today, calm with temps still in the 30’s F. Roger Matthews did some more painting, Tony Quinn got rid of a couple of gash drums. Roger Matthews had Porthos and Aramis out together – no bother at all. Tony Quinn reckons he has caught up with typing this diary, but I spoilt that by writing in the last three days.

 

6th WEDNESDAY.. Lovely morning, sunbathed on the roof until Roger Matthews evicted me by starting to paint it. Cloudy in the evening. Mike Tween labouring in the old hut, trying to drain the water away. Sledge Charlie still on its way back to Fossil Bluff, sledge Baker still don’t know where they are exactly.

 

7th THURSDAY.. Another nice day though cloudy. Mike Tween still polishing and shining in the diesel shed. Roger Matthews had the three pups out pulling a sledge for the first time. Bill Tracy and Co. arrive back at Fossil Bluff. John Cunn. and Co. climbed three peaks (maybe to find out where they are ?).Captains Johnson and Turnbull chatted nearly all of the Goon Show. The HMS Protector is at Signy.

 

8th FRIDAY.. Weather still good – cloudy. Roger Matthews spent an "aggravating" day trying to clean up the dog span. Mike Tween still titivating the diesel shed. John Cunn. now stationary to do some geology – must have run out of mountains to climb. They are 7 miles from Crabeater Ridge.

 

9th SATURDAY.. To celebrate the end of the grouse shooting season, a shepherd was bagged and eaten for lunch. Tony Quinn overhauled the main transmitter, then a rapid photographic session, then commenced radio report. Mike Tween still continuing ‘Operation Bullshit’ in the diesel shed. Musketeers taken out for a run, by everyone.

 

10th SUNDAY.. Blowing a b-----d all day, gusts of 80 knots observed by Tony Quinn (standing in for Arthur Fraser).

 

11th MONDAY.. Mike Tween working in the diesel shed. Tony Quinn appearing out of the darkroom at regular intervals, which happen to coincide with meal times. Sledge Baker are apparently surrounded by snow petrels but are putting up a stiff resistance. Weather still blowing but eased towards evening.

 

12th TUESDAY.. Still windy but again dropped off in evening, temps just below freezing. Roger Matthews took Aramis out for a run this morning and then all three pups in the afternoon. They went away in fine style and did not want to come home. DeHavilands and ANARE have both suggested that the oil trouble on the Otters is due to the oil breather icing up. John Biscoe wanted ice report. Note from Ted that the Falklands Governor would be visiting us on 16th Feb if the Protector could get within helicopter range.

 

13th WEDNESDAY.. Calm and cloudy, bright at times, temps around freezing. Had radio sked with Biscoe, Captain Johnson very chatty (maybe it was because he had another Irishman to talk to ?), said he though the planes might fly. Heard later they did one trip to Cape Longing. Roger Matthews had the pups out again, found a seal, which Tony Quinn shot. Roger and myself went out later and brought it back. The ‘Three Little Men’ assisted us, at times but they seemed more interested in eating it than pulling it. John Cunn. and Co. back near Traffic Circle.

 

14th THURSDAY.. Another Neny blow but not quite as strong this time. The Xmas cake was baked today, thinks the cook made a good job of it (Big Head ). Nobody ventured far.

 

l5th FRIDAY...Calm sunny day - temps in mid 30’s, that good in fact that Mike Tween threw caution to the wind and took his shirt off while digging a drainage channel at the old hut until, of course, he got sunburned. Roger Matthews went up the glacier to do a ice ob - came back rather shaken after a couple of snow "bridges collapsed under his feet - says last time up there - he took the pups out for a run in the afternoon ‘but the heat defeated them’. John Biscoe at Port Lockroy.

 

16th SATURDAY... An even better day - Mike Tween rather restless due to his sunburn -
He is still working at old hut, Roger Matthews still struggling to clean the old dog spans - honours about even. Lots of more rubbish being exposed as the snow melts ~ spent a while in the sun clearing it up also dumping gash filled petrol drums. John Biscoe at Argentine Islands.

 

17th SUNDAY... Today was too hot according to our rugged met man.
Roger Matthews as usual out with the pups, also working on dog spans again.
Mike Tween seen wandering around at various times – missing at meal times but.

 

18th MONDAY.. Temps dropped below freezing and drove everyone indoors. Mike Tween completed. his ‘Instructions to would be engine starters’, and continuing his report which is now reaching alarming proportions. Flu epidemic at Base B. John Biscoe still at Argentine Islands.
.

19th TUESDAY... Our intrepid radioman did his great white hunter act but the intended victim turned out to be a large rock. He has also started touch typing "but whether he will reach the standard to "Fix the deal with six mixed heifers" remains to be seen, Mike
Tween found a goodie over at the old hut - a ‘Lt, Darlington’ notice, Geological party geologizing.

 

20th. WEDNESDAY... Weather back to normal ~ "blowing all day. Mike Tween working in diesel shed. Flu epidemic has struck Deception pilots so no flying to Base T for a few days, John Cunn, and company being assaulted by the ‘fornicator’ (or should it be the fumigator).
Surveyors at Stephenson Nunatak.

 

21st THURSDAY.. Fine sunny day with some wind. Long message in from SecFids. Apparently a Professor King from Natal wants to do some geology work in Alexandra land about 70 miles north of Fossil Bluff & Bill Tracy & Brian Taylor are to meet him there with one team - Talyor can write up the results. John Cunn. & company sprung the news on us that they will be back by Christmas, they, are half way up Neny Trough.

 

22nd. FRIDAY... Bright and sunny until the evening when it clouded over, temps about 28 F (-3 C), Weather sked with John Biscoe and Base T at 8 .50 this morning and another at 12.50 when Bob Bond decided to fly down from Deception. They got away soon after 2 pm and. arrived Base T at 6.45 after meeting some head winds. Say lot of pack Ice off Adelaide Island. Biscoe is spending Xmas at Base A. Weather permitting, the Base T boys will fly over here.

 

 

23rd SATURDAY... Dull. calm, temps about 30 F. Scrub out. Just after lunch the pups became excited &. the cause was eventually traced to sledges parked out at the back, actually it was John Cunn., Brian Sparke & Arthur Fraser returned from their trip after a perilous descent of the Snowshoe Glacier and across a 40 foot tide crack, well it was something like that, anyway.

;

24th SUNDAY.., Lovely calm sunny day -also very exciting ???- aircraft with a ragged bunch from Base T arrived, stayed for about an hour - very impressed with our glacier - they don’t seem to be used to crevasses yet.

 

25th MONDAY.,. Xmas day - celebrated quietly. Arthur Fraser making up gallons of developer & fixer. Mixing it in 28 lb. sugar tin. John Cunn. spent the day shoveling snow into the bathroom tank after his mammoth washing session.

 

26th. TUESDAY.. Arthur Fraser and John Gunn. developing films exposed on East Coast trip. Arthur Fraser aim playing at geology with his collection of stones. Two seals butchered by Brian Sparke and Roger Matthews .After getting the taste of blood Brian spent the evening trying to shoot skuas which were eating the seal - had limited
success. Mike Tween now a fully-fledged member of the typing pool - doing his report.

 

27th WEDNESDAY.. Brian Sparke and (the intrepid) Tony Quinn murdered another ‘Sammy’. Dog spans cleaned and moved to the north side of the
hut by John Cunn. and Brian Sparke.

 

28th* THURSDAY... John Cunn, got another ‘Sammy’. With a little assistance he made a concrete doorstep. Mike Tween still driving the typewriter. Arthur Fraser doing geology and gash-hand.

29th, FRIDAY... Everyone (except Arthur Fraser) doing a grand clearance outside, lured by the ‘perfick wevver’. Arthur also wanted to go out but ‘regrettably science called’. Biscoe slogging on but still not much nearer.

 

30th, SATURDAY... Believe it or not - Tony Quinn was up at the unearthly hour of 7.15 am, however, as it will be readily realised this was not of his choosing - Port Stanley for some reason or other demanded a sked at 7.50 am to deal with air letters. He will undoubtedly recover in due course ? Seal cutting up all the rage at present. Brian Sparke went out with his team and brought back the first crabeater seal of the season.

31st SUNDAY.. More tidying up in progress. Roger Matthews took out his new dog team of 5 dogs but sea ice now impossible. All members stayed up to see the New Year in, Dot and Coco mated - cross our fingers for six weeks hence.

 

JANUARY 1962.

1st,MONDAY... Dull day with sleet & snow but cleared up later, Mike Tween continues typing his marathon report on ‘What’s wrong with the Diesels’. Members confined to ‘base by the weather. After last nights celebrations Roger Matthews seemed ‘a bit off colour’ today??

 

2nd. TUESDAY,.. An overcast day with not a great deal of activity around base. Brian Sparke started cutting up the last of the rotten seal (Phew). Mika Tween busy in the generator hut. Arthur Fraser busy cleaning his feet. Tony Quinn snoozing and Roger The Met busy packing net equipment for transportation to Base T. Brian Sparke
talking to the Biscoe on medical sked.

 

3rd WEDNESDAY.. Much the same as yesterday.

 

4th THURSDAY.. A dull quiet day. Arthur Fraser writing up account of East Coast trip. Roger Matthews still packing met gear, Brian Sparke still cutting up seals

 

5th FRIDAY.. Steam and flames through the hut with the inauguration run of "The Great Stonington Railway’ i.e. Mike Tween’s model stem engine working stoutly and traveling at great speed. Arthur Fraser carrying on with his purple blotched and much patched report.

 

6th SATURDAY.. The boats launched and sunk for the first time – also the unfortunate cook. John Cunn concreted two more sections of "The Plaza". and Roger Matthews.

 

7th. SUNDAY,.. It is now possible to be "lead up the garden path" - but instead of fairies there is the diabolical diesel at the end of the new concrete. Tony Quinn out in the boat.

 

8th. MONDAY... Dull, periods of calm and wind from, the N.E, temp 44 F ( 6 C)
Biscoe - no but they have a 45 knot wind blowing this evening. Kista Dan is at Deception. Big path making session continuing around the hut. More clearing up and another big fire.

 

9th. TUESDAY.. Slight change in the weather - still calm and warn
with a few sunny periods. Biscoe - no change, still stuck in ice, the wind did not do them much good. Brian Sparke, John Cunn., and Mike Tween up at 3.00 a.m. because Fairy got off the span and had a tussle with Dot. Roger Matthews was up at 7.30 am when dogs again making a noise - this time it was caused by Adelie penguins who must have had a death wish. Arthur Eraser preparing for another geological survey of
Stonington Island. Everybody else pottering around outside.

 

 

10th WEDNESDAY.. Fine and sunny but Neny blow developing in the evening. Biscoe – no change, still stuck. Arthur Fraser plane tabling again. Brian Sparke & Roger Matthews out in shorts, Roger changing into normal garb later - his excuse was that paint was gettng on his knees. Brian Sparke threatened to go for a swim in the melt pool, but found that the level had dropped today much to his relief I think

 

.

11th< THURSDAY,., Neny blow today & last night - produced some startling results - i.e. red splashes of paint on the newly painted black front doorstep and grey paint inside a pair of waders - due to the paint boxes ‘taking off’ in the wind, also all the pack ice had gone so that we c«n see open water again ~ In fact most of the day spent by
certain members observing this phenomena. The boats had to be rescued as ice breaking away from the shore. Boating pool was disappearing fast , but boats now safe in the shore lead. Sledgers returned to Fossil Bluff.

 

12th FRIDAY... Another nice blowy day. Stonington fleet now fully operational after discovery of missing items i.e. rowlocks. Wales v Ireland races in the afternoon in the shore lead - blocking tactics by Wales. Much report typing heard all day. Arthur Fraser
developing and printing his films. Roger Matthews doing a Burl Ives - Elvis
Presley imitation – not very successfully

 

13th SATURDAY... Calm & nice. Hut getting second coat of creosote at he hands of John Cunn., Brian Sparke and Roger Matthews. Arthur Fraser plane tabling in between doing his gash duties. John Biscoe arrived at Base T tonight, might get some mail soon ???» Arthur Fraser on a letter-writing spree now. Report typing etc still in full swing

 

 

14th, SUNDAY...The ‘Capting1 alias the intrepid Quinn braved the inclement weather to visit the boats and defreeze then.

 

15th MONDAY. .Weather continues manky, Report writing continues apace.
Biscoe now held tight in the pack. Brian Sparke, John Cunn. and Arthur Fraser forming a typing pool. Temp fell to 14 F (-10 C) during the night.
Mike Tween doing mysterious things with large pieces of metal.

 

 

16th. TUESDAY.., Arthur Fraser back to school today, i.e. plane tabling, did a considerable amount of work despite nasty fog arriving, but then it takes really bad weather to stop a geologist working ???. The intrepid Quinn has ‘cricked’ his neck ??? The intensive gymnastic session was too much for him ???.

 

17th. WEDNESDAY,,. Foggy & cold at first, temp 18 F - winter is coming.
Brian Sparke & John Cunn. spent most of day making flagpole in preparation for the Governor’s arrival. Roger Matthews getting ‘the wind up ‘ over his anemometer tower & packing it for Base T. Superb cuisine today

.

 

18th THURSDAY... Weather could, not make up its mind what to do, eventually started, blowing in the evening - much to the relief of the amateur forecasters of Stonington. John Cunn, still in the throes of report writing. Brian Sparke painting - himself ?? claims he was using three brushes at once, sounds as though he has joined, the Foot & Mouth
Artists Association. Mike Tween ran the outboard motor in diesel shed, no water of course. Splendid, meals again with Dormiers for dinner ??

 

 

19th. FRIDAY,.. Mainly cloudy weather with snow in the afternoon, which ruled out any possibility of aircraft flying here with all our lovely mail. With members confined indoors, the Stonington Circus has been full swing with all sorts of strange acrobatic turns being enacted by various people. During the performance it was discovered that Tony Quinn was the most stable person on base i.e. centre of gravity lowest.


20th SATURDAY.. .Warm manky day. Arthur Fraser working on his ‘Junior Met Report’ all day. Tony Quinn spent the morning playing at sailors and talking to a penguin (I think we had better get his out of here) In the afternoon Roger Matthews and Brian Sparke went up the N.E. Glacier to do an ice ob. For the John Biscoe.

 

21st SUNDAY... Warm day with poor vis., Arthur Fraser out plane tabling in the afternoon. Tony Quinn was again observed rowing around in the tide crack - he must be going to make an escape bid.

 

22nd. MONDAY... Weather still poor, cloud ceiling 800 feet. At 11.00 am we listened to a radio sked between John Green and Capt. Johnson on the Biscoe discussing our relief, good to know they are still trying to get to us ?? Tony Quinn out rowing again. In the evening the dreaded Moomins pulled their pickets out, Arthur Fraser spent most of day report writing,

 

23rd.TUESDAY. ,, Nothing happened very busily all day in depressing
weather, John Cunn. busy with indents.

 

 

24th. WEDNESDAY.. •The soup didn’t agree with Arthur Fraser - is so ashamed he tried to stop me writing this. Roger Matthews plotting the Ficol from Stanley - with illustrations. Arthur Fraser busy mapping Mount Melson area. Mike Tween indenting - Tony Quinoa talking, John Cunn. typing.

 

 

25th THURSDAY... Biscoe didn’t move, neither did the planes, Weather terrible with perhaps a Neny blow slowly gaining in strength. Open water stretching from Roman Four into Neny Fiord,

.

26th FRIDAY... Dull this morning’ but bright afternoon and sunny evening.
Cloud later. No flying. Arthur Fraser plane tabling again. Brian Sparke putting finishing coat of paint on windows. Several people out boating at different tines today. John Cunn. got another fire going which was kept going with dregs from diesel drums.

 

27th SATURDAY... Neny blow developed overnight increasing in violence during morning. Highest wind since we arrived here - gusting to 92 knots, averaged 70 knots. Met screen blown over complete with concrete foundation. Vast pools of water have opened all over the place. Planes flew to Fossil Bluff. Abe Lincoln had a job to find Fossil Bluff but got there eventually.

 

28th SUNDAY.. Manky all day with snow and drizzle. No flying,

 

29th MONDAY.. Variable day, mank alternating with bright periods. Roger Matthews and John Cunn. replacing met screen. Brian Sparke plugging holes in roof – he thinks roof now waterproof – the poor fool. RRS Shackleton making her way south ( with fuel for the Biscoe), now about 30 miles north of Pendleton Strait. No flying.

 

30th TUESDAY... Snow all day so no mail yet. Arthur Fraser struggling to type geology report. John Cunn. and Roger Matthews laid foundation for step at back trap door.

 

31st WEDNESDAY... Dull at first then cleared into glorious day, calm and sunny which induced everyone outdoors to various jobs from painting to sunbathing. Shackleton at Base T.

 

HAVE
HAD
A
GOOD YEAR
END.