My primary interest is the 1912, early spring sledging trip of the Northern Party when not waiting to be rescued, they ‘formed their own rescue party’ and dragged sledges across the sea ice to Cape Evans. A 230-mile trek man hauling two sledges in a cold October was incredible or in the terms of the day herioc. Especially when after a winter in a snow cave all six were physically unfit and grossly underweight. In addition, for the last seven months they had suffered poor or little food resulting in extended bouts dysentery and food poisoning. I have looked at the detail--the what, where and how of this trip and have tried to present it as accurately as possible. However, it has required me to look first at what came before and after this miraculous journey.
This is the first time, I had tried this type of work; I was an Electronic Technician and then a Computer Scientist during my working life. I decided to practice by initially looking at what I thought was a small part of the story. I concentrated on the March/February 1912 sledging in the Terra Nova Bay region. Their prelude to being abandoned was meant to be six weeks exploring and map making exercise, and I thought this should not take long--how wrong I was. I had no idea how much work is entailed with reading, note taking, writing (rewriting), and referencing. Not to mention the collection of photographs, maps, drawings. The understanding of what I was looking at. Nevertheless, I soon learned.In trying to put the story together, I have tried to gather as much written information, photographs, and other data that I could find. I have preferred, where possible, to use primary material such as diaries, letters, and original notebooks. However, most of these are overseas and a long way from New Zealand. Although I can say for the final trip, I have gained access to the relevant parts of Levick and Priestley's diaries at the Scott Polar Research Institute; I cannot say the same for the earlier summer expedition in Terra Nova Bay. I have used both publications of Campbell diaries (Kings, Huxley) and Priestley's book and papers. In addition, references to Campbell, members of his party, and the Northern Party have appeared in many books over the years. Some books published, close to the time of the events while others are recent publications (Hooper, Lambert). All these sources, I have used.
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