JOURNAL Lieutenant W.H.May – Sledge Relief Party To Assist Commander Markham’s Party Journal 8th to 14th
Lat 71° 12’ North. : Long 57° 37’ West.
23rd September 1876
In compliance with your letter June 8th, I have the honour to inform you that I left the ship, accompanied by Dr Moss and Jas. Self, A.B. on the evening of that day, with the dog sledge “Clements Markham” and the six dogs mentioned in the margin, provisioned for five days, and taking medical comforts for the relief of Commander Markham’s party: the results of my journey are as follows:-
Black Face (King)
Left the ship at 11:30 P.M.; lunched at the boats; Black Cliff Bay at 6:15A.M.
Starting again at 6:40 A.M., camped at 10:30A.M. on a large flow 1 mile north of Depôt Point.The travelling on the whole was good, but the snow was deep in places; crossing Black Cliff Bay, followed Lieutenant Parr’s tracks. Dr Moss on snow shoes was able to keep ahead of the dogs and pick up the track, which assisted me greatly, as Self and myself had to shove behind in order to keep the sledge moving through the snow, for if it stops, the dogs sit down and look at you, and have to have one, two, three haul to start it again.Self was a little tired, so I did the cooking and made him get into his bag, as I only intended to make a short halt.
Distance travelled 25 miles<
Hours travelled 9 1/2
Hours Lunch 1 hour and 25 minutes
North 1.2 o.c.s
We turned with the Commander’s party, and after travelling for another mile (during which we halted whilst, the sick had lime juice). I camped at 2:00 A.M., as we were all tired. The Commander’s party having only done half a day’s work, went on another mile.
Dr Moss after supper visited the sick.
The travelling during the first part of the journey was heavy, for amongst the hummocks and sometimes on the floes, we sank in snow up to our knees.
Distance travelled 11 miles
Hours 8 1/4
Hours Lunch nil
North 1-2 o.c.m.
Temp +29°22:00 A.M.
North 2 o.m.
Commander Markham gave me orders to return to meet your party, so leaving Dr Moss and medical comforts, started at 7:00 P.M. and went towards Depôt Point to meet you, placed a large flag on hummock on a large floe, two miles beyond Commander’s camp.
Met you and party at 9:30 P.M, and you sent me back with Egerton and Thornback; leaving out tent on the way at flag previously placed on the floe.; rejoined the Commander at midnight, and after assisting him for a short time, halted for lunch.
Half an hour’s march after lunch, brought us up to you. Yours and Commander’s party encamped at 4:00 P.M., about 4 and 1/2 miles north of Depôt Point.
Started with the dog-sledge at 4:00 A.M. with the two invalids, Rawlings and Pearson, on the sledge; arriving at Cane’s Folly at 7:20 A.M., where we found Mr Wootton with eight-man tent. He had our supper, which consisted of hare and preserved meat, and were soon asleep.
The travelling has been good on the whole; we had a breeze from the northward, which freshened up towards the latter part of the journey, making it very cold.
The dog-sledge. whilst travelling with Commander’s party, carried the invalids taking two on at a time.
Distance travelled 18miles
Hours travelling 11 hours 20 minutes
Lunch 1 hour
North 1-2 o.m.s
N.W. 2-3 o.m.s
Started from camp, Cane’s Folly at 7:00 P.M., and met your party at 9:15 P.M.; took Thornback and Simpson on sledge, and returned to Cane’s Folly, and from 2:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. packing the provisions to be left in depôt here, and you were rigging up the twelve man sledge as an ambulance to carry four men.
In consequence of the high temperature, the travelling was not as good as yesterday; it being very sludgy in places.
Distance travelled 12 miles
Hours travelling 5 hours
Detained packing provisions 4 hours.
Left the ship at 5:45 P.M. and picked up yours and Commander’s party at 8:30 P.M. ; gave to the latter medical comforts and soft bread.
Returned to the ship with Lawrence, Harley and Winston on the sledge. The two former not being able to haul any more, and left Thornback with Commander’s party.
Left at tent, Mushroom Point 6 4 lbs ox check and 4 gallons of rum.
Distance travelled 15 miles
Hours traveling 6 1/4 hours
Before concluding, I wish to bring to your notice Jas. Self A.B., who has now accompanied me on three trips, he is a most willing and able man, and looks after the dogs very well.
Your Obedient Servant
WILIAM H. MAY
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