Wednesday 13 Dec. [Actually December 12]

Our best day up here. It has been calm for most of the day – with burning sunshine. The going and terrain have been the same.

Luckily the snow crust is so hard that sledges and doggies sink in very little. The hypsometer still shows us descending, albeit very gently, so that it must be assumed that we have not only established the highest point of the plateau, but also are sinking down towards the other side. We have done 15 nautical miles today, and according to the midday obs. are now at 89°30'30". Obs. and dead reckoning agree brilliantly every day. We can only trust one of our sextants – the Fram sextant – the other one has unfortunately suffered a blow and proved not to be reliable. HH W. & I now share the Fram sextant.

This transcript comes from “Race for the South Pole - The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen” by Roland Huntford. It appears by courtesy of the author and The Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.