Every summer, there are two annual overnight races on the Great Lakes to Mackinac Island, and for the uninitiated they might tend to blend together. Both finish at the top of Michigan. I am a rising senior at the University of South Florida. I am an active member of the schools sailing team, which consistently ranks in the top 20 programs in the country. I prefer racing …. The newest addition ….
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Even some of the best teams struggled with the unknown of when the next shift would happen, what …. North-powered teams held on strong to the finish and won 10 classes, including the Chicago Mackinac Trophy, ….
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Mawson and Mertz hurried back a quarter-mile to where they had crossed the crevasse, praying that their companion had been lost to view behind a rise in the ground. Instead they discovered a yawning chasm in the snow 11 feet across. Crawling forward on his stomach and peering into the void, Mawson dimly made out a narrow ledge far below him. He saw two dogs lying on it: one dead, the other moaning and writhing.
Below the ledge, the walls of the crevasse plunged down into darkness. Nothing came back but the echo. Using a knotted fishing line, he sounded the depth to the ice ledge and found it to be feet—too far to climb down to. He and Mertz took turns calling for their companion for more than five hours, hoping that he had merely been stunned. Eventually, giving up, they pondered the mystery of why Ninnis had plunged into a crevasse that the others had crossed safely. With his weight concentrated on just a few square inches of snow, Ninnis had exceeded the load that the crevasse lid would bear.
Mawson and Mertz read the burial service at the lip of the void and paused to take stock. Their situation was clearly desperate. All that remained was sleeping bags and food to last a week and a half. May God help us. Lieutenant Ninnis running alongside his sledge, a habit that would cost him his life—and risk those of the two companions he left behind.
There he and Mertz recovered the sledge they had abandoned, and Mawson used his pocket knife to hack its runners into poles for some spare canvas. Now they had shelter, but there was still the matter of deciding how to attempt the return journey. Mawson selected the latter course. He and Mertz killed the weakest of their remaining dogs, ate what they could of its stringy flesh and liver, and fed what was left to the other huskies. For the first few days they made good time, but soon Mawson went snow-blind. The men had to harness themselves to the sled to continue. Thus a tasty soup was prepared as well as a supply of edible meat in which the muscular tissue and the gristle were reduced to the consistency of a jelly.
The paws took longest of all to cook, but, treated to lengthy stewing, they became quite digestible. Click to view in higher resolution.
His heart seems to have gone. It is very hard for me—to be within m of the Hut and in such a position is awful. The next morning Mawson awoke to find his companion delirious; worse, he had developed diarrhea and fouled himself inside his sleeping bag. Continues to rave for hours. He dies peacefully at about 2am in the morning of 8th. Death due to exposure finally bringing on a fever. A haunted Douglas Mawson pictured early in , recuperating at base camp after his solo ordeal in the Antarctic.