Edward (Teddy) Evans was now leading the tractor team ahead of Scott after both tractors had broken down. The plan was to push the tractors as far as possible and then for the men to ‘manhaul’ as much as possible and as far as they could before the main party caught them up. These were the first of the overall party to start manhauling, what extra toll would that take on the men. Before joining Scott Teddy Evans was planning to lead his own expedition to Antarctica, he was a Royal Navy officer who went on to fight in World War 1. Although Evans was second in command much is made of Scotts strong relationship with Wilson, his friend from his frist expedition. Its worth considering these relationships as Evans would not be selected to make the final team to push for the pole but Wilson would be. How did Evans feel about giving up his own expedition and what expectations did the men have and were any promises made ? Later telling of the story will refer to tensions in the relationship between Scott and Evans.
The blizzard that had been present for some days continued with heavy snowfall as Scott marched and rested. Scott carries on recording the weather in great detail and it is now a concern for him. Scott’s recordings of the conditions were not simply in the best British traditions of obsession or even routine scientific measurements, they were a concern. The temperature was -10 as the blizzard continued but it was the snow that concerned them all. It was very fine and unusual for the time. The fine snow made little impact on the men but could get under the rugs and harness of the horses, there it would melt and run to the skin before draining away taking heat from them. Scott wrote the day’s entry in the tent ‘comfortable and snug’ worried that the conditions were ‘sapping’ the horses strength. The dog team could move quicker than the horses and so they remained back at Hut Point to conserve food however they caught up with Scott today, a little sooner than expected. They camped a little to the ‘leeward’ (the direction downwind from the point of reference).
Scott had planned his trip in great detail, food, men, weight, horses, depots and timings. The tractors had run their course, some of the horses were struggling and the dog teams had arrived early. While no plan survives intact once execution begins Scott was already dealing with some minor adaptations. The pole and back would be a round trip of 1,530 miles and take 144 days. Scott had planned the route and starting teams but the men did not know who would be in the final group to strive out for the pole. Most of them would be used to carry loads and make depots and then return. As second in command and a key planner of the whole expedition did Teddy Evans believe he would be in the last group ? Is the continued absence in Scotts diary of any detailed mention of the mens performance significant ? Is he watching and learning, assessing the mens strength and character, who would be in the final group ?