First published in 1919. One of three books based on Davis’s journals, this one of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition is primarily about navigation and seamanship, and very little about other human activities or amusements for diversion. The concluding paragraphs of his “L’Avenir” have the most human touch:
p. 167: Recent expeditions have had to beg for funds. Really useful work has too often been sacrificed to the purely spectacular. The explorer, who is handicapped by debt, may be tempted to stimulate the public with sensational feats: the temptation is difficult to resist.— or justify.
To the explorer who has not the money to provide good equipment of every kind, my advice is.— “Keep out of the Antarctic!”
To those who intend to follow the lead of the pioneers who, during the past hundred years (1819-1919), have sailed through the Southern Ocean, or made journeys over the inland ice, I should say—“Study the literature of the Antarctic, make yourself thoroughly acquainted with the nature of the obstacles and the difficulties to be encountered in those regions.” I can realize the immense value of the information on these matters which I obtained from books. This is my apology for penning these lines.— Vale. [Davis is always modest as here, but what a pity that he did not say what books and how he gained from them.]