The White Desert: The Official Account of the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition

This is a solid, good-natured, and somewhat stolid official report on a trilateral expedition.

p. 71, on a question of where to establish their base and unload supplies: But just at this point I began to blame myself for not having organized the expedition with more trust in Providence and less in my own judgment.

p. 72: Once more I quote my slogan— “On polar expeditions one may venture to hope for the best, but one must be prepared for the worst. Even then things may go wrong.”

p. 91: But monotony is more trying than darkness.

p. 93: The Canadian geologist Fred Roots makes two splendid dining-tables of oak parquet [at the expedition Maudheim base]. His English colleague, Alan Reese, covers the walls in the mess with fine book-shelves, and arranges our library of about five hundred volumes.

p. 124, the season of darkness: People will ask how we spent our free time, for instance in the evenings. The answer is that the scientists hardly took any free time. They seldom opened a book, and I have an idea that several of them thought the rest of us frittered away our time. ‘Personal affairs’ must have been taboo, I suspect…. Nobody played cards. Few made use of our well-stocked library. But every single evening one little group collected in the cook’s cubicle, and there they played highly exciting games of ‘ludo’.