Antarctic exploration was particularly challenging. The extreme cold and wind, the resulting need to live in very close quarters, and the limited resources available – seals for meat and water from melted ice were all that could be obtained – combined to test all those involved. A member of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911–14, New Zealander Leslie Whetter, is shown here digging out ice next to the expedition's Adélie Land camp. Provision of water was Whetter's primary task, and one that expedition leader Douglas Mawson felt he did poorly: Whetter, he wrote, was not fit for exploration. Whetter told Mawson that the men were driven too hard, and that a number of them purposely worked slowly in order to avoid being given other tasks. After this, hours of work were reduced to six a day, and Sunday became a day of rest (unless the wind had dropped sufficiently to allow outside work to be done).
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Photograph by Frank Hurley
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