Mawsons Will

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade March 2001

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Mawson's Will Nick McCloskey For my book report, I read the exiting polar survival story, Mawson's Will. This amazing true story was written by Lennard Bickel. The adventure begins in the summer of 1908. Mawson, his teem of explorers, the dogs, and all there supplies and food were on the Aurora, a large ship, headed to the south pole. They landed and made there way to main base. Now they had a year of preparation before exploring. They had to make harnesses for the dogs and the men, clothes and shoes and many other things. They also made a temporary camp in a cave in order to get a head start in the spring.

When the spring finally came, Mawson decided it was time to start the expeditions. Mawson would explore with Edward Ninnis, and Dr. Xavier Mertz. They started with three half ton sledges that carried there supplies, and five or six dogs per sledge.

They traveled about 15 miles per day. During there expedition, they crossed two glaciers easily. Then things started to get worse. Ninnis got sick and couldn't march so he had to sit on a sledge. While crossing a dangerous glacier, Ninnis' sledge fell down an endless crevasse. Along with Ninnis they lost the sledge, five dogs, all of the dog food, and many other supplies. To make things worse, another sledge crashed immobilizing it.

Mawson and Mertz decided to go back to camp before there situation could get worse, but there was a complication, they didn't have enough food. They would have to eat the only source of nourishment they had; the dogs. There favorite part was the liver. This was bad. The livers of huskies and other polar animals had a toxic level of vitamin A. The men suffered from pain in there side and severe skin pealing. Mertz started to go crazy. He was a threat to Mawson and himself. Mertz then died. Mawson was alone with little food, no dogs, and no tent. Mawson thought he was doomed. He then had a brilliant idea. With the remaining supplies he made a sail and attached it to the sledge. He used it to sail back to camp.