@milko_vuille_photography The 21 June is is a special day in the history of the crew of the Eira.
In this day 135 years ago, Benjamin Leigh Smith and his men left the Cape Flora after their wintering of 10 months :
On Wednesday, the 21st of June, 1882, the boats, provisions, and stores were taken down to the edge of the fast ice, a distance of about half a mile from the hut. The explorers then had tea in the hut, their last meal in the rough but effective shelter-place which had been their home for so many months. They left six bottles of champagne in the hut in case any one might call. The meal over, they blocked up the door, gave a hearty parting cheer, went down to the boats, and began to load them. Everything was ready by 9.30 p.m,,the boats were launched, sail was made, and they went away before a strong north-west wind. The boats were very deeply laden and, there being a rough sea, they shipped a great deal of water. The men, however, easily baled it out, and were delighted at the rapid progress they were making southwards. No ice was seen until the following evening at 5.30, when the pack was sighted in latitude 78° 36' N., being 80 miles south of Cape Flora. After working along the edge of the pack to the westward, for some distance, an opening was found, and the boats entered it at about 2 o'clock in the morning of the 23rd.
Second Voyage of the 'Eira' to Franz-Josef Land
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography, New Monthly Series, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Apr., 1883), p. 211
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