In January 1912, Sir Douglas Mawson finally made his way back to Cape Denison, missing his ship, the Aurora, by about three hours.
Some of his colleagues had waited at the hut hoping he would arrive back safely. When he appeared, they sent a radio message to the ship asking them to turn around, as they could see it lying offshore in Commonwealth Bay.
However, the winds were too strong to risk coming back, so they were stranded at Cape Denison for another 12 months of hardship.
I don’t remember what the book “Home of the Blizzard” says about it, but I came close the other day to understanding how they must have felt, as a few days ago I feared that our team, the Mawson’s Huts Foundation Expedition would face the same fate.
We received a radio call to say our ship L’Astrolabe would collect us within hours. In record time we pulled down our tents, packed our bags, emptied the toilets, disposed of food, tidied our base, the Sorensen Hut, and brought our baggage to an open space to prepare for a helicopter landing to airlift us out to the ship.