A fortunate mistake

While most of the men got down to work on the wireless mast, the irrepressible Frank Hurley had other ideas.

Mawson, perhaps disingenuously, wrote in The Home of the Blizzard that Hurley had accidentally left an indispensable cine lens at Caroline Cove and had to journey overland to recover it. Archibald McLean felt it was a ‘rather fortunate accident’. Hurley later admitted he had left his lens there, carefully wrapped in a waterproof cloth, to provide an excuse to revisit this photographer’s paradise.

En route to and from Caroline Cove, in an arduous three-day 80-mile walk in fog and rain, Hurley and his companions observed and recorded much of the island. They returned laden down with scientific trophies, including king penguin eggs and a wandering albatross. And a priceless collection of photographic images.