In Wilson’s words, “We found a most admirable sandy flat for the hut with a long snow drift for the horses and easy access from the sea ice”.
There was also ice for water and ideal sites for meteorological and other scientific stations.
By noon of the first day all the horses, dogs, a tent, emergency rations and two of the motor tractors were unloaded. For the rest of the day, there was a continual procession of men and ponies with sledges and by midnight most of the hut was ashore and the hut ‘scantlings’ erected. A large tent was erected for the work party and construction of the hut began in earnest. On 8 January, however, the third motor tractor was lost through the sea-ice.
Two days later, as construction of the hut continued on a foundation of coarse grey scoria just a few metres from the sea, Scott noted:
The hut is progressing apace, and all agree that it should be the most perfectly comfortable habitation. It amply repays the time and attention given to the planning. The sides have double boarding inside and outside the frames, with a layer of our excellent quilted seaweed insulation between each pair of boardings. The roof has a single matchboarding inside, but on the outside is a matchboarding, then a layer of 2-ply ‘ruberoid’, then a layer of quilted seaweed, then a second matchboarding, and finally a cover of 3-ply ‘ruberoid’. The first floor is laid, but over this there will be quilting, a felt layer, a second boarding, and finally linoleum; as the plenteous volcanic sand can be piled well up on every side it is impossible to imagine that draughts can penetrate into the hut from beneath, and it is equally impossible to imagine great loss of heat by contact or radiation in that direction. To add to the wall insulation the south and east sides of the hut are piled high with compressed-forage bales, whilst the north side is being prepared as a winter stable for the ponies. The stable will stand between the wall of the hut and a wall built of forage bales, six bales high and two bales thick. This will be roofed with rafters and tarpaulin, as we cannot find enough boarding. We shall have to take care that too much snow does not collect on the roof, otherwise the place should do excellently well.