Scott, Wilson and Shackleton made up the Southern Party which set off from Discovery's base on 2 November 1902 on the first ever concerted attempt to explore the interior of the Antarctic continent. They were out for three months, running south along the western edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, reaching their Furthest South on 30 December 1902 at 82°17's where Nimrod glacier flows into the Ross Ice Shelf. Although they broke the record for the South by over 200 miles, having pushed 300 miles South, they had made disappointing progress and barely survived the journey home, suffering from scurvy, snowblindness and starvation.
Wilson sketched throughout the journey, and in late December had snowblindness and was treating his bloodshot eyes with doses of cocaine: 'Sun 28 Dec., ... My left eye is still quite useless and the sight all blurred, but I got a sketch of the whole grand sight before us with one eye' (E. Wilson, Diary of the Discovery Expedition, London, 1966, p. 229). Sunday, 29 December was a rest day during a strong southerly blizzard, the following day saw their Furthest South before turning back, still short of land, on 31 December.