Losing dogs

Dog teams returning after exercise

Dog teams returning after exercise

“We [are] still losing dogs through sickness, due to stomach and intestinal worms.

“Wild, Crean, Macklin, McIlroy, Marston, and Hurley each had charge of a team, and were fully responsible for the exercising, training, and feeding of their own dogs. They called in one of the surgeons when an animal was sick. We were still losing some dogs through worms, and it was unfortunate that the doctors had not the proper remedies. Worm-powders were to have been provided by the expert Canadian dog-driver I had engaged before sailing for the south, and when this man did not join the Expedition the matter was overlooked.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

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Puttin’ on ‘The Ritz’

Belowdecks, converted to winter quarters.

“The temperature went down to zero again and it really feels much more comfortable, for a rise up to 20deg means virtually a thaw on board. All the passages etc. begin to drip water and all leakages in one’s cabin, which have long since frozen up, thaw out and form little pools all over the place. We have been hard at work clearing the snow drifts away from around the ship, as the weight of the snow tends to make the floe sink and might even drag down the ship with it.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

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Blizzard and Drift

Lat. 76deg 0′ S, Long. 41deg 04′ W.

“A real howling blizzard, the worst kind we have had so far. As usual it takes the form of particles of drift snow being whirled along in a suspension by the wind. The drift half-blinds one and one cannot see more than a few yards. Still there is always a certain amount of outside work to be done and that cannot be neglected, however inclement the weather.

“We wonder where we are drifting today with all this wind, for our drift is almost entirely due to the effect of the wind on the floe and depends for its direction on the direction of the wind. This wind ought to blow us to the southward, which is opposite to the direction we would go by choice, but it may have the advantage of removing us from the proximity of the great stranded berg that we were so uncomfortably close to on Sunday the 18th.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

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Aurora

“Tonight we have all been out to witness a fine display of the aurora. This is the first really bright one we have seen and it is indeed a wonderful sight. At first it looks not unlike clouds lit up by the light of the moon, or even the glow one that one sees over a large town in misty weather, but as there is neither moon nor town knocking around here, one soon reconciles oneself to the idea that the bright parts of the sky are actually producing their own light.

“As it develops, it seems to take up the form of a wide band across the sky like a very wide but flattened rainbow. After this a second and even a third band appear concentric to the first. All the while the glow is a greenish white, similar to the fluorescence in any X-ray tube. Later the arcs begin to form what looks like hanging curtains of glowing light and these change their shape at times so rapidly that it gives the appearance of waving curtains. It is very wonderful indeed. It quite surpasses one’s expectations.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

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Shackleton’s cabin

“I have been insolating the boss’s cabin as he is going to stay in it during the winter we are drifting away from the land so I don’t think there will be any chance of a landing next spring.”

— Harry McNeish

“I lived alone aft.”

— Ernest Shackleton

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Ice Pillars

ice_pillars

“We brought certain stores aboard and provided space on deck for the dogs in case they had to be removed from the floe at short notice. We had run a 500-fathom steel wire round the ship, snow-huts, and kennels, with a loop out to the lead ahead, where the dredge was used. This wire was supported on ice-pillars and it served as a guide in bad weather when the view was obscured by driving snow and a man might have lost himself altogether. I had this wire cut in five places, since otherwise it might have been dragged across our section of the floe with damaging effect in the event of the ice splitting suddenly.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

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Crean and puppies

Tom Crean and puppies on the Endurance, 1915

Tom Crean and puppies on the Endurance, 1915

“We had fifty-four dogs and eight pups early in April.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

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