Much to their delight

dogs_gangplank

“Dogs all placed on shore, much to their delight.”

— Frank Hurley

Posted in Images, Other Voices

Momentous questions

jigsaw1

“We must wait for the spring, which may bring us better fortune. If I had guessed a month ago that the ice would grip us here, I would have established our base at one of the landing-places at the great glacier. But there seemed no reason to anticipate then that the fates would prove unkind. This calm weather with intense cold in a summer month is surely exceptional. My chief anxiety is the drift. Where will the vagrant winds and currents carry the ship during the long winter months that are ahead of us? We will go west, no doubt, but how far? And will it be possible to break out of the pack early in the spring and reach Vahsel Bay or some other suitable landing-place? These are momentous questions for us.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

Posted in Images, Shackleton

Ship drawings

“We now practically cease being a ship and become a shore station.” — Frank Hurley

ship1_drawing

Drawings by Frank Hurley, reproduced from Hurley’s diaries in Shackleton’s Photographer (CD), Shane Murphy, 2001.

ship2_drawing
Posted in Images, Other Voices

Young Ice

nilas_ice

“During the morning, went for a stroll to the old lead ahead, which which is now nearly a foot thick. I was much interested in examining the contexture of the recent young ice formed on the lead and on some pools in our vicinity. The growth commences by the formation of small fish scale-like crystals which accumulate, without definite orientation, in horizontal layers. This formation extends below the surface for about half an inch, when the small plate crystals gradually arrange themselves till they become vertical. This is probably due to the heavier saline solution sinking and so directing automatically the disposition of the plates. The accretion continues by the increments of these vertical scales. This new ice fractures at right angles to its plane. The ice subsequently undergoes further recrystallization, appearing distinctly fibrous in texture.”

— Frank Hurley

[Image of nilas ice from earthlyissues.com]

Posted in Images, Other Voices

I had to admit that further effort was useless

chopping_leads

“Early in the morning of the 14th I ordered a good head of steam on the engines and sent all hands on to the floe with ice-chisels, prickers, saws, and picks. We worked all day and throughout most of the next day in a strenuous effort to get the ship into the lead ahead. The men cut away the young ice before the bows and pulled it aside with great energy. After twenty-four hours’ labour we had got the ship a third of the way to the lead. But about 400 yards of heavy ice, including old rafted pack, still separated the Endurance from the water, and reluctantly I had to admit that further effort was useless. Every opening we made froze up again quickly owing to the unseasonably low temperature. The young ice was elastic and prevented the ship delivering a strong, splitting blow to the floe, while at the same time it held the older ice against any movement.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

Posted in Images, Shackleton

Air of Unreality

“Everything wears an air of unreality… Everything on the horizon appears drawn up & distorted…icebergs hang upside down in the sky… The tops of some of the bergs appear to boil up & rise & fall & spread themselves… in the quaintest way. Inshore appears a beautiful dazzling city of Cathedral spires, domes & minarets.”

— Frank Worsley

“Cloud-banks look like land, icebergs masquerade as islands or nunataks, and the distant barrier to the south is thrown into view, although it really is outside our range of vision. Worst of all is the deceptive appearance of open water, caused by the refraction of distant water, or by the sun shining at an angle on a field of smooth snow or the face of ice-cliffs below the horizon.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

Posted in Other Voices

Killer Whales

killerwhale

Antarctic Type B Killer Whale, photo from NOAA

“Had splendid view of two killer whales which broke through the young ice astern of us, poking their alligator-like heads through, and blowing arduously. They seem to be regarding the ship with much astonishment, and I must say we felt very pleased to have her stout timbers below. More villanous or rapacious looking creatures I have never seen.”

— Frank Hurley

Posted in Images, Other Voices