Rough, bleak and inhospitable

“The spit was by no means an ideal camping ground; it was rough, bleak and inhospitable – just an acre or two of rock and shingle, with the sea foaming around it except where the snow slope, running up to a glacier, formed the landward boundary.

“We were suffering from bad salt-water boils. Our wrists, arms and legs were attacked. Apparently this infliction was due to constant soaking with sea water, the chafing of wet clothes, and exposure.

“But some of the larger rocks provided a measure of shelter from the wind, and as we clustered round the blubber stove, with the acrid smoke blowing into our faces, we were quite a cheerful company.

“After all, another stage of the homeward journey had been accomplished and we could afford to forget for an hour the problems of the future.

“We ate our evening meal while the snow drifted down from the surface of the glacier, and our chilled bodies grew warm. Then we dried a little tobacco at the stove and enjoyed our pipes before we crawled into our tents.”

– Ernest Shackleton, South

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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