“Punctual to 6pm, we hear the dread whining and groaning followed almost immediately by the vessel vibrating and shivering as though she were trembling with fear at the coming conflict. It is a cracky, uneven conflict, receiving all blows and unable to give retaliation. Together came those irresistible vice-like floes, nipping the ship in their terrific grip. She creaks, groans, and shivers in agony, but tighter and relentless is the grip and, when we expect to see her sides stave in, she slowly and gradually rises from the pressure. At this critical junction the pressure fortunately ceased, as suddenly as the stopping of some gigantic mechanism…”

— Frank Hurley


“The two floes began to move laterally, exerting great pressure on the ship. Suddenly the floe on the port side cracked and huge pieces of ice shot up from under the port bilge. Within a few seconds the ship heeled over until she had a list of thirty degrees to port, being held under the starboard bilge by the opposing floe. The lee boats were now almost resting on the floe. The midship dog-kennels broke away and crashed down on to the lee kennels, and the howls and barks of the frightened dogs assisted to create a perfect pandemonium. At 8 p.m. the floes opened, and within a few minutes the Endurance was nearly upright again.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

drawing by Thomas Orde-Lees

drawing by Thomas Orde-Lees

“Dinner in the Wardroom is a quaint affair — most of the diners sit on the deck, feet against a batten & plates on their knees.”

— Frank Worsley

“We look like we’re sitting in a grandstand.”

— Reginald James

“She seemed to say to the grinding, hungry pack, ‘You may smash me but I’m damned if I’ll go over another inch for you; I’ll see you melting in Hell first.”

— Frank Worsley

About Ernest Shackleton

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