The Billabong


“The canvas erection is completed… It has been christened the Billabong, a tribute to the good luck which rewarded our salvage efforts in the recovery of stores from the original Billabong. During the afternoon, we installed the ‘Hash Chute’ stove, which proved a great success. It simply roars away like a furnace, generating far more heat than the galley stove on board ship. The cook can now prepare the meals in comfort, and, we hope, cleanliness. The general appearance of the camp reminds one of an Alaskan mining settlement in winter. In the centre, surrounded by the piles of stores, is the eating house, belching from its chimney a trail of brown smoke that has already left its trademark across the snow. The tents are arranged in a row conveniently near, with the huskies pegged out in their respective teams contiguous to the tents. Around us is a vast, illimitable champagne of snow, which not even the most fertile imagination could conceive to be the frozen bosom of the sea. It is beyond conception, even to us, that we are dwelling on a colossal ice raft, with but five feet of ice separating us from 2000 fathoms of ocean and drifting along under the caprices of wind and tides, to heaven knows where.”

— Frank Hurley

About Ernest Shackleton

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