Monthly Archives: April 2016


“The spray was now freezing on the canvas as it fell.” — Roland Huntford “It possessed a notable advantage from one point of view. The water ceased to drop and trickle from the canvas, and the spray came in solely … Continue reading

Posted in Other Voices, Shackleton

Sea anchor

“A sea-anchor is a cone-shaped canvas bag attached by a line at its mouth to the bows. The apex, which has a small hole, points away from the ship, and the effect is to act as a drag in the … Continue reading

Posted in Other Voices

We came to know every one of the stones by sight and touch

“The boulders that we had taken aboard for ballast had to be shifted continually in order to trim the boat and give access to the pump, which became choked with hairs from the moulting sleeping bags and finneskoe. The four … Continue reading

Posted in Shackleton

If a boat is overweighted, she jerks

“If a boat is overweighted, she jerks, will not sail fast & does not heel away from the wind & so constantly takes seas over her & is at all times wet… If ballast is too low it makes vessels … Continue reading

Posted in Other Voices

Wicklike action

“All of them were dressed more or less the same way—heavy wool underwear, woolen trousers, a thick, loose sweater, with a pair of light gabardine Burberry overalls on the outside. Their heads were covered with knitted, woolen helmets and Burberry … Continue reading

Posted in Other Voices

Merry jest of guesswork

“Navigation is an art, but words fail to give my efforts a correct name. Dead reckoning or DR—the seaman’s calculation of courses and distance—had become a merry jest of guesswork… The procedure was: I peered out from our burrow—precious sextant … Continue reading

Posted in Other Voices

The Drake Passage

“Thus they had just crept over the line separating the ‘Raving Fifties’ from the ‘Screaming Sixties,’ so called because of the weather that prevails there. “This, then, was the Drake Passage, the most dreaded bit of ocean on the globe—and … Continue reading

Posted in Images, Other Voices

How we shall count the days

“Six proven veterans, seasoned by the salt & experience of the Sea. The distance to… South Georgia is 700 miles, 700 miles of wintry sea, the most tempestuous zone of the oceans. The Caird is an excellent sailer, & guided … Continue reading

Posted in Other Voices

Goodbye to the James Caird

“With a final wave of the hand, and three squawky cheers from us and the penguins, Sir Ernest and his crew set off on their perilous voyage. We watched them until they were out of sight, which was not long, … Continue reading

Posted in Images, Other Voices

Nearly ended in her destruction

“The launching nearly ended in her destruction, as owing to the heavy surf rolling in, and being unballasted, she rolled almost on to her beam ends. In this unmanageable position she was carried by the rollers to within a foot … Continue reading

Posted in Images, Other Voices