“We knew from the Admiralty Sailing Directions that there were stores for the use of shipwrecked mariners on Deception Island, and it was possible that the summer whalers had not yet deserted its harbor.
“Also we had learned from our scanty records that a small church had been erected there for the benefit of the transient whalers. The existence of this building would mean to us a supply of timber, from which, if dire necessity urged us, we could construct a reasonably seaworthy boat.
“All of [our boats] were small for the navigation of these notoriously stormy seas, and they would be heavily loaded, so a voyage in open water would be a serious undertaking.
“In any case, the worst that could befall us would be a wait until the whalers returned about the middle of November.
“The Admiralty Sailing Directions, referring to the South Shetlands, mentioned a cave on this island. None of us had seen that cave or could say if it was large or small, wet or dry; but as we drifted on our floe… that cave seemed to my fancy to be a palace which in contrast would dim the splendors of Versailles.”
— Ernest Shackleton, South