“The smiles and laughter, which caused cracked lips to bleed afresh, and the gleeful exclamations at the sight of two live seals on the beach made me think for a moment of that glittering hour of childhood when the door is open at last and the Christmas tree in all its wonder bursts upon the vision.

“I remember that Wild, who always rose superior to fortune, bad and good, came ashore as I was looking at the men and stood beside me as easy and unconcerned as if he had stepped out of his car for a stroll in the Park.


“Every man had his pannikin of hot milk in the end, and never did anything taste better. Seal steak and blubber followed, for the seals that had been careless enough to await our arrival on the beach had already given up their lives. There was no rest for the cook. The blubber stove flared and sputtered fiercely as he cooked, not one meal, but many meals, which merged into a day-long bout of eating. We drank water and ate seal meat until every man had reached the limit of his capacity.”
— Ernest Shackleton, South


“Conceive our joy on setting foot on solid earth after 170 days of life on a drifting ice floe each day filled with anxiety patience & watching & being driven whither to an obscure destination.”
— Frank Hurley

“Most of us hardly knew whether to laugh or cry. We did not know until it was released, what a strain the last few days had been. We took childish joy in looking at the black rocks & picking up the stones, for we had stepped on no land since Dec. 5 1914.”
— Reginald James

About Ernest Shackleton

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