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 outer helmets, tucked in at the neck. On their feet they wore two pairs of socks, a pair of ankle-high felt boots and finneskoes—reindeer-skin boots with the hair side out, though every trace of hair had long since worn off, leaving them bald and limp. There was not a set of oilskins on board.

“Such clothing was intended for wear in intense, dry cold—not on board a pitching, spray-drenched boat. Here it had an almost wicklike action, soaking up every ice drop until the saturation point was reached, then maintained.”

— Alfred Lansing, Endurance

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
This entry was posted in Other Voices. Bookmark the permalink.