Not a life lost and we have been through Hell.

“3rd Sept 1916

My darling,

I have done it. Damn the Admiralty. I wonder who is responsible for their attitude to me.

Not a life lost and we have been through Hell. Soon will I be home and then I will rest. This is just a line as I have only arrived today and the Steamer sails at once.

Give my love and kisses to the children

Your tired Micky”

Scan of original letter at Scott Polar Research Institute website: [view]

Posted in Shackleton


Photo taken by Mr. Vega, Punta Arenas' leading photographer; 1916

Photo taken by Mr. Vega, Punta Arenas’ leading photographer; 1916

“Shortly after 7 a.m. Sir E. rowed ashore & telephoned our arrival on to Punta Arenas, so that the populace might roll up and greet us after church, we being due to arrive at 12 noon. The Yelcho was bedecked with flags… On nearing the jetty we were deafened by the tooting of whistles & cheering motor craft, which was taken up by the cast gathering on the piers & water-fronts. All introduced to the governor. On landing from the motor launch, we were welcomed by an immense crowd frantically cheering and by the togs, followed by the band, through packed streets bedecked with flags…I shall ever remember this kindness and goodwill. Immediately on taking up residence at the Royal Hotel, had a glorious scrub and bath, the first for ten months!”

— Frank Hurley

Posted in Images, Other Voices

In praise of Wild


“Every man is prone to make errors of judgment at times…but if ever a man worked hard and conscientiously to keep up the spirits and maintain the general peace & welfare of a community containing one or two “difficile” members that man was Frank Wild who…by his buoyant optimism, dogged determination…and calm demeanour had pulled us through these trying months of waiting.”
— Thomas Orde-Lees

Posted in Images, Other Voices

I am not very susceptible to emotion, but…

“I am not very susceptible to emotion, but this happy reunion with our comrades, whom we had almost given up as lost and our unhappy release, with the lonely peaks like mute sentinels witnessing our departure has left an indelible impression… Oh! the bliss of once more feeling the motion of the sea, the music of fresh though foreign voices and to sense at last that our anxieties and privations are ended.”

“I lay on the floor wrapped in a blanket meditating and thinking how ineffably more pleasing to be kept awake by the throb of the engines that are hurrying us back to life, than like smoldering logs on Elephant Isle, harking to the stentorious snores that ebbed away our existence.”

— Frank Hurley

Posted in Other Voices

We are like men awakened from a long sleep

“Soon we were tumbling into the boat, and the Chilean sailors, laughing up at us, seemed as pleased at our rescue as we were. Twice more the boat returned, and within an hour of our first having sighted the boat we were heading northwards to the outer world from which we had had no news since October 1914, over twenty-two months before. We are like men awakened from a long sleep. We are trying to acquire suddenly the perspective which the rest of the world has acquired gradually through two years of war. There are many events which have happened of which we shall never know.”

“Our first meal, owing to our weakness and the atrophied state of our stomachs, proved disastrous to a good many. They soon recovered though. Our beds were just shakedowns on cushions and settees, though the officer on watch very generously gave up his bunk to two of us. I think we got very little sleep that night. It was just heavenly to lie and listen to the throb of the engines, instead of to the crack of the breaking floe, the beat of the surf on the ice-strewn shore, or the howling of the blizzard.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

Posted in Shackleton | 2 Comments


Routes of the 4 rescue journeys to Elephant Island

The boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia; and routes of the four rescue attempts to Elephant Island

The route of the Endurance, the months of ice drift, and boat journey to South Georgia

Key events along the route of the Endurance, the months of ice drift, and boat journey to South Georgia

Color map from the Kodak website

Color map from the Kodak website

Posted in Images

Years literally seemed to drop from him

“He put his glasses back in their case and turned to me, his face showing more emotion than I had ever known it show before. Crean had joined us, and we were all unable to speak… It sounds trite, but years literally seemed to drop from him as he stood before us.”

— Frank Worsley

Posted in Other Voices