Chileans

“These Chileans are by far the finest seamen in South America. Probably they are the best Latin sailors in the world. One of the officers was a very dashing little Chilean lieutenant, Ramon Aguirre, who came aboard with a guitar, and very glad we were to have him. He was a most amusing character, completely indifferent to everything but the pleasure he could extract from the moment, and always in high spirits.”

— Frank Worsley

Posted in Other Voices

The fatuous optimists exhibit their fears

“Food is life and life is too serious a matter to risk needlessly. Strange to say, now that there really is a shortage the imperturbable pessimists are apparently quite unconcerned… It is not unusual that pessimism and equanimity are counterparts. The fatuous optimists exhibit their fears [by] assuming that the pessimists are now thoroughly scared and therefore making mocking remarks such as … “We shall have to eat the one who dies first” and so on, which has actually occurred before now when people have been in only very slightly worse straits than we are now. There’s many a true word said in jest.”

—Thomas Orde-Lees

Posted in Other Voices

Se las arregular

Don Luis Pardo, Captain of the Yelcho and Freemason

Don Luis Pardo, Captain of the Yelcho and Freemason

“The Yelcho was manned by volunteers from the Chilean Navy. Her commander was a naval lieutenant called Luis Pardo. He happened to be a Freemason, indeed the Masonic connection had smoothed Shackleton’s path in South America. Shackleton had no objection to sailing under Pardo. Their relations had been left refreshingly vague. The philosophical Spanish motto, Se las arregular (‘Things will arrange themselves’) summed it up.”

— Roland Huntford, Endurance

Posted in Images, Other Voices

Against laying in a stock of meat

“I think [Wild] considered I was exceeding my prerogative in discussing the matter at all and judging from what he then said I suppose that he considered that if people observed that he was laying in a stock of meat for the winter it might convey to them the impression that he expected to have to remain for the winter and so cause people to become despondent.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

Posted in Other Voices

Limpets

Nacella (Patinigera) concinna

Nacella (Patinigera) concinna

“…until lately the ice-cap over the rocks and the floating ice seem to have kept the luscious molluscs to a depth of 6ft or more below water, but now they are creeping up the rocks and we have found a few. Limpets are ‘perks’; everyone eats all he can find.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

Posted in Images, Other Voices

Elephant Island Tunes

“My name is Franky Wild-o and my hut’s on Elephant Isle.
The wall’s without a single brick and the roof’s without a tile.
Yet, nevertheless, you must confess by many and many a mile,
It’s the most palatial dwelling place you’ll find on Elephant Isle.”

— composed and sung by Reginald James, to the tune of Solomon Levi:

Posted in Other Voices, Video

She could not survive the pack

“It was, in every sense, a forlorn hope. The Yelcho was a steel lighthouse tender of about 150 tons, originally built as an ocean-going tug. Even properly maintained, she could not survive the pack. As it was, paint had long since disappeared from her hull. Plates were dented. Rust was flaking off. Her engines and boiler were suspect.”

— Roland Huntford, Endurance

Posted in Other Voices

Argument, continued

“This morning we were awakened by a sudden rush of brains to the head of one of the participants in last night’s argument, prompting him to ejaculate in a loud voice, and at an early hour, ‘I tell yer I know that pub is in — street’, a sally to which his opposite number heatedly replied.

“For a moment it looked as if trouble might come of it, but the two silly fellows were soon howled down by the majority and made to throughly inwardly digest the fact that they were both exceedingly unpopular, and we have heard no more of the stupid altercation, though apparently they are now at the still-more-stupid game of ‘not speaking’.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

Posted in Other Voices

Argument

“It seems almost incredible, but is nonetheless a fact, that two of the men got quite talkative after their methylated spirits ‘dope’ last night. After everyone else had got their heads down, these two warriors went on arguing about the position of a certain pub in Hull for fully an hour, until Wild, unable to endure it any longer, roared out ‘For God’s sake shut your bleating row, you two precious dears’, and, incidentally, woke up a good many self-respecting sleepers.

“The two contestants, who had occupied themselves in saying ‘I tell yer it is’, and ‘Well, I know it ain’t’ alternatively about 470 times, both uttered their parrot cries simultaneously and shut up like oysters.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

Posted in Other Voices

RSS Discovery, now preserved

"The RSS Discovery as seen docked at Dundee," Dundee, 2009, by David Ball

“The RSS Discovery as seen docked at Dundee,” Dundee, 2009, photo by David Ball

Posted in Images