December 1914: The Endurance stuck at South Georgia, waiting for an opening into “Weddell’s White Hell”

–from Frank Hurley’s account “Shackleton’s Argonauts”—

“Information gathered at South Georgia from whaling captains corroborated the records of the few expeditions that had visited the region of our forthcoming activities—the Weddell Sea—and indicated that its waters were so congested with ice as to be almost unnavigable. They averred that we had only a fifty-fifty chance of ever being able to get out again. Failure and disaster had beset ships attempting to penetrate this forbidding, ice-ridden sphere, which they dubbed “Weddell’s White Hell.” As we were to discover, through bitter experience, the whalers knew what they were talking about.”


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