Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, February 14,1915: , , , the time had come to make a great effort.”

–from Thomas Orde Lees’ diary–

“14 February. Last night several leads appeared and Sir Ernest decided that the time had come to make a great effort. We got up steam and directly after breakfast commenced breaking up the ice in our pool by going ahead and astern alternately in a very limited space, having scarcely more than a 10ft run at first. All hands (except myself—I was on the wheel) went on the ice and commenced to work at it with pick-axes, ice-saws etc.

“By slow degrees we got as much as 10 yds run. This broke up most of the young ice in front of us, which was only about 9in thick, but dead hard. After this we were confronted by a huge piece of very old pressure-ice, 10 or more feet thick, and as many yards wide. Repeated ramming failed to break this. All hands proceeded to cut out the young ice behind it, to weaken it.

“We soon came to call this obstinate obstacle The Lump, or occasionally The ****** Lump. By dint of really strenuous and unpleasantly wet work, we cut out with picks and shovels and the large ice-saw a square pool about half the size of a tennis court by midnight.”

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