Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, May 1, 1915: “We said good-bye to the sun. . .”

–from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s account “South”–

“We said good-bye to the sun on May 1 and entered a period of twilight that would be followed by the darkness of midwinter. The sun by the aid of refraction just cleared the horizon at noon and set shortly before 2 p.m. A fine aurora in the evening was dimmed by the full moon, which had risen on April 27 and would not set again until May 6.

“The disappearance of the sun is apt to be a depressing event in the polar regions, where the long months of darkness involve mental as well as physical strain. But the ‘Endurance’s’ company refused to abandon their customary cheerfulness, and a concert in the evening made the Ritze a scene of noisy merriment, in strange contrast with the cold, silent world that lay outside.”

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