Shackleton’s ‘Aurora’ July 22, 1915: “. . .made final preparations for abandoning ship”

–quoted from Captain J. R. Stenhouse’s log on board the ‘Aurora,’ beset in ice and drifting helplessly across the Ross Sea–

“July 22–Ship in bad position in newly frozen lance, with bow and stern jammed against heavy floes; heavy strain with much creaking and groaning. 8 a.m.–Called all hands to stations for sledges, and made final preparations for abandoning ship. Allotted special duties to several hands to facilitate quickness in getting clear should the ship be crushed. Am afraid the ship’s back will be broken if the pressure continues, but cannot relieve her.

“2 p.m.–Ship lying easier. Poured sulfuric acid on the ice astern in hopes of rotting crack and relieving pressure on stern-post, but unsuccessfully. Very heavy pressure on and around ship (taking strain fore and aft and on starboard quarter). ship jumping and straining, and listing badly.

“10 p.m.–Ship has crushed her way into new ice on starboard side and slewed aslant lane with stern-post clear of land-ice.

“12 p.m. Ship is in safer position; lanes opening in every direction.”

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