Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, late July 1915: “No one was allowed to leave the ship. . .”

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

“Toward the end of July a three-day blizzard, accompanied by a heavy fall of snow, raged day and night. No one was allowed to leave the ship, except to attend to the dogs. When the wind dropped the aspect of the entire landscape had changed. A huge dump of snow had collected on the port side, depressing the floe and completely covering the kennels. All hands were engaged with shoves, and the dogs emerged none the worse for their experience; in fact, they were unusually active. . .

“A few days later heavy ice-pressure was observed southwest of the ship. Sounds like the breaking of surf could be heard, and during the days the decks were cleared and chains secured so that the dogs might be brought aboard at any moment. A constant look-out was maintained during the day and an hourly watch during the night.

“A crack started from the lead ahead and ran to within thirty yards of the ship. A bare four hundred yards away, on the port bow, the ice became very active, crunching and rafting. Huge fragments, many tons in weight, were forced up, and balanced on the top of pressure-ridges fifteen feet high.”


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