Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, August 2, 1915: “. . . the trenails were started and beams buckled slightly. . .”

–from Shackleton’s account “South”–

“After the ship had come to a standstill in her new position very heavy pressure was set up. Some of the trenails were started and beams buckled slightly under the terrific stresses. But the ‘Endurance’ had been built to withstand the attacks of the ice, and she lifted bravely as the floes drove beneath her. The effects of the pressure around us were awe-inspiring. Mighty blocks of ice, gripped between meeting floes, rose slowly till they jumped like cherry-stones squeezed between thumb and finger. The pressure of millions of tons of moving ice was crushing and smashing inexorably. If the ship was once gripped firmly her fate would be sealed.

“The gale from the south-west blew all night and moderated during the afternoon of the 2nd to a stiff breeze. The pressure had almost ceased. . . .

The gale had given us some northing, but it had dealt the ‘Endurance’ what might prove to be a severe b low. The rudder had been driven hard over to starboard and the blade partially torn away from the rudder-head. . . The ship lay steady all night, and the sole sign of continuing pressure was an occasional slight rumbling shock. We rigged shelters and kennels for the dogs inboard.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s