Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, October 24, 1915: “. . .preparing to abandon the ship . . “

–from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees—

“24 October. We had settled down for the evening and were having a gramophone entertainment, and had just put in the third tune, ‘The Wearing of the Green,’ when a terrific crash shook the ship with a prolonged shiver like an earthquake and she listed over about 8 deg to starboard. We finished the tune and went up on deck.

“By this time Sir Ernest had been out on the floe and one could judge by his grave look that something really was amiss, and it soon proved to be even more serious than any of us had anticipated. Within five minutes we were all hard at work preparing to abandon the ship as she had had her sternpost almost wrenched out and water was pouring in through the crack.

“There was little time to ask questions or to comment at all upon the damage for we were working like demons getting up all possible provisions and clothing, navigation instruments, sledging gear, dog food and miscellaneous impedimenta with a view to quitting the ship and sledging over the ice to Graham’s Land.”


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