Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, October 26, 1915: ” At 7 p.m. the order is given to lower the boats.”

–from Frank Hurley’s diary—

“October 26th. Fine clear day. The ice in a state of turmoil all the morning subjected the ship to terrific strains. I was assisting Chips on the coffer-dam down in the shaft tunnel when the pressure set in and the creaking and groaning of timbers mingled with the pounding and scrunching against she ship’s sides produced a hideous deafening din and warned us to make for safety. . .

“The dogs, instinctively conscious of the imminent peril, set up distressed wails of uneasiness and fear. Sir Ernest stand on the poop, surveying the movements of the ice, and giving an occasional peremptory order. Sledges and all gear are being rapidly accumulated on deck, without confusion, as though it were an ordinary routine duty. . . . The ship shrieks and quivers, windows splinter, while the deck timbers gape and twist. . .

“The ship is forced ahead by a series of pulsating jerks, and with such force that the bows are driven wedgewise into the solid floe ahead. This frightful strain bends the entire hull some ten inches along its length. At 7 p.m. the order is given to lower the boats.”


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