Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, October 29, 1915: “Poor old ship, what a battered wreck she was.”

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

“Early next morning, before the others were astir, Wild and I rejoined our leader, and together we went aboard the ‘Endurance.’ Poor old ship, what a battered wreck she was. All the cabins along the starboard side had closed up like the bellows of a folding camera. The alleyways were under water and blocked with debris and ice, while the wardroom was crammed to the ceiling with ice-blocks and splinters. Riding on top of all, among wrenched timbers and twisted steel, were two objects that had survived without a scratch, the gramaphone and a glazed picture.

“On the lower deck a veritable ‘hummocking’ of timbers had taken place, the entire upper deck had been sheared off and had fallen away to starboard, so that we could step from it to the floe. Fore and aft resembled a switch-back. The jibboom had snapped off, the fo’c’sle was overridden with ice, the foremast had splintered at the cross-trees, the main mast was shattered six feet above the deck, while the mizzen, with the blue ensign still floating at the gaff, remained staunch.

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