Shackleton’s ‘Aurora ‘ Adrift, November 1915: “But anxious eyes were strained in vain. . . .”

–from Shackleton’s account “South”—

“But anxious eyes were strained in vain for indications that the day of the ship’s release was near at hand. Hooke had the wireless plant running again and was trying daily to get into touch with Macquarie Island, now about eight hundred and fifty miles distant. The request for a relief ship was to be renewed if communication could be established, for by this time, if all had gone well with the ‘Endurance,’ the overland party from the Weddell Sea should have been starting.

“There was considerable movement of the ice towards the end of the month [October], lanes opening and closing, but the floe, some acres in area, into which the ‘Aurora’ had been frozen, remained firm until the early days of November. The cracks appeared close to the ship, due apparently to heavy drift causing the floe to sink. The temperatures were higher now, under the influence of the sun, and the ice was softer. Thawing was causing discomfort in the quarters aboard.”

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