Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, December 21, 1915: “A big change has taken place in our plans’

–from the diary of Sir James Wordie—

“21 December. A big change has taken place in our plans: in a couple of days we shall start sledging westward. This decision was come to today as a result of a scouting trip which the Boss made six miles westwards with a dog team today: he reports numerous bad stretches, but on the whole a succession of big flat floes.

“He estimates that we shall be able to do 2-3 miles a day: a month of that, supposing the floes us within 100 miles of Snow Hill at the end of January.

“Further, this has to be said for the plan: the food consumed during this period will be independent of our sledging provisions proper: so that all we do is pure gain, and more than that, should the pack never open sufficiently to make a boat journey possible.

“The real reason for this change of plan, I think, is that the Boss is afraid we may drift NE and never reach Paulet Island.”

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