Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, April 17, 1916: “Then came a hard pull for life, hugging the land and making less than a foot at a time.”

–from the diary of Sir James Wordie—

“Great was our joy to hear that Wild had found a decent camping place about 6 miles to the W—apparently the only possible place they saw. . . .

“All hands were called to lash up and stow about 5.0 a.m. on Monday 17th. The three boats were launched before 6.0, while the tide was full. I just had time to finish hoosh—full breakfast ration.

“The ‘Caird’ leading, we now rounded the skerries and rowed westwards. So far the weather not so bad, and the wind SE. Fierce gusts swept down off the land, proper ’willy-was’. And it was all we could do the reach the cape, round it and get I under the land. Then came a hard pull for life, hugging the land and making less than a foot at a time. I felt as if I had been hours on the fo’c’sle head tugging at the cumbersome oar. So we gradually pushed on, having lost sight of the other boats in the thick weather: weathered what we call the Castle Rock and finally reached our destination more exhausted I think than by the previous boat journey. All the boats were reached before 5.0.

“Our first remark on landing was that this looked a very windy spot [‘Cape Bloody Wild,’ as it came to be known]. Hot Bovril and a hoosh of sledging ration and then to sleep.”

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