Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, April 21, 1916: “Yesterday Sir Ernest made the momentous decision to sail from here to South Georgia. . . .”

–from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees—

[from the shelter of the upturned ‘Dudley Docker,’ his party’s tent having been blown to bits during the current blizzard]

“21 April. Nearly everyone’s sleeping bag is now quite sodden through, and this consideration takes preponderance of anything else just at present, except food. Unless we get some fine drying weather I am afraid this semi-aquatic life will soon undermine our health, for there are several others who are nearly as badly of as I am, especially Marston in one of the derelict hoop tents.

“Yesterday Sir Ernest made the momentous decision to sail from here to South Georgia in the ‘James Caird,’ and she was immediately put in the hands of the carpenter and Marston, working on her and decking her over with odd pieces of timber, box lids and canvas. The blizzard which continued today greatly impedes them.”

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