Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, April 28, 1916: “By the second night we had set watches. . . .”

–from Frank Worsley’s account ‘Endurance’—

[aboard the ‘James Caird’ on the fourth day since leaving Elephant Island]

“By the second night we had set watches, Shackleton taking one, and I taking the other. . . .The divided watches gave us three men each, all three taking turns at steering. As the journey progressed, our ideas of the size of the boat in an amusing but curious fashion, so that we even spoke of ‘taking a trick at the wheel’ although actually we were steering by yoke-lines. We also spoke, without any consciousness of absurdity, of ‘going below’ and ‘going for’rard’ and ‘aft.’

“While one man steered for an hour the other two pumped the boat, which was always shipping and making water to a degree that occasionally became dangerous, and the rest of the time was spent in attending to the trim of the sails and in an endeavor to patch and make small improvements in our miserable and worn-out apparel.”


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