Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, April 30, 1916: “The painter had parted and the sea-anchor was gone.“

–from Ernest Shackleton’s account “South”—

“About 11 a.m. the boat suddenly fell off into the trough of the sea. The painter had parted and the sea-anchor was gone. This was serious. The ‘James Caird’ went away to leeward, and we had no chance at all of recovering the anchor and our valuable rope, which had been our only means of keeping the boat’s head up to the seas without the risk of hoisting sail in a gale. Now we had to set the sail and trust to its holding. While the ‘James Caird’ rolled heavily in the trough, we beat the frozen canvas until the bulk of the ice had cracked off it and then hoisted it. The frozen gear worked protestingly, but after a struggle our little craft came up to the wind again, and we breathed more freely.”

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