Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, May 20, 1916: “It was the first signal of civilization that we had heard for nearly two years.”

–from Frank Worsley’s account ‘Endurance’—

“At dawn we reached the top of another great transverse range. Looking over the dark waters of Fortuna Bay, some thousands of feet below us, and beyond two distant mountains, we recognized the Z-shaped stratification that told us Stromness Bay was in that direction. Seven o’clock came, and we listened intently. Then, clear across the mountains, in the still morning air, from eight miles away came the sound of the steam whistles of the whaling factories bidding the men to turn-to. It was the first signal of civilization that we had heard for nearly two years. For the second time on that march we shook hands; for each of us recognized that this was an occasion on which words were inadequate.”

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