Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, June 13, 1916: “. . . we sighted the peaks of Elephant Island. Hope ran high. . . .”

–from Shackleton’s account “South”—

“The British Admiralty informed me that no suitable vessel [for the rescue of the men marooned on Elephant Island] was available in England and that no relief could be expected before October. I replied that October would be too late. Then the British Minister in Monte Video telegraphed me regarding a trawler named ‘Instituto de Pesca No. 1,’ belonging to the Uruguayan Government. She was a stout little vessel, and the Government had generously offered to equip her with coal, provisions, clothing, etc. and send her across to the Falkland Islands for me to take down to Elephant Island. I accepted this offer gladly, and the trawler was in Port Stanley on June 10. We started south at once.

“The weather was bad but the trawler made good progress, steaming steadily at about six knots, and in the bright, clear dawn of the third day we sighted the peaks of Elephant Island. Hope ran high; but our ancient enemy the pack was lying in wait, and within twenty miles of the island the trawler was stopped by an impenetrable barrier of ice. . . . The island lay on our quarter, but there was no possibility of approaching it. The Uruguayan engineer reported to me that he had three days’ coal left, and I had to give the order to turn back.”

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