Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, June 17, 1916: “Meat, meat, meat—nothing but meat now. “

–from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees, one of the twenty-six men marooned on Elephant Island—

“No penguins today and none yesterday. If we are not able to replenish supplies soon, we shall soon be getting short of meat. Meat, meat, meat—nothing but meat now. One gets sick at the sight of it. It never really seems to satisfy one, even though one eats until one is bilious

“Our craving for carbohydrates (sugar, vegetables, and farinaceous foods) is terrible. The system demands them and we cannot supply them, so the craving has to go unsatisfied. It is quite our severest hardship at present.

“We are at present very enervated. Lying in our bags so much, for 23 out of the 24 hours, as we do on all but fine days, must also contribute largely to our present weakness, but there is no alternative; we cannot sit about in the hut as it is usually too cold and what with the smallness of the spit and the inclemency of the prevailing weather, there is little enticement to remain outside for more than the prescribed hour’s exercise.”


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