Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, July 26, 1916: “. . . always the line of ice blocked the way”

–from Shackleton’s account “South”—

[On board the schooner Emma, off Elephant Island] “I took the schooner south at every chance, but always the line of ice blocked the way. The engineer, who happened to be an American, did things to the engines occasionally, but he could not keep them running, and the persistent south winds were dead ahead. It was hard to turn back a third time, but I realized we could not reach the island under those conditions, and we must turn north in order the clear the ship of heavy masses of ice.

“So we set a northerly course, and after a tempestuous passage reached Port Stanley [Falkland Islands] once more. This was the third reverse, but I did not abandon my belief that the ice would not remain fast around Elephant Island during the winter, whatever the armchair experts at home might say.”


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