The Shackleton Boat Journey

The Shackleton Boat Journey

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This is an account of the Shackleton boat journey. The journey began in August 1914 in London and the next the world knew of Shackleton was in May 1916, when three ragged men staggered into the whaling station at Grytviken on South Georgia. On August 1, 1914, on the eve of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his hand-picked crew embarked in HMS "Endurance" from London's West India Dock, for an expedition to the Antarctic. It was to turn into one of the most breathtaking survival stories of all time. Even as they coasted down the channel, Shackleton wired back to London to offer his ship to the war effort. The reply came from the First Lord of the Admiralty, one Winston Churchill: "Proceed." And proceed they did. When the "Endurance" was trapped and finally crushed to splinters by pack ice in late 1915, they drifted on an ice floe for five months, before getting to open sea and launching three tiny boats as far as the inhospitable, storm-lashed Elephant Island. They drank seal oil and ate baby albatross (delicious, apparently). From there Shackelton himself and seven others the author among them went on, in a 22-foot open boat, for an unbelievable 800 miles, through the Antarctic seas in winter, to South Georgia and rescue. It is an extraordinary story of courage and even good-humor among men who must have felt certain, secretly, that they were going to die. Worsley's account, first published in 1940, captures that bulldog spirit exactly: uncomplaining, tough, competent, modest and deeply loyal. It's gripping, and strangely moving."

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Product details

  • Paperback | 220 pages
  • 138 x 214 x 16mm | 260g
  • Birlinn General
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 3rd Revised edition
  • 32pp b&w plate section
  • 1841580635
  • 9781841580630
  • 600,878

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About Frank Arthur Worsley

Frank A. Worsley, anative New Zealander, served as a reserve officer in the Royal Navy before becoming captain of the "Endurance." He commanded two ships in World War I, for which he was decorated, sailed with Shackleton again in 1921, and in 1925 was the joint leader of the British Arctic Exploration. Worsley died in 1943."

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