Loss of the Endurance, October 29, 1915: Each mile counts

The crew had ten working sledges to relay with five teams.
Ernest Shackleton and his crew had been camping on the Weddell Seas ice for two nights now. He gives an account of hundred years ago in his book, “South!”:

October 29.—We passed a quiet night, although the pressure was grinding around us. Our floe is a heavy one and it withstood the blows it received. There is a light wind from the north-west to north-north-west, and the weather is fine. We are twenty-eight men with forty-nine dogs, including Sue’s and Sallie’s five grown-up pups. All hands this morning were busy preparing gear, fitting boats on sledges, and building up and strengthening the sledges to carry the boats. . . . The main motor-sledge, with a little fitting from the carpenter, carried our largest boat admirably. For the next boat four ordinary sledges were lashed together, but we were dubious as to the strength of this contrivance, and as a matter of fact it broke down quickly under strain. . . . The ship is still afloat, with the spurs of the pack driven through her and holding her up. The forecastle-head is under water, the decks are burst up by the pressure, the wreckage lies around in dismal confusion, but over all the blue ensign flies still.

This afternoon Sallie’s three youngest pups, Sue’s Sirius, and Mrs. Chippy, the carpenter’s cat, have to be shot. We could not undertake the maintenance of weaklings under the new conditions. Macklin, Crean, and the carpenter seemed to feel the loss of their friends rather badly. We propose making a short trial journey to-morrow, starting with two of the boats and the ten sledges. The number of dog teams has been increased to seven, Greenstreet taking charge of the new additional team, consisting of Snapper and Sallie’s four oldest pups. We have ten working sledges to relay with five teams. Wild’s and Hurley’s teams will haul the cutter with the assistance of four men. The whaler and the other boats will follow, and the men who are hauling them will be able to help with the cutter at the rough places. We cannot hope to make rapid progress, but each mile counts. Crean this afternoon has a bad attack of snow-blindness.

#shackleton #endurance #hundredyearsago #Antarctica

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Loss of the Endurance, October 28, 1915: Dump Camp

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