From Shackleton to Shackleton


In 1901, a 26 years old officer, Ernest Shackleton embarks on captain Scott's DISCOVERY, in charge by the Royal Geographic Society of a reconnaissance mission to South pole.

In 1907, on board  of the sealer NIMROD he leads an expedition landing on Ross island, going to the magnetic pole and coming back at less than 180 km of geographic pole.

AURORA On 8 August 1914, Shackleton leaves Plymouth with ENDURANCE : she is a 350 tons three-masts made of pine, oak and greenheart, built at Sandefjord. Shackleton has also bought AURORA  to Dr Mawson to cross the Ross sea.

ENDURANCE leaves the South Georgia on 5 December 1914 ; on 15 January, she sails along a large glacier and on 19 January, by 7634' S and 3130' W, the ship is prisonner of the ices and becomes a winter station. Then, the ship drifts with the pack to be at 7523 S 4214' W on 2 May.

On 2 August, Endurance is tossed by the ices ; on 2 September, the pressure increases: the vessel cracks and groans. On 18 October, the ship slants of 30 , from 24 to 26 October ENDURANCE is dying ; by -22, at the point 6905' S 5130' W, she is brocken without hope.
The expedition crew organise a camping and  hunt seals and penguins. They leave their position on 23 December to walk to Paulet island, 80 miles forward. Unfortunately, on 17 March, they are at the same latitude, 60 miles too eastbound. Since, their hopes are concentrated on Elephant or Clarence island, one hundred miles almost streight on to the North. On 17 April 1916, the three boats, James Caird, Dudley Docker and Stancomb Wills, accoast Elephant island.

A trip by boat to look for help is considered in direction of South Georgia, at 800 miles, on board of the 20 feet whaler, the JAMES CAIRD. On 24 April, Shackleton and 5 men take supply to survive one month.

On 11 May, they land, at 150 miles of the whale station of Stromness, on the southern coast of King Haakon bay. Shackleton will cross the icy mountains of the island to reach the station after 36 hours walking. A whaler will get James Caird and the 6 men are joined together.
The whalers cannot go through the pack, Shackleton will get in Falkland islands, then to Punta Arenas a ship able to brake the ice. The third try of the chilean steamer YELCHO will be successfull: on 30 August, the crew of ENDURANCE  is saved.


YELCHO is a small 219 tons steamer, built in 1906 at Greenock, where the 350 hp machine allows a speed of 10 knots.

To follow with two other ships named ENDURANCE : second part

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