100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

British Antarctic Explorer Trapped For Winter

British Antarctic Explorer Trapped For Winter

Ernest Henry Shackleton is aboard The Endurance as part of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. He departed from South Georgia for the Weddell Sea in December 1914, heading for Vahsel Bay. As THE ENDURANCE moves southward, ice has been encountered, which has slowed progress.


The Endurance battled her way through a thousand miles of pack ice over a six week period and was one hundred miles – one days sail – from her destination but in January 1915 the ice closed in around her. The temperature dropped dramatically cementing together the loose ice that surrounded the ship “Like an almond in a piece of toffee”. With the ship jammed in the ice, she drifted to the southwest. Attempts were made to free the ship but to no avail. The ice around the ship itself was thick and solid.

On February 14, 1915 temperatures regularly were as low as -20°C, the ship was now clearly frozen in for the winter. The sides of the ship must be cleared so that if the ice began to press together, then hopefully The Endurance would be able to rise above the ice and ride on it rather than being crushed.


Keeping The Endurance free from ice - February 1915

Keeping The Endurance free from ice – February 1915

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