Back in the early years of the last century, an Irish born man raised mostly in England, became infatuated with the idea of getting to Antarctica. By ship. His story is fascinating and too detailed to cover here, but the links are a good way to get to know Ernest Shackleton. Surprisingly, the images from Google about him are many. Who knew cameras were even on trips like this? He made 4 unsuccessful attempts at getting to the south pole, the third of which was made on The Endurance.
"On August 1, 1914, the same day Germany declared war on Russia, Shackleton departed London on the ship Endurance for his third trip to the South Pole. By late fall the crew had reached South Georgia, an island in the southern Atlantic. On December 5, the team departed the island, the last time Shackleton and his men would touch land for an astonishing 497 days.
In January 1915, the Endurance became trapped in ice, ultimately forcing Shackleton and his men to vacate the ship and set up camp on the floating ice. After the ship sank later that year, Shackleton embarked on an escape in April 1916, in which he and his men crowded into three small boats and made their way to Elephant Island, off the southern tip of Cape Horn.
Seven hard days on the water culminated in the team reaching their destination, but there was still little hope in getting rescued on the uninhabited island, which, because of its location, sat far outside normal shipping lanes.
Seeing that his men were on the precipice of disaster, Shackleton led a team of five others out on the water again. They boarded a 22-foot lifeboat and navigated their way toward South Georgia. Sixteen days after setting out, the crew reached the island, where Shackleton trekked to a whaling station to organize an rescue effort.
On August 25, 1916, Shackleton returned to Elephant Island to rescue the remaining crew members. Astonishingly, not a single member of his 28-men team died during the nearly two years they were stranded."
Amazing. What caught my interest in this man was a photo I came across showing the Endurance crew playing football on the ice while the ship was ice bound.