“What the ice gets, the ice keeps”: Endurance Expedition

Endurance in the background. The dogs housed in "dogloos" are fed by expedition members (Credit: Library of Congress)

Endurance in the background. The dogs housed in “dogloos” are fed by expedition members (Credit: Library of Congress)

“As ice pushed from three different directions converging at one point, which happened to be where Endurance sat, the ship shuddered as she was twisted. And then she began to take on water. If they wanted to save Endurance, the crew would have to move fast. The water was pumped out, but try as they might, saving Endurance was a lost cause. An evacuation that took place three days later was well managed though. The dogs and other supplies were taken off as well as three lifeboats which would later be used to sail for land. In temperatures that plunged below zero (-18°C) and where 29°F (-2°C) was a heat wave, the group disembarked. For those who had called the little ship home for so many months, it was a sorry thing to see her go.”

This is an excerpt from a post I wrote for a website chocked full of information, itshistorypodcasts.com. If you would like to read the rest of it, click here. As always your feedback is welcomed and if you have the time to leave a comment I’d love to hear what you thought about the article.

And here’s a little trivia for you –  Sir Ernest Shackleton, who headed the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, was one of the witnesses who provided his testimony at the Titanic British Inquiry in 1912. Yeah, I really NEEDED to throw that one in there.


60 thoughts on ““What the ice gets, the ice keeps”: Endurance Expedition

    • My sentiments exactly! There have been many comments in books and online on the impact his leadership had on the expedition (Frank Wild wasn’t too bad either). Been meaning to read “South!” Now. You’re comment has spurred me on to do just that. 🙂


    • I downloaded it to my Kindle for free.
      I have been fascinated by the story ever since I was a child… odd thing to capture the attention of an eight-year-old girl, but it really did, although it took me nearly 40 years to get round to reading his own account!


    • At that age I was reading a pile of American Civil War books, so I guess we’re in the same boat (pun not intended). 🙂

      It appears it is on Project Gutneberg, so I look forward to reading it.


  1. I might have told you before that I’ve read books about this in the past, but it had been several years. The full article was an excellent read! Nicely done!
    I found myself saying “oh yeah! I forgot about that part”. The name of the ship is the perfect word for the crew as well. (and I didn’t know about Shackleton and his Titanic connection!).


    • Thank you very much, Laurie! The story of the expedition is just so fascinating. It started out as just usual research, but I think it is developing into something akin to my interest in Titanic.

      His testimony wasn’t very long, but, hey, it’s still Titanic. 😉 He was questioned mostly about similar ice conditions experienced by Titanic and about the procedures of dealing with it, if I recall correctly. Here’s the link if you want to read it – http://www.titanicinquiry.org/BOTInq/BOTInq26Shackleton01.php


    • That they did! They were hardy; they had to be to survive all that. The youngest member (and originally a stowaway – Shackleton would take him on because he was so young, but after he was discovered he was made a steward), had several of his toes amputated on Elephant Island. How it was done was interesting in itself (and not in a morbid manner).


    • It is a great website, isn’t it? I’ve been going through the archives off and on and there’s some interesting stuff. I may write for them in the future and of course I’ll be sure to post updates on here when it happens.


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