It's been so cold outstide. Yesterday morning when I left the house at ten it was 1 degree outside. There is a crusty snow covering everything and that biting chill in the air. So, of course, it's the perfect weather to read about Shackleton's Incredible Voyage to Antartica and simultaneously feel grateful for my warm home and cozy bed.
My friend Jen gave me a copy of Endurance : Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing for Christmas. Obviously, my friends know me. When there are true stories this amazing, who needs fiction?
Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team of explorers planned and hoped to cross Antarctica. They set off on their ship from the island of South Georgia on December 5, 1914 and by January their ship was stuck fast in the ice of Weddell Sea. The men weathered the coming winter on their ship until it was crushed by the ice and had to be abandoned that October. Their survival is truly super human and simply amazing.
I was most impressed by the general morale of the group of men, their continual respect for their leader and the willingness to follow his lead in this long period of miserable conditions and peril.
I watched a movie with Utah Dad last night and it was late before I got to bed but I felt it absolutely necessary to finish this book before I could sleep. I just had to get those poor men rescued and safe. With little help from Mother Nature, who seemed most determined to destroy this band of explorers, the men were finally saved on August 30, 1916. That is a long time to be constantly cold, wet and hungry.
Lansing had access to the diaries of the men and frequently interviewed one of the survivors (the book was written in 1959) so that he could write this accurate and exciting account of this most incredible adventure.