- ISBN 9781841580630 / 1841580635
- Title Shackleton’s Boat Journey: A True Story of Antarctic Survival
- Author Frank Arthur Worsley and F.A. Worsley
- Category History: Specific Events & Topics
Geographical Discovery & Exploration
- Format Paperback
- Year 2002
- Pages 164
- Publisher Birlinn Publishers
- Imprint Birlinn Ltd
- Edition 3rd
- Language English
- Dimensions 132mm x 15mm x 204mm
Written by the Captain of the Endurance, the ship used by Shackleton on his 1914-16 ill-fated journey, this book is a remarkable tale of courage and bravery in the face of extreme odds and a vivid portrait of one of the world's greatest explorers.
This is an account of the Shackleton boat journey. The journey began in August 1914 in London and the next the world knew of Shackleton was in May 1916, when three ragged men staggered into the whaling station at Grytviken on South Georgia. On August 1, 1914, on the eve of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his hand-picked crew embarked in HMS “Endurance” from London's West India Dock, for an expedition to the Antarctic. It was to turn into one of the most breathtaking survival stories of all time. Even as they coasted down the channel, Shackleton wired back to London to offer his ship to the war effort. The reply came from the First Lord of the Admiralty, one Winston Churchill: “Proceed.” And proceed they did. When the “Endurance” was trapped and finally crushed to splinters by pack ice in late 1915, they drifted on an ice floe for five months, before getting to open sea and launching three tiny boats as far as the inhospitable, storm-lashed Elephant Island. They drank seal oil and ate baby albatross (delicious, apparently). From there Shackelton himself and seven others—the author among them—went on, in a 22-foot open boat, for an unbelievable 800 miles, through the Antarctic seas in winter, to South Georgia and rescue. It is an extraordinary story of courage and even good-humor among men who must have felt certain, secretly, that they were going to die. Worsley's account, first published in 1940, captures that bulldog spirit exactly: uncomplaining, tough, competent, modest and deeply loyal. It's gripping, and strangely moving.
Worsley he was commander of two ships in World War I, served as a reserve officer in the Royal Navy, was captain of the Endurance, and was the joint leader of the British Arctic Exploration in 1925.