If they failed, they would be lost at sea, a footnote. Shackleton was probably tempting fate in 1914 when he set off in his boat, Endurance, on an expedition to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. He never achieved any of his stated goals. Shackleton's famous account of the Nimrod expedition, which he led to the Antarctic in 1907-09. That night, as his men settled into tents and sleeping bags salvaged from the sinking ship, Shackleton wrote in his diary, “A man must shape himself to a new mark directly the old one goes to ground. They drop their guard. "…May God prosper your work and your life. So while three of the six men waited with the Caird in a little cove they called "Peggotty Camp," at the head of King Haakon Bay, Shackleton, Worsley and Crean prepared to walk over the glacier-capped spine of South Georgia, something nobody had ever done. Three mariners now became mountaineers, walking on snow and ice day and night, covering 22 miles in 36 hours. For speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen. He was a poor writer, while Scott played his dying hand perfectly, his journals edited into art by his friend Sir James Barrie, author of "Peter Pan." Back home, Europe was consumed by war. The other 22 men would remain behind under the command of Wild, a scrappy Antarctic veteran, the only member of the expedition who had more Antarctic experience than Shackleton. ( Log Out /  The boat "appeared to have shrunk in some mysterious way when I reviewed her in the light of our new undertaking. But a gale came up. A run for either would put heavy weather on the beam of a small boat that was only modestly seaworthy. Third lieutenant in charge of holds, stores, provisions and deep sea water analysis Discovery 1901-04 One crewman had a mild heart attack. This would be his third and last exploration of the Antarctic during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration around the time of World War I. They cooked two hot meals per day on a Primus stove, pinning it between their feet so it wouldn't pitch overboard. Having made his decision, Shackleton said he "walked through the blizzard with Worsley and Wild to examine the James Caird." Cape Horn, the storm-tossed, uninhabited southern tip of South America, was 490 nautical miles to north-northwest, across the dreaded Drake Passage, the roughest seas on Earth. "We watched them until they were out of sight," wrote one crewman, "which was not long, for such a tiny boat was soon lost to sight on the great heaving ocean; as she dipped into the trough of each wave, she disappeared completely, sail and all. It took Shackleton four attempts over 100 days (using four different vessels, eventually succeeding with a Chilean tug) to reach Wild and the others on Elephant Island. These men, if they were men, must be another species. Nobody would ever find Shackleton – or even come looking – where he and his bone-weary men huddled together and began to improvise a shelter on Elephant Island, a remote, god-forsaken piece of nowhere deep in the sub-Antarctic. They are also good at helping people who aren’t completely paralysed to make the most of the function they have left. Its success with the now predictable problem of keeping people alive, getting them into their wheelchairs and back to living is also its greatest failing, when it comes to solving the un-predictable problem of a cure for the paralysed. Only four times in two weeks did the sky clear to where Worsley could take readings with his sextant, and check the expedition's only remaining functional chronometer. And so all that night, and the next day and night, Shackleton commanded the skipper to hold off. They'd butchered seals and eaten like starving dogs. 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