Sir Ernest Shackleton is one of my heroes and he’s finally getting his props. Next Tuesday Nova is giving him two hours and in April A & E and Kenneth Branagh are doing a two-parter. Turns out that my officemate is buds with a fellow who did a radio show about the expedition, too.
Just the thing to study up on whenever you start thinking to well of yourself and your accomplisments. There were giants in the earth in those days.
Franklin was ALMOST as good, but Scott…lugging those sledges over the ice by brute manpower…taking FIVE guys along when he had food and heat for FOUR…all the while, Amundsen zipping by ahead of him on SKIS, of all things, who’d ever think of taking SKIS to Antarctica…ahhhhhhh, sheer bliss!
Plus, he had that cool Vaughan Williams Symphony (the Seventh) done in his honor.
One of the coolest things I ever did was see the Shackleton exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in New York. Amongst other artifacts were the 100 “best” photos chosen by Shackleton to be carried while the rest of the equipment was jettisoned, early color slides, early video of the Endurance being crushed, the actual boat they sailed in to S. Georgia Island, small personal items, and more. It rocked.
I saw the movie about this expedition (Endurance?) that was taken during the expedition. The thing I loved about it was how circumspect they were about the dogs. At the beginning, they were showing all the dogs, the puppies, everything. At the end, no dogs, and no mention of them at all. Hmmm…
I think they probably stopped talking about the dogs on account of the dogs having been eaten. i saw the movie about two weeks ago, and I know for a fact that Liam Neesan says that the dogs were eaten, because the entire theatre reacted at once. It was really cool, actually. it was the most together audience I’ve been in in a long time.
Group gasp when the photographer dives into the icy slush to get the film, and a shudder when Shackleton and his boys go off in the rowboat (well, it was basically a rowboat) to get back to civilization, such as it was.
I’m not a big one for ESP and such, but hitting that TINY speck of rock using dead reckoning in seas that rough, weather that cloudy, that close to the pole? That navigator went beyond talented and so what if he found the wrong side.
Okay, though Hillary was my top boyhood hero, I’ll admit to a soft spot for Mallory. (I trust that, in a thread titled Shackleton, nobody is going to assume I mean Sen. Clinton and Justine Bateman’s character on Family Ties.)
dropzone, he didn’t “find the wrong side.” They landed on the western side of South Georgia because if they’d tried to go around to the eastern side where the whaling station was, the prevailing currents and winds would have swept them out into the open Atlantic where they’d have died of hunger or thirst.
Worsley’s achievement of finding South Georgia across 800 miles of open ocean, by dead reckoning plus only four noontime sunlines, is considered one of the two greatest feats of navigation in history. Can anyone name the other?
Hello Again, I’ve been a polar enthusiast for as long as I can remember, and in 1999 I flew from Atlanta to New York just so I could see that exhibit at the Museum of Natural History.
…well, there was also a booty call involved, but I mainly went for the Endurance stuff.
I read about Ernest Shackleton’s incredible journey in “Before The Wind,” a collection of seafaring tales, edited by David Gowdey (McGraw Hill.) It’s a tear-jerking, gut-wrenching story of awesome courage and endurance. I recommend it to your attention. I’m looking forward to the television show.