Enest Shakleton's unsuccessful voyage to the south pole

Essay by mitsa17High School, 10th gradeA, May 2003

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1 determined man, 27 volunteers, 1 boat and a lot of ice, this remarkable story captures to voyage that was one of man's greatest feat of human survival.

In August 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton, captain of the sailing ship Endurance, with 27 men on board, left England heading for the Antarctic. The aim of the venture: The first crossing of the Antarctic Continent from ocean to ocean via the South Pole The Endurance was to bring Shackleton and his party over the Weddell Sea to land so that the "Trans Continental Party" could start their journey from there.

The journey south started. On 7th. December 1914, the Endurance came across the first lot of pack ice, unusually far north. Even though the pack ice became more and more compact, the Endurance struggled on under sail and steam towards the Weddell Sea ---- and into disaster. At the end of January 1915, the ship was icebound.

The coast was only 80 miles away, but too far for the "Trans Continental Party."

Terrible fate was to follow its course.

The Endurance and her crew drifted clockwise with the pack ice in the Weddell Sea. Repeatedly the hull of the ship was forced to withstand increasing pressure from the ice. The men waited ten months for the ice to loosen. On 27th. October 1915 they finally had to leave the Endurance after the enormous ice pressure had made a wreck out of the ship. On 21st. November of the same year, the Endurance sank; Shackleton and his men were shipwrecked in one of the most desolate regions of the world. For many months they drifted north with the pack ice. On 9th April 1916, the castaways finally reached the edge of the ice. They got into the three life boats they had...