Endurance : An Illustrated Account of Shackleton's Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic
(Orion Pub Co, Aug. 31, 2000)
Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew make todays hightech adventurers look like dilettantes. Their interminable voyage across frozen land and open sea is one of the most harrowing survival stories of all time. Sebastian Junger, author of the bestselling The Perfect Storm.In 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton and a crew of 27 men set sail for the South Atlantic on board the Endurance. The object of the expedition was to cross the Antarctic overland. In October 1915, still half a continent away from their intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in ice. For seventeen months Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs and then on the stormiest seas on the globe, were castaways in this most savage region of the world. Frank Hurley, the photographer of the expedition, documented their struggles, miraculously saving his negatives and photographs from destruction at each stage of their journey. His photographs illustrate the dramatic, terrible beauty of the lands with which they were contending. They also provide an unsurpassable insight into the extraordinary spirit of Shackleton and his crew, and their extraordinary indefatigability and lasting civility towards one another in the most adverse conditions.Lansings gripping narrative, based on firsthand accounts of crew members and interviews with survivors, vividly describes how the men lived together in camps on the ice until they reached land, how they were attacked by sea leopards, ate sea lion and polar bear, developed frostbite (an operation to amputate the foot of one member of the crew was carried out on the ice), and finally embarked on a 850-mile voyage in a 22-foot open lifeboat to find help.