Thursday, January 9, 2014

Me and Shackleton

So I've been obsessed for years with Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Trans Arctic Expedition. The endurance (theirs AND the name of the ship) just blows me away. Trapped in the ice. Traveled by tiny dinghy across hundreds of miles of open water from Elephant Island to get help. NO ONE DIED! (well, except the dogs, who I think got eaten eventually. If you look at the photos of the expedition, the dogs are prominent for a long time… until they aren't there at all. Eventually, I put two and two together.)

But obsessed I am -- Have read many books, watched many specials, thought about this crazy amazing journey A LOT. Interestingly, many of the men returned home only to join the British army in WW I and go to war and die. Which feels the cruelest of ironies.

Watched part 1 of a new special last night on PBS called Chasing Shackleton. Basically, a group of guys have recreated the ENTIRE voyage. And obviously there are some safety backups-- like a ship watching out for them-- but they are doing this with same rations, clothing, etc. Crazy talk, I tell you!

Here's the link to a preview:

And here's a link to a tribute about the Endurance dogs:

I'll definitely be watching parts 2 and 3. It's not the strongest of the specials I've seen, but it's fascinating none the less.

And I'm still obsessing over what it takes for a human being to determine to do something like this and follow through.


TerryLynnJohnson said...

One of my all time favourite books - Endurance.

Joy Preble said...

It's just such a fascinating story about the human spirit.