|Ships:||Sailing ( 1)|
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton CVO OBE FRGS (15 February 1874 - 5 January 1922) was a British polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. He was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.
Born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland (then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland), Shackleton and his Anglo-Irish family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten. His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition 1901–1904, from which he was sent home early on health grounds, after he and his companions Scott and Edward Adrian Wilson set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82°S. During the second expedition 1907–1909 he and three companions established a new record Farthest South latitude at 88°S, only 97 geographical miles (112 statute miles, 180 km) from the South Pole, the largest advance to the pole in exploration history. Also, members of his team climbed Mount Erebus, the most active Antarctic volcano. For these achievements, Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home. (Source: Wikipedia)
To read more about Ernest Shackleton's journey in Seaport, check his storylines.
|1||Welcome to London!|
Ahoy, captain! Welcome to the great city of London. My name is Ernest, I am an officer in the Navy. It's a cold night, care to chat over a pint and some dinner with a fellow sailor?
I've got some exciting news! I will get to be a part of the Discovery expedition to Antarctica, my first one! Would you and your men come with us? Your crew is one of the most capable ones out there.
We have to delay the journey by a week or so, the ship Discovery needs further reinforcements against the ice that we will have to go through. Could you supply the iron we will need?
We have set out on our expedition. Captain Scott says it should be smooth sailing until we get closer to Antarctica and have to deal with the ice. We just need to conserve our fuel for that part.
Now that we have arrived at Antarctica, we will take a balloon flight with some scouts to scope out our route on the continent. We will need some wood for the fire in the balloon.
We are going to attempt to get as close to the South Pole as possible under the command of Captain Scott. We should get some local sled dogs for our journey, would you mind paying for them?
The dogs fell ill mid-journey and all 22 of them died. Scott has decided we should go back. Three men got sick and I am not feeling so great myself. I could use an extra layer in this cruel cold.
|8||Clash with Scott|
Captain Scott seems quite angry and disappointed with me. It's not my fault I have fallen ill! He has felt disdain towards me since the beginning. Let's just get on with my work and make some tools.
Scott has sent me home early with other ill men. He is just using my temporary illness to get rid of me. I will come back stronger and prove him wrong. Let's get your crew and go back to England.
Welcome back, captain! These five years have been too long. Finally, I have been able to get enough financial backing to lead my own expedition. Let's celebrate and catch up over a bottle of wine.
After the expedition, I came back and decided to become a shareholder in a company that transported Russian troops home from the Far East. The project was unsuccessful and I lost a lot of money.
Then I was approached by the Liberal Unionist Party to run in the General Election as their candidate for Dundee, but I didn't get elected. Let's continue the talk over dinner.
|13||A new expedition|
My mentor, William Beardmore, advised me to go back to doing what I loved; exploration. I've got a ship and an energetic crew, now all I need is a great captain like you by my side.
We are almost ready to set out on Nimrod, my new ship, we just need to quickly replace some parts. A ship will tow us from New Zealand closer to Antarctica so we will save coal for breaking the ice.
We've had trouble finding ice stable enough to establish a base on. I made a promise to Scott to stay away from this area but we were running low on coal. Let's get some wood and build a shelter.
We are now prepared to set out on the Great Southern Journey. I want us to break the record and get as close to the South Pole as possible. We could use some extra tools on our way.
The journey has gone according to plan so far. We have discovered a glacier and I've decided to name it after my mentor, Beardmore. However, the nights are freezing here. We could use more warm clothing.
|18||South Pole Plateau|
We are now only about a hundred miles away from the South Pole. No one has gone this far before, but our rations are scarce and we need to head back. Send some of your men ahead to get help for us.
The return journey has been a struggle. We have all been on half-rations, some of the men have fallen ill. We need to find a lake and try our luck fishing or most of us will not make it back.
|20||Back at the camp|
All of us have made it back to camp alive thanks to your fishing efforts. While we recover on our ship, there are some repairs that need to be made.
This expedition has already been a success, but someone else will go further. I will need to raise more funds, but I want to leave my mark in history by being the first to climb Mount Erebus.
After a week or so to recover, we should only take a dozen of our most capable men so we can move fast. We will also need new climbing boots with metal spikes, can you get those made?
New Zealand agreed to give us funding in exchange for us planting their flag at the top. We will need to fashion a sturdy flagpole and then ascend the Mount Erebus.
We have conquered Mount Erebus, planted the flag, but we lost a man on our return journey, Eric Marshall. We weren't able to retrieve his body, but he deserves to have a memorial here.
|25||Time to go back|
Even though our expedition was a success, we must forever remember Marshall's sacrifice. Let us drink to his memory and then set off on our voyage back to London.
I am going to receive the Royal Victorian Order and knighthood from King Edward VII. I convinced him to honor the whole expedition, so bring your crew, because they deserve as much credit as I do.
I feel that this was a big day for the men. Well, I wouldn't want to rest on my laurels, shall we discuss the options for our next expedition over dinner?
|28||Scott and Amundsen|
My goal was to be the first to reach the South Pole, but both Amundsen and Scott have expeditions there right now. Let's wait and see how they unfold.
|29||A new idea|
Good job getting us our main investor, James Caird! Amundsen reached the South Pole first, but my fellow explorer, William Bruce, gave me an idea for a Transantarctic expedition. I quite fancy it.
I presented the plan to Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, and he commissioned it. I will explain the plan to you but first, we need to get our two ships reinforced.
|31||Aurora and Endurance|
Endurance will be the main ship, taking us to Antarctica from the northwest while Aurora's crew will lay supply packs for us from the South. We will be the first expedition to cross Antarctica!
|32||All is set!|
Everything is ready for us to set out on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. I had a stone memorial made to honor Eric Marshall that will hopefully bring us luck there.
I trust our crew fully, but I am not sure about Aurora's. We should promise them extra pay if they successfully complete their mission to ensure their loyalty.
|34||Frozen in ice|
We have run into some trouble. Our ship got frozen in an ice floe before we could reach land. Let's hope that we will drift towards Paulet Island. Best catch some fish to preserve our supplies.
The ship was drifting in the right direction, but there is a large barrier that we cannot cross. We need to hope some ship will find us and we can get fuel. Otherwise, we will have to change our plan.
|36||Hard journey ahead|
We will have to undergo a five-day journey in our lifeboats to Elephant Island. We can only take three boats, so we must pick only our best men for the journey to try and get help.
I will not take more than a month's supplies. I will not leave the crew remaining here to starve if we do not come back. However, we will need to take some reserve clothing or we risk freezing.
After a terrible journey in our lifeboats, we have finally arrived at Elephant Island. We have our supplies, but we should take apart one of the boats and use the iron to make hunting weapons.
Our hunting attempts have been utter failures. Elephant Island is so inhospitable, one cannot even find a rabbit here. We need to try to put together a shelter and then figure out a plan to get help.
Our carpenter will raise the sides and strengthen the keel of one of the lifeboats with lumber, and six of us will attempt a four-week journey to South Georgia. It's madness, but it's all we've got.
The improvements are finished, I think we should christen it James Caird after our main investor. Let's break out those last bottles of wine and drink to this mad voyage we are about to undertake.
|42||One last try|
The boat can only take six of us, so we are leaving ten men behind here. We will leave most of our supplies with them, I will not have them starve. Let's catch some more fish before we head out.
After two weeks of relatively smooth sailing, stormy weather has hit us hard. The waves threw one of the sailors overboard and he has a wounded arm. We need to stop the bleeding.
We have arrived at the unpopulated south coast of South Georgia, but the weather won't let us get near enough to the shore to dock. We need two men to take the rope, swim to shore and pull us in.
We've landed on the south shore of South Georgia, Norway has a whaling station in the north. Let's cross the island to get there, but we will need to make climbing gear due to the mountainous terrain.
|46||Breaking the boat|
James Caird has served its purpose, the boat won't survive another voyage. We can get some materials out of it. I will leave three men here in case a ship passes by, they can build a shelter here.
We have survived the journey through South Georgia despite terrible weather and poor equipment. I explained the situation to the Norwegians and they will contact their government.
Norway has agreed to organize a rescue mission for all our men on the south shore, Elephant Island, and on Endurance. It won't be cheap, but I would spend every penny I have to get them out alive.
Against all odds, our whole crew survived! Some of them may be in worse shape than others, but they are all alive. Let's go back to London and celebrate!