Sunday, March 2, 2014

CHAPTER 9: THE BOAT JOURNEY

                   SOUTH! THE STORY OF SHACKLETON’S                                         LAST EXPEDITION 1914–1917

 The James Caird journey is shown with relative locations of Antarctic continent, Elephant Island, South America and South Georgia
"Dusk was approaching. A small cove, with a boulder-strewn beach guarded by a reef, made a break in the cliffs on the south side of the bay, and we turned in that direction. I stood in the bows directing the steering as we ran through the kelp and made the passage of the reef. The entrance was so narrow that we had to take in the oars, and the swell was piling itself right over the reef into the cove; but in a minute or two we were inside, and in the gathering darkness the James Caird ran in on a swell and touched the beach. I sprang ashore with the short painter and held on when the boat went out with the backward surge. When the James Caird came in again three of the men got ashore, and they held the painter while I climbed some rocks with another line. A slip on the wet rocks twenty feet up nearly closed my part of the story just at the moment when we were achieving safety. A jagged piece of rock held me and at the same time bruised me sorely. However, I made fast the line, and in a few minutes we were all safe on the beach, with the boat floating in the surging water just off the shore. We heard a gurgling sound that was sweet music in our ears, and, peering around, found a stream of fresh water almost at our feet. A moment later we were down on our knees drinking the pure, ice-cold water in long draughts that put new life into us. It was a splendid moment."

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