Cricket Magazine

STARANDED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD

“It is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all.”
— Ernest Shackleton

EXPLORER SIR ERNEST Shackleton was growing impatient. It had been four months since his ship, the Endurance, made its August 1, 1915, departure from London. He had planned only a brief stop at South Georgia, a desolate island eight hundred miles east of the tip of South America. But unusually heavy ice conditions in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea forced him to wait a month on South Georgia in hopes that conditions would improve. It was already December—midsummer in the Southern Hemisphere. Shackleton needed to set out for Antarctica during the summer’s long hours of sunlight. Waiting too long could jeopardize the entire expedition.

Twice, Antarctica’s brutal conditions had kept Shackleton from being first to reach the South Pole. He had come within one hundred miles of his goal, closer than anyone else, a few years earlier. But he had turned back to spare the lives of his men.

News that Roald Amundsen of Norway had reached the Pole

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