Robert Falcon Scott only four years before in 1912. They tied off their rope and lowered themselves through the cold, raging water. Nobody could. [Attributed to Raymond Priestly but appears in essence elsewhere including in Cherry-Garrard's Worst Journey in the World (see previous)]. They took a Primus stove, enough food for four meals, the clothes on their backs, and one 50-foot length of rope. He and his expedition had departed from South Georgia in early December, 1914. Steady, unflagging teamwork. Through it all Shackleton remained undaunted, undiminished, coiled for the moment, watchful of every condition at sea, in his crew, and in the boat itself, how it handed the weather and waves. They'd butchered seals and eaten like starving dogs. From old sled runners and box lids he decked the forecastle end and covered it with watertight canvas. These men, if they were men, must be another species. But the amazing success of the formal medical structure is also its failing. The 1914-1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition… is widely recognised as one of the all-time greatest feats of exploration and courage.Led by Ernest Shackleton, the ambition was to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. . Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Leading through a crisis, any crisis – man-made or natural disaster, requires decisions to be made in a world of imperfect knowledge and uncertain results. Back home, Europe was consumed by war. The entire Endurance story, consisting of one outrageous ordeal after another, would add up to one of the most sensational survival tales in polar history. Ernest Henry Shackleton: Antarctic Explorer. The formal medical structure is vital. Then I realised for the first time that my specialist subject is actually a formal academic area of study. He planned to cross the Antarctic but the ship was crushed and sunk by the ice, and after a series of life threatening adventures, including rowing nearly 800 miles in a small boat in huge oceans, he returned with all his men alive in 1916. In 1901 he was a member of Scott’s Discovery Expedition, but dreamed of heading up his own.In 1907-09 he made that dream come true: Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition managed to reach the furthest point south to date, only 112 miles from the Pole. The other 22 men would remain behind under the command of Wild, a scrappy Antarctic veteran, the only member of the expedition who had more Antarctic experience than Shackleton. Nobody would ever find Shackleton – or even come looking – where he and his bone-weary men huddled together and began to improvise a shelter on Elephant Island, a remote, god-forsaken piece of nowhere deep in the sub-Antarctic. It seems to me that the formal medical structure is the best at keeping people who break their necks or their backs alive, for stabilising the bones in their backs, for teaching those people how to inhabit the world again. But, in unpredictable circumstances, this kind of structure can be inadequate. But a gale came up. Years later, Raymond Priestley, who had served as the geologist on Shackleton's 1907 Antarctic expedition, reflected: "For swift and efficient travel, give me Amundsen; for scientific investigation, give me Scott; but when you are at your wits' end and all else fails, go down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." Check out an article about Mark during his Harvard stay in the Boston Globe. Otherwise it was dead reckoning – guesswork, given the rough conditions. They'd probably frozen to death like Capt. It often fails. We started with the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, through the 2010 Chilean mining rescue, the BP oil spill in The Gulf of Mexico and we spent an entire morning on the Shackleton expedition of 1914 – 1916. All rights reserved. The task ahead, full of challenge and danger, was perfect for Shackleton. It wasn't easy, dodging a rugged coast in gusting winds and a cross-grained sea. Nearly everybody had forgotten about the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. And so Amundsen, the stern Norwegian, became the spoiler, while Scott, who left behind a widow and infant son, became the hero – in Britain at least. Shackleton’s challenges may not on the surface look much like our own. . For days a storm raged. Ferocious winds battered them with salt spray and sea spume that would freeze topside up to 1-foot-thick, and need to be chipped away. Shackleton directed crewmen to melt ice from a nearby glacier to fill water casks. “For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” Sir Raymond Priestly, Antarctic Explorer and Geologist. They shook hands, boat to boat, dropped their painter, hoisted a sail, and were off. Standing beside her, we glanced at the fringe of storm-swept, tumultuous seas that formed our path. Like lots of people around the world, the pandemic decimated my business in a couple of short weeks…, It feels like we’re in the midst of an extended expedition with the threat of coronavirus a constant. "Land Ho!" Finding a cure for spinal cord injury is not a predictable problem. But time is a wise and ruthless judge. A run for either would put heavy weather on the beam of a small boat that was only modestly seaworthy. E xplorer Explorer Sir Raymond Priestley said: "For scientific discovery give me [Robert Falcon] Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me [Roald] Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for [Ernest] Shackleton.". But we need the glorious chaos of global collaborations and a fanatical, fantastical desire to solve the things the human brain can’t yet comprehend. After camping on the ice for nearly five months and drifting north, the men had taken to their three lifeboats and rowed through a harrowing week of dehydration, blisters, boils, icy salt spray, sleeplessness and seasickness. And so all that night, and the next day and night, Shackleton commanded the skipper to hold off. For an entire afternoon, we discussed leadership failures and successes against a backdrop of extremes. Sir Raymond Priestley, an explorer who accompanied Shackleton on the 1907-1913 Antarctic expedition, said, "For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out, get on your knees and pray for Shackleton." All the men of the Endurance came safely home. Shackleton was involved in many expeditions attempting to reach the South Pole. If they shot past South Georgia in heavy seas, they'd have slim chance of coming about, their boat being so small and light of canvas. This is the story of the greatest explorer of all time, Ernest Henry Shackleton. But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. “For scientific discovery, give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen, but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” Polar explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 1922. For speed and efficiency give me Amundsen. They cooked two hot meals per day on a Primus stove, pinning it between their feet so it wouldn't pitch overboard. "These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale," Scott had written as he and his doomed tent-mates lay dying on the Ross Ice Shelf, starving, freezing, pinned down by ferocious winds. Born in 1874, Shackleton was a British Antarctic explorer who set many world records. But now they had to reach the whaling stations on the other side. He removed the mainmast from another boat and fastened it to the keel, then fashioned a small mizzenmast to complement the jib. Two expedition surgeons would knock him out using chloroform vaporized by stoking a seal blubber stove with penguin skins. They endured. You can convey my love to my people and say I tried my best. ( Log Out /  The next thing we'll pray for, we'll pray for some women. A rogue wave swamped them. When asked about Shackleton, Hillary leaned on a quote often attributed to another Antarctic explorer, Sir Raymond Priestly: “For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” He and Wild went over every contingency. ", On April 24, 1916, 100 years ago, six undernourished men pushed off in the Caird, determined to do the impossible. . Designed in London, Shackleton down jackets and knitwear are made to perform in the worst conditions. ‘When disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.’ Due to popular demand, Stolen Elephant Theatre are bringing their Sold Out Ed Fringe play ‘Shackleton and his Stowaway’ back to London. He lives in Gustavus. Without it I wouldn’t be back at work, back living a life. But when you're in a hopeless case and disaster strikes, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Amundsen, arguably the greatest polar explorer of all time – "the sailor on skis" he was called in his youth – made it look too easy. What I have experienced in the aftermath of blindness and paralysis and by racing in the world’s most extreme environments, was what Dutch Leonard was teaching us about. Sailing around either end of the crescent-shaped island was out of the question, with so many big seas and countess offshore rocks. When they walked into Stromness Whaling Station on the afternoon of May 20, 1916, people stared. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Kim Heacox is the author of several books. Each chosen by Shackleton from among 5,000 applicants, with certain traits of upmost importance: optimism, patience, physical endurance, idealism and courage. One crewman had a mild heart attack. Ernest H. Shackleton - Expedition Leader (40) "Scott for scientific method, Amundsen for speed and efficiency but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." Scott for scientific method, Amundsen for speed and efficiency but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. No doubt dispirited as well, having arrived at the South Pole only to find the crafty Norwegian Roald Amundsen, the better skier, dog handler, and let's be honest, the better leader, had beaten them there by five weeks, and claimed one the world's last great geographical prizes. Without it I would be dead. Ernest Shackleton called this work of the leader “dispensing mental medicine,” and it was vital to the success of his against-all-odds mission. That was the task @, On the 10th anniversary of going blind, I took part in a 43-day expedition race in the coldest, most remote, most c…, What a year eh? There was a saying among Shackleton’s followers and other Antarctic explorers: For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out, get on your knees and pray for Shackleton. They are also good at helping people who aren’t completely paralysed to make the most of the function they have left. I pray God I can manage to get the whole party to civilization.”3 Sir Ernest Shackleton walked the rocky, icy beach with his right-hand man, Frank Wild, and again went over their dire situation, their outrageous plan. Shackleton (1872-1922) was a British explorer (born in Ireland) and member of the Royal Naval Reserve. Adventure Athlete, Professional Speaker and Author. Some glorious, glorious, glorious women. ( Log Out /  Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski calls on President Trump to resign, questions her future as a Republican, Newly available video shows fatal shooting of pro-Trump rioter Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol, Fresh details, video emerge of woman’s shooting by Capitol Police, Dunleavy administration will appeal federal government’s decision to reject Pebble mine permit, Alaska Supreme Court confirms Rep. Lance Pruitt’s 11-vote loss in Anchorage state House race. We need hierarchy and structure for life’s predictable problems. ", but it established Shackleton as a "bona fide English hero" (Books on Ice). Shackleton was probably tempting fate in 1914 when he set off in his boat, Endurance, on an expedition to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. A run to the island of South Georgia, however, 720 nautical miles (830 statute miles) east-northeast, home to several whaling stations, would put the prevailing westerlies off their stern, with mountainous seas rolling through them and pushing them where they needed to go. Incomparable in adversity, he was the miracle worker who would save your life against all the odds and long after your number was up. Yet nothing about it would be sensationalized. "Don't you know me?" And their friends on Elephant Island would almost certainly perish. Cape Horn, the storm-tossed, uninhabited southern tip of South America, was 490 nautical miles to north-northwest, across the dreaded Drake Passage, the roughest seas on Earth. Those poor fellows. I was part of a group of 65 Young Global Leaders from around the world. But when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” –Conrad Combrink. Sir Ernest Shackleton was a pioneer of Antarctic exploration. The expedition got within some hundred miles of the Pole, whereupon Shackleton gave the quest up famously claiming, "Better a live donkey than a dead lion. Raymond Priestly Ernest Henry Shackleton was born on the 15th February 1874 in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland. Shackleton expedition-grade apparel is engineered for extremes, combining world-class high performance fabrics and materials with supreme refinement. Too risky. For the first two weeks in April, I sat in a classroom in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The challenge…. Shackleton's famous account of the Nimrod expedition, which he led to the Antarctic in 1907-09. For speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen. It was as if his entire life had been in preparation for this. . This work is nothing short of a miracle. Ernest Shackleton was born in Kilkea, Ireland in 1874. ( Log Out /  If they succeeded it would be one of the most outrageous feats in maritime history. The expedition carpenter, Chippy McNeish, set about improvising the Caird. First, I had an overwhelming desire to cheer out loud when I read Sir Raymond Priestly’s quote. Ernest Shackleton’s First South Pole Expeditions. It was his final ambition to be the first to lead an historic expedition across the continent. I finally found the words in Harvard to explain what I was seeing in my research and my life. The boat "appeared to have shrunk in some mysterious way when I reviewed her in the light of our new undertaking. The next thing we'll pray for, we'll pray for some money, some glorious, glorious, glorious money. Born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland, Shackleton, and his family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten. No doubt some of the men left stranded in 1916 did pray that Shackleton and his five men would reach salvation – the whaling station at Stromness on the north shore of South Georgia – which of course, they did. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Consider that most mountaineers don't die on the way up, they die on the way down. For decades, Shackleton was called a "splendid failure." Shackleton had always dreamed of a small boat journey across epic big water. Kim Heacox is the author of several books, most recently the novel "Jimmy Bluefeather," winner of the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award. A freshwater barrel turned briny; the men's thirst, Shackleton noted, became "a burning pain." © 2021 Anchorage Daily News. His black toes would soon be amputated. 'Pray for Shackleton' All the men of the Endurance came safely home. The seas calmed over a lingering swell. “For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” Sir Raymond Priestly, Antarctic Explorer and Geologist. They endured. So while three of the six men waited with the Caird in a little cove they called "Peggotty Camp," at the head of King Haakon Bay, Shackleton, Worsley and Crean prepared to walk over the glacier-capped spine of South Georgia, something nobody had ever done. Whilst attempting to cross the Weddell Sea, the Endurance became trapped in ice. It was a privilege to learn what I learnt at Harvard. On May 8 they spotted the high, rugged peaks of South Georgia. Back on shore, the expedition photographer, Australian Frank Hurley, ever alert, ran up the rocky beach and composed an image of his fellow castaways waving farewell. One mistake and they'd be dashed onto the rocks – killed in an instant. Twenty-eight men pulling together, each made authentic by wild, unrelenting country. Shackleton. He lived in the shadow of Robert Falcon Scott who had died on the ice, proving it's better to fail flamboyantly than it is to succeed quietly, as Scott's adversary Roald Amundsen had done. Since I got back from Harvard, I’ve been considering how this applies to spinal cord injuries. But dear God, their appearance: dirty, matted hair; red-rimmed eyes; thin, tired faces blackened by months huddled over stoves cooking seal meat and penguin. Yours sincerely, E.H. By the evening of April 23, the wind began to abate. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary@alaskadispatch.com. The formal medical structure has made standard, that miracle of surviving spinal cord injury and re-integrating into society. Two old men scurried away. In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off aboard the ship Endurance on an expedition to be the first to cross Antarctica. Chocks away, chocks away,.....etc etc. Change ), Blog at WordPress.com. Exploring the frontiers of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury, Get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton, What songs have defined your life? "Your voice is familiar," the manager replied. What to do? Dutch’s conclusion is that in most situations, with predictable problems, a hierarchical command structure is very, very effective. It is a human crisis and it requires collaboration across geographical, organisational and intellectual boundaries. The Boss would take the best of the three boats, the James Caird, a little over 20 feet long, 6 feet at the beam. He had joined Robert Scott’s Discovery Expedition as third lieutenant in 1901. "As each boatload came alongside," Worsley observed, "the contents were passed to us, with a running fire of jokes, chaff, and good wishes from dear pals whom we were leaving behind. Chippy McNeish fixed screws through the soles of their boots, as crampons. “For scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen. “For scientific discovery, give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton”. Dogs barked. As Cervantes wrote, "In order to obtain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd." Shackleton’s expedition failed — and yet the story of how his men survived on the ice for 497 days transformed the Endurance into one of the most memorable accounts of perseverance and resilience in history. The Falkland Islands, some 580 nautical miles away, lay almost due north. Pray for Shackleton 84 Views “Scott for scientific method, Amundsen for speed and efficiency but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone get down on your knee and pray for Shackleton.” RSS Entries and RSS Comments. Shackleton had one goal – to preserve his men. The next day the sun appeared for the first time in a week. Having made his decision, Shackleton said he "walked through the blizzard with Worsley and Wild to examine the James Caird." We are in the midst of a crisis and in the spirit of Shackleton, we must find a way to move forward, despite the excruciatingly slow progress and seemingly unbeatable odds. Only four times in two weeks did the sky clear to where Worsley could take readings with his sextant, and check the expedition's only remaining functional chronometer. The structure itself constrains intellectual collaboration and translation of breakthrough science into clinical studies and then into actual therapies. .” Third lieutenant in charge of holds, stores, provisions and deep sea water analysis Discovery 1901-04 He never achieved any of his stated goals. "Scott for scientific method, Amundsen for speed and efficiency but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." "…May God prosper your work and your life. Many were solicitous that I might not overeat myself, and my behavior on reaching civilization should be above reproach. Winds gusted to 120 knots. and if we have one pound, may we also have ten, may we have the bank of England said the airman, amen. He was a poor writer, while Scott played his dying hand perfectly, his journals edited into art by his friend Sir James Barrie, author of "Peter Pan." 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