<em>The Three Polar Stars</em>, Roald Amundsen (1872 - 1928), Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874 - 1922) and Robert Edwin Peary (1856 - 1920), <em>The National Geographic Society's Gold Medal</em>, 16 January 1913, Philadelphia | Photo: William H. Rau | C
At the Royal Geographic Society, the Adventure of the Endurance in Digital
Location: Royal Geographic Society
Address: 1 Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AR
On August 9, 1914, British explorer Ernest Shackleton sets off from Plymouth towards the Antarctic along with six men. Their goal? A land crossing of the frozen continent. But something goes wrong - just 80 miles from their goal, the ship Endurance remains stuck among the ice of the Weddel Sea. For a year, it is tossed about in the currents, then it sinks. On three life-boats, Shackleton’s men fight for their lives in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, rationing out their meagre food supplies and resisting temperatures as low as -22 to -45 degrees centigrade. Reaching any inhabited land proves to be an arduous task - after months, the group disembarks on Elephant Island, part of the South Shetland Islands, then Shackleton leaves to search for a whaling base located on South Georgia Island off the Argentinian coast. He is equipped only with a sextant and a chronometer but he succeeds in reaching his destination and returns to save all his men. The incredible story of the Endurance was documented by photographer Frank Hurley, who was able to save his photos despite the extreme conditions. The Royal Geographic Society has recently digitalised them. Along with other surviving objects, prints measuring more than two-metres squared, today, represent a monumental witness to this legendary expedition.
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