Friday, February 5, 2016
"Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage", by Alfred Lansing
Men have to be nuts to be explorers ….
The British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic in August of 1914 by October 1015 half way from its intended base the ship was trapped, crushed in the ice leaving the crew drifting on ice packs in one of the world’s most inhospitable regions.
Mr. Lansing describes with chilling words how the men survived the long voyage in an open boat across the stormiest ocean and vividly recounts the overland trek through the glaciers and mountains. What shines over all the misery in this harrowing adventure is the resilience and courage of the 28 men. This book written from interviews and access to the journals of all the survivors of the expedition is one hell of a tale and is as exciting as a novel. Although the tone has a dry style the story is far from being dull. We know from the start that this is a story of 28 men absolutely doomed….The most fascinating is the gritty details of how much their day to day life was bad: hiking across slushy ice pack, being wet for weeks, frostbitten, starving, sleeping in freezing water, surviving gale force wind,, etc. and this lasted for two long years. It is amazing they didn’t kill or eat each other. It seems so unbelievable they managed to survive.
“Endurance” is an amazing catalog of miseries and is one of the most intense and captivating read.