Whilst attempting to cross the Weddell Sea, the Endurance became trapped in ice. He made four trips to the Antarctic, including leading the Endurance expedition for which he is best known. "Land Ho!" Two old men scurried away. The formal medical structure is vital. ... get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." ( Log Out /  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. The seas calmed over a lingering swell. The next thing we'll pray for, we'll pray for some women. His black toes would soon be amputated. “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. ( Log Out /  Shackleton’s challenges may not on the surface look much like our own. They are also good at helping people who aren’t completely paralysed to make the most of the function they have left. Standing beside her, we glanced at the fringe of storm-swept, tumultuous seas that formed our path. 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. 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. I finally found the words in Harvard to explain what I was seeing in my research and my life. Ernest Henry Shackleton: Antarctic Explorer. But the amazing success of the formal medical structure is also its failing. 'Pray for Shackleton' All the men of the Endurance came safely home. 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. For an entire afternoon, we discussed leadership failures and successes against a backdrop of extremes. The challenge…. 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." Yours sincerely, E.H. Near the end, they encountered a waterfall that was flanked on both sides by impassable sheer ice walls. "Your voice is familiar," the manager replied. 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. RSS Entries and RSS Comments. 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. Without it I would be dead. Nine months later the ship was crushed, leaving Shackleton and his crew adrift on a massive ice floe. But time is a wise and ruthless judge. 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. This is the story of the greatest explorer of all time, Ernest Henry Shackleton. 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. Next Jacques Cousteau But when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” –Conrad Combrink. Then I realised for the first time that my specialist subject is actually a formal academic area of study. This would be his third and last exploration of the Antarctic during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration around the time of World War I. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 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. 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? Amundsen, arguably the greatest polar explorer of all time – "the sailor on skis" he was called in his youth – made it look too easy. The expedition carpenter, Chippy McNeish, set about improvising the Caird. 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. Ernest Shackleton’s First South Pole Expeditions. 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. It is time for collaboration to sprout out of and around the formal medical hierarchies. All rights reserved. But when you're in a hopeless case and disaster strikes, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. One mistake and they'd be dashed onto the rocks – killed in an instant. 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. It wasn't easy, dodging a rugged coast in gusting winds and a cross-grained sea. He lives in Gustavus. “For scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen. In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off aboard the ship Endurance on an expedition to be the first to cross Antarctica. Worsley wanted to make landfall; the Boss said no. 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. Yet nothing about it would be sensationalized. Shackleton directed crewmen to melt ice from a nearby glacier to fill water casks. Check out an article about Mark during his Harvard stay in the Boston Globe. Twenty-eight men pulling together, each made authentic by wild, unrelenting country. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Ernest Shackleton was born in Kilkea, Ireland in 1874. When they walked into Stromness Whaling Station on the afternoon of May 20, 1916, people stared. They endured. It took Shackleton four attempts over 100 days (using four different vessels, eventually succeeding with a Chilean tug) to reach Wild and the others on Elephant Island. It was a privilege to learn what I learnt at Harvard. ( Log Out /  “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 . On May 8 they spotted the high, rugged peaks of South Georgia. The Boss would take the best of the three boats, the James Caird, a little over 20 feet long, 6 feet at the beam. Chocks away, chocks away,.....etc etc. They shook hands, boat to boat, dropped their painter, hoisted a sail, and were off. And now this. 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. "…May God prosper your work and your life. I now need to take it and do something with it. One crewman had a mild heart attack. ", Another crewman remembered a quote from Shackleton's favorite poet, Robert Browning: "Ah, that a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?". The Falkland Islands, some 580 nautical miles away, lay almost due north. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. He and his expedition had departed from South Georgia in early December, 1914. We need hierarchy and structure for life’s predictable problems. 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. It began early, with the Antarctic geologist Sir Raymond Priestley, who wrote: "For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for safe 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.". For decades, Shackleton was called a "splendid failure." Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. 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. This work is nothing short of a miracle. He had joined Robert Scott’s Discovery Expedition as third lieutenant in 1901. It requires the strengths we saw in Shackleton’s crew – the ability to try something, fail and immediately try something else. For the first two weeks in April, I sat in a classroom in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The big Norwegian turned away and cried. For speed and efficiency give me Amundsen. The task ahead, full of challenge and danger, was perfect for Shackleton. Back home, Europe was consumed by war. 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. It was time to move, or die. Having made his decision, Shackleton said he "walked through the blizzard with Worsley and Wild to examine the James Caird." They can predict with amazing accuracy the physical and mental progression of a young man or woman suddenly paralysed and needing to get out of bed, into a wheelchair and back to living life. ", On April 24, 1916, 100 years ago, six undernourished men pushed off in the Caird, determined to do the impossible. The gruff Norwegian station manager sized them up and said, "Well?". As Cervantes wrote, "In order to obtain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd." 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." From old sled runners and box lids he decked the forecastle end and covered it with watertight canvas. Otherwise it was dead reckoning – guesswork, given the rough conditions. 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.". A run for either would put heavy weather on the beam of a small boat that was only modestly seaworthy. By the evening of April 23, the wind began to abate. Nobody had ever before walked into a whaling station from the icy interior of the island. Finding a cure for spinal cord injury is not a predictable problem. Shackleton (1872-1922) was a British explorer (born in Ireland) and member of the Royal Naval Reserve. Nearly everybody had forgotten about the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Dogs barked. . As for Crean, they said things that ought to have made him blush: but what would make him blush would make a butcher's dog drop his bone.". Its success with the now predictable problem of keeping people alive, getting them into their wheelchairs and back to living is also its greatest failing, when it comes to solving the un-predictable problem of a cure for the paralysed. But a gale came up. And their friends on Elephant Island would almost certainly perish. The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. Their expedition ship, the 144-foot-long Endurance, a beautiful barkentine built for the ice in Norway, with a 7-foot-thick oak keel and stem-to-stern greenheart sheathing, had been imprisoned by the Weddell Sea ice-pack for nearly a year, then crushed. Winds gusted to 120 knots. It is a human crisis and it requires collaboration across geographical, organisational and intellectual boundaries. Elation swept over the six men. I was part of a group of 65 Young Global Leaders from around the world. 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. 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. 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. A second boat, the Stancomb Wills, ferried out ballast rocks (15,000 pounds total) in sewn burlap bags. They drop their guard. Designed in London, Shackleton down jackets and knitwear are made to perform in the worst conditions. Three mariners now became mountaineers, walking on snow and ice day and night, covering 22 miles in 36 hours. The routine was three men on watch, one at the tiller; while the other three pretended to sleep below. "Don't you know me?" They'd go light and fast; either make it or die trying. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@alaskadispatch.com or click here to submit via any web browser. [Attributed to Raymond Priestly but appears in essence elsewhere including in Cherry-Garrard's Worst Journey in the World (see previous)]. Some glorious, glorious, glorious women. 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. And so all that night, and the next day and night, Shackleton commanded the skipper to hold off. All the men of the Endurance came safely home. If they failed, they would be lost at sea, a footnote. Raymond Priestly Ernest Henry Shackleton was born on the 15th February 1874 in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland. They tied off their rope and lowered themselves through the cold, raging water. Sir Ernest Shackleton was a pioneer of Antarctic exploration. Crean plunged through ice, waist deep into a lake, and shrugged it off. "We watched them until they were out of sight," wrote one crewman, "which was not long, for such a tiny boat was soon lost to sight on the great heaving ocean; as she dipped into the trough of each wave, she disappeared completely, sail and all. 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. 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. They endured. "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." 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. 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. But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. 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 and Wild went over every contingency. It was his final ambition to be the first to lead an historic expedition across the continent. and if we have one pound, may we also have ten, may we have the bank of England said the airman, amen. “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” (Shackleton’s contemporary Sir Raymond Priestley in a speech to the British Science Association in 1956.) It was built on mutual respect; cooperation, not competition. The James Caird made good time, moving north early on, to avoid ice. Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish explorer. Those poor fellows. We’re on a mission now. Too risky. For speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen. These men, if they were men, must be another species. Sir Ernest Shackleton, like many in the Heroic Age of Exploration, felt the magnetic pull of the South Pole. If they succeeded it would be one of the most outrageous feats in maritime history. . Robert Falcon Scott only four years before in 1912. Dutch’s conclusion is that in most situations, with predictable problems, a hierarchical command structure is very, very effective. the strange man in the middle said. Shackleton was involved in many expeditions attempting to reach the South Pole. He never achieved any of his stated goals. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary@alaskadispatch.com. Born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland, Shackleton, and his family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten. For the … Sir Edmund Hillary, who with Tenzing Norgay conquered Mount Everest in 1953, is another admirer. ‘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. They'd probably frozen to death like Capt. Waiting for good weather – patience, always patience – they left at 3 a.m. on a moonlit, windless night, with no tent or sleeping bags. 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. Two expedition surgeons would knock him out using chloroform vaporized by stoking a seal blubber stove with penguin skins. It often fails. They took a Primus stove, enough food for four meals, the clothes on their backs, and one 50-foot length of rope. The next day the sun appeared for the first time in a week. The boat "appeared to have shrunk in some mysterious way when I reviewed her in the light of our new undertaking. Shackleton's famous account of the Nimrod expedition, which he led to the Antarctic in 1907-09. Another had frostbitten feet. 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. Then east. He knew the joy of their great accomplishment might blind them to new dangers. Shackleton had one goal – to preserve his men. 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. Steady, unflagging teamwork. 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. I pray God I can manage to get the whole party to civilization.”3 “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”. It was as if his entire life had been in preparation for this. The 10 days were a mind-blowing experience, with the pinnacle for me being Dutch Leonard’s classes on “Leading Through Crisis”. A freshwater barrel turned briny; the men's thirst, Shackleton noted, became "a burning pain." Shackleton expedition-grade apparel is engineered for extremes, combining world-class high performance fabrics and materials with supreme refinement. “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. In my case, it is the regeneration or rehabilitation of the damaged spinal cord. Ernest Shackleton called this work of the leader “dispensing mental medicine,” and it was vital to the success of his against-all-odds mission. He had no patience for the crowd, no shtick. .” 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. Incomparable in adversity, he was the miracle worker who would save your life against all the odds and long after your number was up. Exploring the frontiers of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury, Get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton, What songs have defined your life? Chippy McNeish fixed screws through the soles of their boots, as crampons. That night, as his men settled into tents and sleeping bags salvaged from the sinking ship, Shackleton wrote in his diary, “A man must shape himself to a new mark directly the old one goes to ground. First, I had an overwhelming desire to cheer out loud when I read Sir Raymond Priestly’s quote. He couldn't believe it. They cooked two hot meals per day on a Primus stove, pinning it between their feet so it wouldn't pitch overboard. This is not to say that Shackleton was a soft touch. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was a British polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. "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. 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.” . Sir Ernest Shackleton 100 Website marking the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the expedition on the Endurance to Antarctica, featuring Shackleton videos, Shackleton photos, Shackleton stories and interactive content A rogue wave swamped them. 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