By: Frank Hurley
Robert Clark returning from winter exercise prepares to enter the main hatch. On the first of May, the sun disappeared entirely, not to be seen for the next four months. The men’s activities were curtailed even more, excursions far from the ship were discouraged.
Yet, even in these winter months, there were days and nights of intense, magical beauty that raised morale and reminded some of the men why they had ventured into this harsh world. In the pure dark of a clear night, the stars glittered with unimagined brilliance, while faint aurora tinged the horizon.
In August 1914, days before the outbreak of the First World War, the renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton and a crew of twenty seven set sail for the South Atlantic in pursuit of the last unclaimed prize in the history of exploration: the first crossing on foot of the Antarctic continent. Weaving a treacherous path through the freezing Weddell Sea, they had come within 85 miles of their destination when their ship Endurance was trapped fast in the ice pack. Soon the ship was crushed like matchwood, leaving the crew stranded on the floes. Their ordeal would last for twenty months, and they would make two near-fatal attempts to escape by open boat before their final rescue.
This 8"x10" photograph is matted and sleeved and measures 11"x14". Reproduced from the original glass plate, the finished product is of near perfect quality.
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