Endurance Expedition Timeline

August 1
Endurance sails from London
August 4
Germany declares war on Russian
Mid October
Endurance reaches Buenos Aires. Ernest Shackleton, Frank Hurley, and 69 sledge dogs board
October 26
Freshly painted and loaded with provisions, Endurance departs
November 5
Arrive South Georgia island; wait a month in hopes of pack ice receding
December 5
Depart South Georgia
December 7
Ice packs spotted

January 10
A week away from Vahsel Bay, where men plan to disembark for trans-Antarctic trek
January 18
Only 80 miles from Vahsel Bay though pack ice a constant problem
January 27
"Stuck fast for the season," writes Hurley. Endurance firmly lodged
in pack ice. Temperature drops to +9
February 24
Shackleton orders cessation of ship's routines. Ship now a winter station. Men out of sight of land; out of earshot of the rest of the world
March 8
-8° F; blizzard; two sledges smashed on ice; winter encroaches; days shorten
Pigs "converted" to pork; light dwindles
April 4
Sounds of ice grinding are first inkling of mounting troubles
-20° F; twilight only at noon
June 22
Midwinter dinner feast of pork, stewed apples, peas; Endurance has drifted 670 along with the pack ice
July 13
Blizzard stirs up pack ice, the friction sounds "like a human being murdered"
July 21
"colossal pressure" causes pack ice to mound up like "sugar cubes"
Endurance "struggles and groaned as if in mortal pain"; the roar of pack ice pressure "sounds like London traffic"
Endurance battered continually by pack ice in Antarctic spring; "moving floes in a state of agitation," writes Hurley
October 27
"We are homeless and adrift on sea ice," writes Hurley; Endurance sinking
October 30
Mrs. Chipper, most of the dogs shot; men begin an impossible 200 mile trek to land; up to their hips in snow, they trudge less than 1 mile before halting
November 1
Ocean Camp, a "colossal ice raft," established. Ice 5 feet thick; Weddell Sea 2,000 fathoms deep
November 21
Endurance finally sinks out of sight
November 22
Hurley seals his professional camera and negatives into tin canisters
December 23
March 8 miles in one week; set up Patience Camp

January 14
More dogs are shot; their pemmican feed becomes the
crew's food
January, late
Shackleton orders men to pick over seal bones for meat, blubber
February, late
Men find and kill 300 penguins
February 29
Celebrate leap year with three meals and three hot beverages each
March 21
First day of winter
March 30
The rest of the dogs are shot; youngest are consumed
April 9
Ice breaks up and men launch life boats; head for Elephant Island. "Ordeal had just begun," writes Caroline Alexander
April 16
Reach solid land after 497 days on sea and ice
April 19
In a raging blizzard, the Boss-Shackleton-prepares and serves breakfast to the men, who are sick and spent after spending three nights in the open boats in stormy, frigid seas
April 20
Shackleton announces a run for Elephant Island aboard James Caird
April 24
Caird launched with six men aboard

On the James Caird
April 28
"Highest, broadest, longest swells in the world"
-James Worsley
April 30
Caird freezes up, leaden, sinking. Men scrape ice off boat three times
May 2
Enormous wave batters boat, but Caird withstands the punishment
May 7
Men spot kelp and know they are closing in on land
May 10
After a tortuous 17 days at sea, the Caird comes ashore
May 19
At 2 a.m., Shackleton, Worsley and Crean men set out on foot to whaling village on the other side of South Georgia Island. Interior unmapped, and men must scale several icy peaks in search of passage
May 20
36 hours later, the three men reach outpost. Children, upon seeing their blackened faces, ripped clothes, long stringy hair, scream and flee. Old Norwegian whaler sees them and says, "I turn away and weep"
May 21
Rest of the Caird's crew rescued from other side of island. Worsley, clean shaven and bathed, is not recognized by the men
May 23
First attempt to rescue crew on Elephant Island aborted 60 miles from destination. Blocked by pack ice.
June 10
Within sight of Elephant Island, second rescue attempt thwarted, again by ice
July 12
Third attempt to rescue men fails
August 30
Twenty-two men finally rescued; Shackleton says, "I have done it... Not a life lost and we have been through Hell.'Hurley writes: "Day of Wonders."

All photos are property of the Royal Geographic Society except
Hudson with penguins, which is property of Scott Polar Institute.