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Amb473 My South Polar Expedition - Lieut. Ernest H. Shackleton


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Finally got around to uploading a video of my Vulcan re-issue of the Shackleton cylinder.   Full text is also below.   For your listening enjoyment!



Main results of the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907. 


We reached a point within 97 geographical miles of the south Pole.  The only thing that stopped us from reaching the actual point was the lack of 50 pounds of food.  Another party reached, for the first time, the South Magnetic Pole.  Another party reached the summit of the great active volcano, Mt. Erebus.  We made many interesting geological and scientific discoveries and had many narrow escapes throughout the whole time.


A typical narrow escape was when we were going up the great glacier towards the Pole.  We were marching along, three of us harnessed to one sled in very bad light.  Our last pony was being led by another man with … 500 pounds of stores.  All of a sudden, we heard a shout of help from the man behind.  We looked round and saw him supporting himself by his elbows on the edge of a chasm.  There was no sign of the pony and the sledge was jammed with its bow on the crevice.  We rushed back and helped the man out and then hauled the sledge out.  Then we laid down to have a look, but nothing but a black gulf lay below. 


The pony may have fallen one thousand or one thousand, five hundred feet.  Anyhow he’s gone.  What had happened was this, we, the first three, with our weight distributed, crossed in safety in the bad light, the bridge over an unseen chasm.  The weight of the pony following was too much.  It crashed through, but the swingle tree of the sledge snapped and that saved the sledge.  The man leading the pony said that he just felt a rushing sort of wind, the rope was torn out of his hand, he flung himself forward and thus escaped.


After this, we four men had 1,000 pounds to pull, and we were unable to pull the whole load at once, so we had to relay.  That is, we hauled half of our load for a mile, then we walked back a mile and then we hauled the other half up,  So for every mile  we gained to the south we had to cover three to do it. 


And slowly we arose up the largest and longest glacier in the world, some days spending 12 hours doing three miles, other times spending nearly half the day hauling each sledge up by means of the alpine rope.  And thus we went along and thus we returned, having done a work that has resulted with a … great advantage to science and for the first time returning without the loss of a single human life. 


And throughout all this I was helped by a party of men who were regardless of themselves, and only thinking of the good of the expedition.


I, Ernest Shackleton, have today, March the 30th dictated this record.



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