Front cover image sums up heroic endeavour,
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This review is from: Shackleton's Boat Journey (Paperback)This book is perfect for anyone wanting to read in more detail about the incredible boat journey that Frank Worsley and five other men took from Elephant Island to South Georgia in the James Caird. Worsley's narrative fleshes out Shackleton's formal account of the Endurance expedition and gives a fascinating insight into the experiences of this group of survivors. Format-wise, the book is a retrospective account of the journey, interspersed with entries from Worsley's log written at the time.
Worsley includes a detailed explanation of how he navigated during the South Atlantic crossing, along with the challenges of navigation in partially unchartered waters. He also gives an insight into the pressure he was under at this time, knowing that the entire party's lives depended on his accurate navigation. His description of conditions aboard the boat are wince-inducing and it's staggering that any of them survived that journey, let alone the crossing of South Georgia's mountain ranges.
Worsley also sheds light on the care Shackleton took of his men, describing him as "fussy" and "almost womanlike" in his attentions to everyone's health. He recalls how Shackleton gave his last pair of dry socks to one of the men, regularly stayed awake so others could sleep longer and made everyone stop for a drink of hot milk if he thought one of the men was struggling.
There is a very good selection of glossy photographs in this book. Many are fairly famous but there are several that I had never seen before, including some of the sea camps and the whaling station at Grytviken. I would advise reading Shackleton's `South' before reading this, as his full account of the expedition puts Worsley's account of the latter half into context. After reading this book you will never again feel justified in complaining about being cold!