"Don't you know me?" In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off aboard the ship Endurance on an expedition to be the first to cross Antarctica. It often fails. The formal medical structure has made standard, that miracle of surviving spinal cord injury and re-integrating into society. One mistake and they'd be dashed onto the rocks – killed in an instant. ", but it established Shackleton as a "bona fide English hero" (Books on Ice). But time is a wise and ruthless judge. Sir Raymond Priestley, an explorer who accompanied Shackleton on the 1907-1913 Antarctic expedition, said, "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." Next Jacques Cousteau But when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” –Conrad Combrink. It was his final ambition to be the first to lead an historic expedition across the continent. Third lieutenant in charge of holds, stores, provisions and deep sea water analysis Discovery 1901-04 We need hierarchy and structure for life’s predictable problems. They tied off their rope and lowered themselves through the cold, raging water. 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. Consider that most mountaineers don't die on the way up, they die on the way down. For an entire afternoon, we discussed leadership failures and successes against a backdrop of extremes. Designed in London, Shackleton down jackets and knitwear are made to perform in the worst conditions. One crewman had a mild heart attack. Born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland, Shackleton, and his family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten. . 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. “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 . “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.) The James Caird made good time, moving north early on, to avoid ice. 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? 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. "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. But the amazing success of the formal medical structure is also its failing. Otherwise it was dead reckoning – guesswork, given the rough conditions. They shook hands, boat to boat, dropped their painter, hoisted a sail, and were off. 'Pray for Shackleton' All the men of the Endurance came safely home. 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. Shackleton had always dreamed of a small boat journey across epic big water. He made four trips to the Antarctic, including leading the Endurance expedition for which he is best known. But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. . Nearly everybody had forgotten about the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Many were solicitous that I might not overeat myself, and my behavior on reaching civilization should be above reproach. . The Boss would take the best of the three boats, the James Caird, a little over 20 feet long, 6 feet at the beam. And five men, including the capable skipper, Frank Worsley, with his uncanny sense of navigation, and the tough Irishman, Tom Crean. 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. I now need to take it and do something with it. The boat "appeared to have shrunk in some mysterious way when I reviewed her in the light of our new undertaking. He and Wild went over every contingency. For me, the most interesting strand of our discussions was a debate about the effectiveness of hierarchical command structures compared with flatter collaborative approaches. Each chosen by Shackleton from among 5,000 applicants, with certain traits of upmost importance: optimism, patience, physical endurance, idealism and courage. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! ", 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?". He couldn't believe it. "Scott of the Antarctic" chanted thousands of young men who rushed off to war, only to be slaughtered. I pray God I can manage to get the whole party to civilization.”3 He lives in Gustavus. “For scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen. “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 time to move, or die. No doubt dispirited as well, having arrived at the South Pole only to find the crafty Norwegian Roald Amundsen, the better skier, dog handler, and let's be honest, the better leader, had beaten them there by five weeks, and claimed one the world's last great geographical prizes. Worsley wanted to make landfall; the Boss said no. 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. No doubt some of the men left stranded in 1916 did pray that Shackleton and his five men would reach salvation – the whaling station at Stromness on the north shore of South Georgia – which of course, they did. Waiting for good weather – patience, always patience – they left at 3 a.m. on a moonlit, windless night, with no tent or sleeping bags. He had no patience for the crowd, no shtick. Sir Edmund Hillary, who with Tenzing Norgay conquered Mount Everest in 1953, is another admirer. They'd probably frozen to death like Capt. I finally found the words in Harvard to explain what I was seeing in my research and my life. Elation swept over the six men. Ernest Shackleton’s First South Pole Expeditions. Over the years, as daring biographers deconstructed myths, Scott's star fell, and Shackleton's rose. You can convey my love to my people and say I tried my best. 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. If they succeeded it would be one of the most outrageous feats in maritime history. . He and his expedition had departed from South Georgia in early December, 1914. Two old men scurried away. 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. Then east. On May 8 they spotted the high, rugged peaks of South Georgia. 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. 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. Exploring the frontiers of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury, Get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton, What songs have defined your life? But now they had to reach the whaling stations on the other side. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to email@example.com or click here to submit via any web browser. It was a privilege to learn what I learnt at Harvard. They'd butchered seals and eaten like starving dogs. It is time for collaboration to sprout out of and around the formal medical hierarchies. ‘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. Change ), Blog at WordPress.com. ( Log Out / Amundsen, arguably the greatest polar explorer of all time – "the sailor on skis" he was called in his youth – made it look too easy. .” It requires the strengths we saw in Shackleton’s crew – the ability to try something, fail and immediately try something else. It is a human crisis and it requires collaboration across geographical, organisational and intellectual boundaries. 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. 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." Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish explorer. They'd go light and fast; either make it or die trying. Having made his decision, Shackleton said he "walked through the blizzard with Worsley and Wild to examine the James Caird." The 10 days were a mind-blowing experience, with the pinnacle for me being Dutch Leonard’s classes on “Leading Through Crisis”. and if we have one pound, may we also have ten, may we have the bank of England said the airman, amen. We’re on a mission now. Steady, unflagging teamwork. Shackleton's famous account of the Nimrod expedition, which he led to the Antarctic in 1907-09. 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. 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. They cooked two hot meals per day on a Primus stove, pinning it between their feet so it wouldn't pitch overboard. 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. “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. 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. 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. Incomparable in adversity, he was the miracle worker who would save your life against all the odds and long after your number was up. ", On April 24, 1916, 100 years ago, six undernourished men pushed off in the Caird, determined to do the impossible. RSS Entries and RSS Comments. Without it I would be dead. Shackleton ordered all hands to abandon ship and take refuge on the ice. Another had frostbitten feet. By the evening of April 23, the wind began to abate. Nobody could. They are also good at helping people who aren’t completely paralysed to make the most of the function they have left. 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. His black toes would soon be amputated. Check out an article about Mark during his Harvard stay in the Boston Globe. "Your voice is familiar," the manager replied. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The Falkland Islands, some 580 nautical miles away, lay almost due north. Back home, Europe was consumed by war. It wasn't easy, dodging a rugged coast in gusting winds and a cross-grained sea. A rogue wave swamped them. Finally the Boss wrote a letter to Wild asking him to be ever faithful, to watch over the men he'd brought to Antarctica, men who now deserved to get safely home: "I have every confidence in you and always have had," he began. Clearly our voyage would be a big adventure.". For speed and efficiency give me Amundsen. A run for either would put heavy weather on the beam of a small boat that was only modestly seaworthy. Shackleton expedition-grade apparel is engineered for extremes, combining world-class high performance fabrics and materials with supreme refinement. ( Log Out / They drop their guard. But when you're in a hopeless case and disaster strikes, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. 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. Finding a cure for spinal cord injury is not a predictable problem. Two expedition surgeons would knock him out using chloroform vaporized by stoking a seal blubber stove with penguin skins. When he set sail on the Endurance, it was Shackleton’s third trip to Antarctica. 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. 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. He knew the joy of their great accomplishment might blind them to new dangers. 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.” Kim Heacox is the author of several books, most recently the novel "Jimmy Bluefeather," winner of the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award. 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. © 2021 Anchorage Daily News. The seas calmed over a lingering swell. 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. 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. I was part of a group of 65 Young Global Leaders from around the world. Without my wheelchair, I couldn’t get around. He was a poor writer, while Scott played his dying hand perfectly, his journals edited into art by his friend Sir James Barrie, author of "Peter Pan." Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Twenty-eight men pulling together, each made authentic by wild, unrelenting country. 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 routine was three men on watch, one must attempt the absurd. click an icon to in! Light of our new undertaking conclusion is that in most situations, with so many big and... 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