Sunday, October 14, 2007

Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance

I haven't posted anything in ages and after seeing the A & E movie Shackleton, starring one of my all-time favorite actors, Kenneth Branagh I wanted to tell you all how good it is.

If you love adventure stories this movie is for you. The best thing is that this all really happened and very closely to what this movie shows as well. Some of the cast members bear an uncanny resemblance to the real men they portray.

On August 9,1914 a crew of 28 men left from Plymouth England aboard the ship Endurance heading to Buenos Aires to await Shackleton's arrival and then depart for the Antarctic.

Named the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition by Shackleton the men finally left on December 5, 1914.

I can relate to Shackleton's love of adventure and his dislike of things that are easily gained without cost of one's self. As well as his love of the dark at night because he can relax. His inability to choose a path in life that suits him and his restlessness about it. I understand how he felt all too well because that's me too.

The crew of his ship Endurance stood by their boss and watched as the ice crushed the ship. They watched as it sank, disappearing without a trace beneath the icy Antarctic waters leaving them with three small boats to drag along with supplies across the jagged, frozen land.

This is one of the best adventure stories I have ever seen and was made based on Shackleton's diaries as well as from film and photos from the ship's photographer, Australian Frank Hurley. Hurley's photos and film were retrieved by him at great risk to his life.

Two other crew members held his feet as he went into the icy water inside the sinking ship to get the film canisters that in Hurley's words were the only record of the year in theirs lives that would tell what had happened to them.

In the end Hurley was right - He and Shackleton agreed on 150 glass plates to be kept as a record of their amazing journey across the ice.

If you haven't seen this film, do so. It is absolutely one of my all-time favorites.

To Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance, "Fortitudine vincimus" (By endurance we conquer). You are not forgotten.


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