Each chosen by Shackleton from among 5,000 applicants, with certain traits of upmost importance: optimism, patience, physical endurance, idealism and courage. ( Log Out /  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. Shackleton. Steady, unflagging teamwork. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Crean plunged through ice, waist deep into a lake, and shrugged it off. The 10 days were a mind-blowing experience, with the pinnacle for me being Dutch Leonard’s classes on “Leading Through Crisis”. Elation swept over the six men. ‘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. It began early, with the Antarctic geologist Sir Raymond Priestley, who wrote: "For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for safe 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.". Ernest H. Shackleton - Expedition Leader (40) "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." For days a storm raged. It is time for collaboration to sprout out of and around the formal medical hierarchies. 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. When they landed here on April 15, 1916, it was their first time on solid ground in 497 days. These men, if they were men, must be another species. You can convey my love to my people and say I tried my best. For speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen. 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." Without it I would be dead. And five men, including the capable skipper, Frank Worsley, with his uncanny sense of navigation, and the tough Irishman, Tom Crean. But, in unpredictable circumstances, this kind of structure can be inadequate. Two expedition surgeons would knock him out using chloroform vaporized by stoking a seal blubber stove with penguin skins. 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. 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. Chippy McNeish fixed screws through the soles of their boots, as crampons. Dogs barked. But now they had to reach the whaling stations on the other side. It requires the strengths we saw in Shackleton’s crew – the ability to try something, fail and immediately try something else. This is the story of the greatest explorer of all time, Ernest Henry Shackleton. 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 removed the mainmast from another boat and fastened it to the keel, then fashioned a small mizzenmast to complement the jib. Those poor fellows. Then east. The Falkland Islands, some 580 nautical miles away, lay almost due north. © 2021 Anchorage Daily News. In 1901 he was a member of Scott’s Discovery Expedition, but dreamed of heading up his own.In 1907-09 he made that dream come true: Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition managed to reach the furthest point south to date, only 112 miles from the Pole. Shackleton (1872-1922) was a British explorer (born in Ireland) and member of the Royal Naval Reserve. He never achieved any of his stated goals. ", 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?". Nearly everybody had forgotten about the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. They took a Primus stove, enough food for four meals, the clothes on their backs, and one 50-foot length of rope. First, I had an overwhelming desire to cheer out loud when I read Sir Raymond Priestly’s quote. ... get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." Robert Falcon Scott only four years before in 1912. When they walked into Stromness Whaling Station on the afternoon of May 20, 1916, people stared. 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. Dutch’s conclusion is that in most situations, with predictable problems, a hierarchical command structure is very, very effective. 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. Sir Ernest Shackleton, like many in the Heroic Age of Exploration, felt the magnetic pull of the South Pole. This is not to say that Shackleton was a soft touch. Ernest Shackleton’s First South Pole Expeditions. 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. Some glorious, glorious, glorious women. They cooked two hot meals per day on a Primus stove, pinning it between their feet so it wouldn't pitch overboard. 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. Otherwise it was dead reckoning – guesswork, given the rough conditions. The boat "appeared to have shrunk in some mysterious way when I reviewed her in the light of our new undertaking. ( Log Out /  They endured. 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? A second boat, the Stancomb Wills, ferried out ballast rocks (15,000 pounds total) in sewn burlap bags. Shackleton had one goal – to preserve his men. They endured. It is a human crisis and it requires collaboration across geographical, organisational and intellectual boundaries. 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. The formal medical structure is vital. And their friends on Elephant Island would almost certainly perish. His men called him "the Boss," and believed he could do anything. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@alaskadispatch.com or click here to submit via any web browser. Shackleton expedition-grade apparel is engineered for extremes, combining world-class high performance fabrics and materials with supreme refinement. Shackleton was involved in many expeditions attempting to reach the South Pole. Three mariners now became mountaineers, walking on snow and ice day and night, covering 22 miles in 36 hours. "As each boatload came alongside," Worsley observed, "the contents were passed to us, with a running fire of jokes, chaff, and good wishes from dear pals whom we were leaving behind. It seems to me that the formal medical structure is the best at keeping people who break their necks or their backs alive, for stabilising the bones in their backs, for teaching those people how to inhabit the world again. This work is nothing short of a miracle. They shook hands, boat to boat, dropped their painter, hoisted a sail, and were off. 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. It wasn't easy, dodging a rugged coast in gusting winds and a cross-grained sea. In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off aboard the ship Endurance on an expedition to be the first to cross Antarctica. 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." "Your voice is familiar," the manager replied. 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. The structure itself constrains intellectual collaboration and translation of breakthrough science into clinical studies and then into actual therapies. It took Shackleton four attempts over 100 days (using four different vessels, eventually succeeding with a Chilean tug) to reach Wild and the others on Elephant Island. It was built on mutual respect; cooperation, not competition. Check out an article about Mark during his Harvard stay in the Boston Globe. ", On April 24, 1916, 100 years ago, six undernourished men pushed off in the Caird, determined to do the impossible. Next Jacques Cousteau . When he set sail on the Endurance, it was Shackleton’s third trip to Antarctica. .” For speed and efficiency give me Amundsen. What to do? He knew the joy of their great accomplishment might blind them to new dangers. “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.” Polar explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard, 1922. Pray for Shackleton 84 Views “Scott for scientific method, Amundsen for speed and efficiency but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone get down on your knee and pray for Shackleton.” Two old men scurried away. Back home, Europe was consumed by war. They are also good at helping people who aren’t completely paralysed to make the most of the function they have left. "These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale," Scott had written as he and his doomed tent-mates lay dying on the Ross Ice Shelf, starving, freezing, pinned down by ferocious winds. For the first two weeks in April, I sat in a classroom in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary@alaskadispatch.com. Winds gusted to 120 knots. "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." They drop their guard. Ernest Henry Shackleton: Antarctic Explorer. And so Amundsen, the stern Norwegian, became the spoiler, while Scott, who left behind a widow and infant son, became the hero – in Britain at least. “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”. I pray God I can manage to get the whole party to civilization.”3 Change ), Blog at WordPress.com. RSS Entries and RSS Comments. 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. For the … Clearly our voyage would be a big adventure.". He lives in Gustavus. The challenge…. For an entire afternoon, we discussed leadership failures and successes against a backdrop of extremes. 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.” The routine was three men on watch, one at the tiller; while the other three pretended to sleep below. Exploring the frontiers of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury, Get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton, What songs have defined your life? Like lots of people around the world, the pandemic decimated my business in a couple of short weeks…, It feels like we’re in the midst of an extended expedition with the threat of coronavirus a constant. ( Log Out /  Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Without it I wouldn’t be back at work, back living a life. It was his final ambition to be the first to lead an historic expedition across the continent. Nobody would ever find Shackleton – or even come looking – where he and his bone-weary men huddled together and began to improvise a shelter on Elephant Island, a remote, god-forsaken piece of nowhere deep in the sub-Antarctic. The task ahead, full of challenge and danger, was perfect for Shackleton. Ernest Shackleton was born in Kilkea, Ireland in 1874. [Attributed to Raymond Priestly but appears in essence elsewhere including in Cherry-Garrard's Worst Journey in the World (see previous)]. By the evening of April 23, the wind began to abate. Shackleton’s expedition failed — and yet the story of how his men survived on the ice for 497 days transformed the Endurance into one of the most memorable accounts of perseverance and resilience in history. But when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” –Conrad Combrink. Yours sincerely, E.H. 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. Amundsen, arguably the greatest polar explorer of all time – "the sailor on skis" he was called in his youth – made it look too easy. the strange man in the middle said. "Land Ho!" Sir Edmund Hillary, who with Tenzing Norgay conquered Mount Everest in 1953, is another admirer. But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. The expedition carpenter, Chippy McNeish, set about improvising the Caird. The seas calmed over a lingering swell. Waiting for good weather – patience, always patience – they left at 3 a.m. on a moonlit, windless night, with no tent or sleeping bags. 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. “For scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen. and if we have one pound, may we also have ten, may we have the bank of England said the airman, amen. It was as if his entire life had been in preparation for this. He couldn't believe it. We need hierarchy and structure for life’s predictable problems. 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. Designed in London, Shackleton down jackets and knitwear are made to perform in the worst conditions. But time is a wise and ruthless judge. Sir Ernest Shackleton 100 Website marking the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the expedition on the Endurance to Antarctica, featuring Shackleton videos, Shackleton photos, Shackleton stories and interactive content Shackleton had always dreamed of a small boat journey across epic big water. The formal medical structure has made standard, that miracle of surviving spinal cord injury and re-integrating into society. Too risky. "Scott of the Antarctic" chanted thousands of young men who rushed off to war, only to be slaughtered. Shackleton’s challenges may not on the surface look much like our own. Nobody could. Whilst attempting to cross the Weddell Sea, the Endurance became trapped in ice. The next thing we'll pray for, we'll pray for some money, some glorious, glorious, glorious money. Standing beside her, we glanced at the fringe of storm-swept, tumultuous seas that formed our path. They'd go light and fast; either make it or die trying. A run for either would put heavy weather on the beam of a small boat that was only modestly seaworthy. They'd butchered seals and eaten like starving dogs. He and his expedition had departed from South Georgia in early December, 1914. A freshwater barrel turned briny; the men's thirst, Shackleton noted, became "a burning pain." The gruff Norwegian station manager sized them up and said, "Well?". 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. Raymond Priestly Ernest Henry Shackleton was born on the 15th February 1874 in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland. Shackleton ordered all hands to abandon ship and take refuge on the ice. 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. We’re on a mission now. It was time to move, or die. "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. Incomparable in adversity, he was the miracle worker who would save your life against all the odds and long after your number was up. Kim Heacox is the author of several books, most recently the novel "Jimmy Bluefeather," winner of the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award. But a gale came up. Chocks away, chocks away,.....etc etc. Sir Ernest Shackleton walked the rocky, icy beach with his right-hand man, Frank Wild, and again went over their dire situation, their outrageous plan. 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. Only four times in two weeks did the sky clear to where Worsley could take readings with his sextant, and check the expedition's only remaining functional chronometer. 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. ( Log Out /  As Cervantes wrote, "In order to obtain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd." 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. As for Crean, they said things that ought to have made him blush: but what would make him blush would make a butcher's dog drop his bone.". They tied off their rope and lowered themselves through the cold, raging water. Twenty-eight men pulling together, each made authentic by wild, unrelenting country. He and Wild went over every contingency. If they failed, they would be lost at sea, a footnote. The big Norwegian turned away and cried. Nobody had ever before walked into a whaling station from the icy interior of the island. But when you're in a hopeless case and disaster strikes, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. The James Caird made good time, moving north early on, to avoid ice. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The next thing we'll pray for, we'll pray for some women. Kim Heacox is the author of several books. One crewman had a mild heart attack. 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. Born in 1874, Shackleton was a British Antarctic explorer who set many world records. The expedition got within some hundred miles of the Pole, whereupon Shackleton gave the quest up famously claiming, "Better a live donkey than a dead lion. If they shot past South Georgia in heavy seas, they'd have slim chance of coming about, their boat being so small and light of canvas. Ernest Shackleton called this work of the leader “dispensing mental medicine,” and it was vital to the success of his against-all-odds mission. 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. One mistake and they'd be dashed onto the rocks – killed in an instant. Over the years, as daring biographers deconstructed myths, Scott's star fell, and Shackleton's rose. On May 8 they spotted the high, rugged peaks of South Georgia. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish explorer. Third lieutenant in charge of holds, stores, provisions and deep sea water analysis Discovery 1901-04 For decades, Shackleton was called a "splendid failure." The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. “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 . E xplorer Explorer Sir Raymond Priestley said: "For scientific discovery give me [Robert Falcon] Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me [Roald] Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for [Ernest] Shackleton.". Since I got back from Harvard, I’ve been considering how this applies to spinal cord injuries. For me, the most interesting strand of our discussions was a debate about the effectiveness of hierarchical command structures compared with flatter collaborative approaches. He had no patience for the crowd, no shtick. Another had frostbitten feet. It was a privilege to learn what I learnt at Harvard. 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. Finding a cure for spinal cord injury is not a predictable problem. . Sailing around either end of the crescent-shaped island was out of the question, with so many big seas and countess offshore rocks. Without my wheelchair, I couldn’t get around. He had joined Robert Scott’s Discovery Expedition as third lieutenant in 1901. Born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland, Shackleton, and his family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten. Shackleton's famous account of the Nimrod expedition, which he led to the Antarctic in 1907-09. Worsley wanted to make landfall; the Boss said no. “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. 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. Consider that most mountaineers don't die on the way up, they die on the way down. And so all that night, and the next day and night, Shackleton commanded the skipper to hold off. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. We are in the midst of a crisis and in the spirit of Shackleton, we must find a way to move forward, despite the excruciatingly slow progress and seemingly unbeatable odds. . A rogue wave swamped them. Yet nothing about it would be sensationalized. From old sled runners and box lids he decked the forecastle end and covered it with watertight canvas. Then I realised for the first time that my specialist subject is actually a formal academic area of study. “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. But we need the glorious chaos of global collaborations and a fanatical, fantastical desire to solve the things the human brain can’t yet comprehend. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. But the amazing success of the formal medical structure is also its failing. The other 22 men would remain behind under the command of Wild, a scrappy Antarctic veteran, the only member of the expedition who had more Antarctic experience than Shackleton. I finally found the words in Harvard to explain what I was seeing in my research and my life. "…May God prosper your work and your life. If they succeeded it would be one of the most outrageous feats in maritime history. All the men of the Endurance came safely home. His black toes would soon be amputated. And now this. Adventure Athlete, Professional Speaker and Author. 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. They'd probably frozen to death like Capt. In my case, it is the regeneration or rehabilitation of the damaged spinal cord. He made four trips to the Antarctic, including leading the Endurance expedition for which he is best known. It often fails. Having made his decision, Shackleton said he "walked through the blizzard with Worsley and Wild to examine the James Caird." 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." The Boss would take the best of the three boats, the James Caird, a little over 20 feet long, 6 feet at the beam. "Don't you know me?" Nine months later the ship was crushed, leaving Shackleton and his crew adrift on a massive ice floe. But when disaster strikes, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. had ever before walked Stromness... Small mizzenmast to complement the jib 1872-1922 ) was a soft touch studies... `` in order to obtain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd. that. Crushed, leaving Shackleton and his crew adrift on a massive ice.! Journey across epic big water for extremes, combining world-class high performance fabrics and materials with refinement... To examine the James Caird. not a predictable problem worst conditions in: are... 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