In October of 1915, Ernest Shackleton’s ship, The Endurance (oh, the irony), was crushed by pack ice in the Antarctic and then sank. It had been trapped in the ice for 9 months. In August of the following year, a rescue ship arrived; all of Shackleton’s crew had survived.
The news from Antarctica this week is that after 100 years, the wreck of The Endurance has been found – nearly 10,000 feet under those frigid waters. It didn’t move too far in 100 years, it was found just four miles south of the location recorded by the crew when she sank. According to the search team, it is “in a brilliant state of preservation” and is even sitting upright.
I’ve read a handful of books about various exploration voyages, some about Shackleton, some about others. I also see several stories in National Geographic every year about someone heading off into the unknown to do something that no one has ever done before. None of these stories makes me want to do this kind of thing. Even today, 100+ years later, I can’t imagine how awful it must have been to be trapped on the ice of Antarctica, listening to the timbers of your ship creaking then finally breaking. You’d have to be fairly certain at that point that you would never see home/family/friends again. I don’t even like to set up the tent out of sightline from the car!
I used to think of myself as adventurous, based on all my travels, but after reading these stories about wandering out into the unknown, I’ve decided my level of adventure tolerance is much lower. I can live with that.
Have you ever ventured into the unknown? The partly unknown?