Sunday, November 8, 2009

JOCK BRAITHWAITE

LAST WEEK
Jock Braithwaite and his wife travelling in the wake of Shackleton.


Last year Jock and his wife had a repeat tour to Antarctica. This time they sailed from Argentina initially visiting The Falklands then to South Georgia then across to the Antarctic Peninsula. Jocks trip called into South Georgia. It cost 200 pounds to land on the island.
The machinery from the whale factory is still there. There are lots of elephant penguins. Amazing icebergs are here and there.
They sailed past the Elephant Island where Shackelton’s men stayed for four months.
Seeing the penguins nesting and moving around really impressed Jock.
Shackelton carried on and tried to get his ship as close as possible to a good staging point to attempt the Pole. Unfortunately he got his ship caught in ice and it broke up. They dragged three small boats across the ice and managed to get to Elephant Island. They had lots of fantastic photos taken on the state of the art glass plates. How anyone could drag something like glass negatives and a camera across the ice when you are fighting for your life is simply beyond me. Once they got to Elephant Island they constructed a wooden top on the life boat. They took 16 men on the little boat and left 22 behind on the island. Being able to survive in that bit of nasty ocean is one thing but being able to accurately navigate and land safely on a tiny beach is another. Then after arriving on the cold desolate rocky shore they managed to climb up over the ice covered mountain and down to the whaling station on the other side.
How they all managed to survive is one of the worlds most amazing stories of skill daring and endurance.
Shackelton had a heart attack on a later return trip and is buried on the Falklands.


Rotary Speakers.
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