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. He had joined Robert Scott’s Discovery Expedition as third lieutenant in 1901. We need hierarchy and structure for life’s predictable problems. But now they had to reach the whaling stations on the other side. They'd butchered seals and eaten like starving dogs. Twenty-eight men pulling together, each made authentic by wild, unrelenting country. Check out an article about Mark during his Harvard stay in the Boston Globe. Shackleton had one goal – to preserve his men. "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. Then east. 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. But the amazing success of the formal medical structure is also its failing. They'd go light and fast; either make it or die trying. Otherwise it was dead reckoning – guesswork, given the rough conditions. Two old men scurried away. When they landed here on April 15, 1916, it was their first time on solid ground in 497 days. It is time for collaboration to sprout out of and around the formal medical hierarchies. 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. From old sled runners and box lids he decked the forecastle end and covered it with watertight canvas. In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off aboard the ship Endurance on an expedition to be the first to cross Antarctica. For speed and efficiency give me Amundsen. The formal medical structure has made standard, that miracle of surviving spinal cord injury and re-integrating into society. "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. Robert Falcon Scott only four years before in 1912. 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. Incomparable in adversity, he was the miracle worker who would save your life against all the odds and long after your number was up. “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 . But time is a wise and ruthless judge. 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. Without my wheelchair, I couldn’t get around. What to do? But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. Standing beside her, we glanced at the fringe of storm-swept, tumultuous seas that formed our path. "Scott of the Antarctic" chanted thousands of young men who rushed off to war, only to be slaughtered. 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. 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. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Shackleton directed crewmen to melt ice from a nearby glacier to fill water casks. The entire Endurance story, consisting of one outrageous ordeal after another, would add up to one of the most sensational survival tales in polar history. 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. Winds gusted to 120 knots. He lives in Gustavus. Yours sincerely, E.H. The expedition carpenter, Chippy McNeish, set about improvising the Caird. 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. When they walked into Stromness Whaling Station on the afternoon of May 20, 1916, people stared. They shook hands, boat to boat, dropped their painter, hoisted a sail, and were off. The routine was three men on watch, one at the tiller; while the other three pretended to sleep below. 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." 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. For days a storm raged. 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.". 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. Two expedition surgeons would knock him out using chloroform vaporized by stoking a seal blubber stove with penguin skins. A run for either would put heavy weather on the beam of a small boat that was only modestly seaworthy. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. They'd probably frozen to death like Capt. Too risky. Crean plunged through ice, waist deep into a lake, and shrugged it off. But when you're in a hopeless case and disaster strikes, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. For me, the most interesting strand of our discussions was a debate about the effectiveness of hierarchical command structures compared with flatter collaborative approaches. the strange man in the middle said. A second boat, the Stancomb Wills, ferried out ballast rocks (15,000 pounds total) in sewn burlap bags. 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. And five men, including the capable skipper, Frank Worsley, with his uncanny sense of navigation, and the tough Irishman, Tom Crean. Consider that most mountaineers don't die on the way up, they die on the way down. It was as if his entire life had been in preparation for this. The Falkland Islands, some 580 nautical miles away, lay almost due north. I was part of a group of 65 Young Global Leaders from around the world. Shackleton’s challenges may not on the surface look much like our own. Nearly everybody had forgotten about the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Raymond Priestly Ernest Henry Shackleton was born on the 15th February 1874 in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland. Sir Ernest Shackleton was a pioneer of Antarctic exploration. ... get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." “For scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen. Chippy McNeish fixed screws through the soles of their boots, as crampons. 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. He never achieved any of his stated goals. 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? “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”. Ernest Henry Shackleton: Antarctic Explorer. For decades, Shackleton was called a "splendid failure." The Boss would take the best of the three boats, the James Caird, a little over 20 feet long, 6 feet at the beam. Worsley wanted to make landfall; the Boss said no. This is the story of the greatest explorer of all time, Ernest Henry Shackleton. The next thing we'll pray for, we'll pray for some women. 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." Shackleton. But a gale came up. “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.) .” Clearly our voyage would be a big adventure.". A rogue wave swamped them. They tied off their rope and lowered themselves through the cold, raging water. 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. 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. It was time to move, or die. Many were solicitous that I might not overeat myself, and my behavior on reaching civilization should be above reproach. I now need to take it and do something with it. He couldn't believe it. But when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” –Conrad Combrink. The seas calmed over a lingering swell. For the first two weeks in April, I sat in a classroom in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 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. Whilst attempting to cross the Weddell Sea, the Endurance became trapped in ice. For an entire afternoon, we discussed leadership failures and successes against a backdrop of extremes. RSS Entries and RSS Comments. Near the end, they encountered a waterfall that was flanked on both sides by impassable sheer ice walls. As Cervantes wrote, "In order to obtain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd." 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. In my case, it is the regeneration or rehabilitation of the damaged spinal cord. It was his final ambition to be the first to lead an historic expedition across the continent. They took a Primus stove, enough food for four meals, the clothes on their backs, and one 50-foot length of rope. “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. Designed in London, Shackleton down jackets and knitwear are made to perform in the worst conditions. Three mariners now became mountaineers, walking on snow and ice day and night, covering 22 miles in 36 hours. 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. 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.” “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. The 10 days were a mind-blowing experience, with the pinnacle for me being Dutch Leonard’s classes on “Leading Through Crisis”. The next thing we'll pray for, we'll pray for some money, some glorious, glorious, glorious money. Elation swept over the six men. One mistake and they'd be dashed onto the rocks – killed in an instant. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 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. He and Wild went over every contingency. When he set sail on the Endurance, it was Shackleton’s third trip to Antarctica. 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. He removed the mainmast from another boat and fastened it to the keel, then fashioned a small mizzenmast to complement the jib. Born in 1874, Shackleton was a British Antarctic explorer who set many world records. He had no patience for the crowd, no shtick. He made four trips to the Antarctic, including leading the Endurance expedition for which he is best known. A freshwater barrel turned briny; the men's thirst, Shackleton noted, became "a burning pain." . It is a human crisis and it requires collaboration across geographical, organisational and intellectual boundaries. 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.". Having made his decision, Shackleton said he "walked through the blizzard with Worsley and Wild to examine the James Caird." If they succeeded it would be one of the most outrageous feats in maritime history. 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 challenge…. 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. They endured. By the evening of April 23, the wind began to abate. To submit a piece for consideration, email [email protected] He and his expedition had departed from South Georgia in early December, 1914. We’re on a mission now. But, in unpredictable circumstances, this kind of structure can be inadequate. All the men of the Endurance came safely home. 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. ", 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?". 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. Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish explorer. 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. 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. 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. Adventure Athlete, Professional Speaker and Author. It often fails. Shackleton ordered all hands to abandon ship and take refuge on the ice. On May 8 they spotted the high, rugged peaks of South Georgia. The James Caird made good time, moving north early on, to avoid ice. And so all that night, and the next day and night, Shackleton commanded the skipper to hold off. Some glorious, glorious, glorious women. Nine months later the ship was crushed, leaving Shackleton and his crew adrift on a massive ice floe. Yet nothing about it would be sensationalized. Those poor fellows. Ernest Shackleton’s First South Pole Expeditions. ‘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. 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." Ernest Shackleton was born in Kilkea, Ireland in 1874. It wasn't easy, dodging a rugged coast in gusting winds and a cross-grained sea. ( Log Out /  Ernest Shackleton called this work of the leader “dispensing mental medicine,” and it was vital to the success of his against-all-odds mission. Finding a cure for spinal cord injury is not a predictable problem. Change ), Blog at WordPress.com. 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. 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 For the … Sailing around either end of the crescent-shaped island was out of the question, with so many big seas and countess offshore rocks. Nobody had ever before walked into a whaling station from the icy interior of the island. Without it I would be dead. [Attributed to Raymond Priestly but appears in essence elsewhere including in Cherry-Garrard's Worst Journey in the World (see previous)]. Chocks away, chocks away,.....etc etc. These men, if they were men, must be another species. 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." The structure itself constrains intellectual collaboration and translation of breakthrough science into clinical studies and then into actual therapies. “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. If they failed, they would be lost at sea, a footnote. Born in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland, Shackleton, and his family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten. ", but it established Shackleton as a "bona fide English hero" (Books on Ice). Shackleton expedition-grade apparel is engineered for extremes, combining world-class high performance fabrics and materials with supreme refinement. It was built on mutual respect; cooperation, not competition. Shackleton's famous account of the Nimrod expedition, which he led to the Antarctic in 1907-09. 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. 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.". Without it I wouldn’t be back at work, back living a life. 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. Dutch’s conclusion is that in most situations, with predictable problems, a hierarchical command structure is very, very effective. The boat "appeared to have shrunk in some mysterious way when I reviewed her in the light of our new undertaking. . 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. Shackleton was involved in many expeditions attempting to reach the South Pole. They cooked two hot meals per day on a Primus stove, pinning it between their feet so it wouldn't pitch overboard. All rights reserved. For speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen. 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 (1872-1922) was a British explorer (born in Ireland) and member of the Royal Naval Reserve. "Land Ho!" Another had frostbitten feet. And their friends on Elephant Island would almost certainly perish. "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." Dogs barked. The gruff Norwegian station manager sized them up and said, "Well?". Shackleton had always dreamed of a small boat journey across epic big water. "Your voice is familiar," the manager replied. The next day the sun appeared for the first time in a week. "…May God prosper your work and your life. His black toes would soon be amputated. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! First, I had an overwhelming desire to cheer out loud when I read Sir Raymond Priestly’s quote. It requires the strengths we saw in Shackleton’s crew – the ability to try something, fail and immediately try something else. It was a privilege to learn what I learnt at Harvard. Steady, unflagging teamwork. 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. Kim Heacox is the author of several books, most recently the novel "Jimmy Bluefeather," winner of the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award. The task ahead, full of challenge and danger, was perfect for Shackleton. ", On April 24, 1916, 100 years ago, six undernourished men pushed off in the Caird, determined to do the impossible. Sir Ernest Shackleton, like many in the Heroic Age of Exploration, felt the magnetic pull of the South Pole. They endured. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out /  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. Back home, Europe was consumed by war. 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. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to [email protected] or click here to submit via any web browser. This is not to say that Shackleton was a soft touch. ( Log Out /  Kim Heacox is the author of several books. Exploring the frontiers of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury, Get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton, What songs have defined your life? 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 words in Harvard to explain what I was seeing in my case, it was ’. '' chanted thousands of Young men who rushed off to war, only be... Submit via any web browser finally found the words in Harvard to explain what I was in... 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