A wee boat trip

A glance at Bobinson’s blog reminded me of something I’d missed; Ernest Shackleton’s birthday. Shackleton is one of the few figures in adventure and exploration that I can say is a genuine hero to me, not because of where he went in the world and not because it’s British way to applaud failure, but because the ultimate goal of his most famous journey, Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, was changed from taking a first in crossing Antarctica to saving the lives of everyone in the expedition when it all went the wrongest it’s possible to go.
Today it’s all about painting past glories a modern (sponsors) colour, fabricated stunts for product adverts and it all means nothing to me.

Anyway, as I’m on the office computer I went looking for some old photies that the same memory jog had brought to the surface and I found the ones from back in ’07 when me and Joycee has a wee break around Lochaber for our anniversary. I also new that Holly was on the way before Joycee did on that trip. Men aren’t daft, we know stuff, we’re deeper and more sensitive to all that’s around us than rumour has it, it’s secret weapon of sorts, so don’t let on.
There was a Shackleton exhibition on in Ft Bill while we were up there showing Frank Hurley’s original photographs from the Antarctic trip (see above )which have stayed fresh in my mind ever since (indeed I’ve probably blogged this before), it just pulled me in heart and soul. The cafe did that too if I remember correctly.
The boat outside was a replica of the James Caird, the lifeboat which took six of the stranded expedition to South Georgia to reach help. So odd that such an unassuming litte craft completed one of the greatest boat journeys ever made.

10 thoughts on “A wee boat trip”

  1. That exhibition is at the Maritime Museum in Liverpool just now, well until Feb 27th anyway. We went to see it last year, Hurley’s a photographic hero of mine. And apparently I’m a dead ringer for Kenneth Branagh :-O

  2. There are many worse film stars to be likened too :o)

    Good to know the exhibition is still around, the photies are amazing.
    And, in a slight coincedence I was in the maritime museum up here last week looking at fixing some ancient boat building machinery.

  3. Hard not to love Shackleton, once you read enough about him. I’m on a tear of reading books about the big four (Nansen, Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott) and it’s fascinating to see how their various characters were so revealed in their various exploits. No doubt Shackleton comes out looking best, total loyalty to his men and a never-say-die attitude, and a lot more personable than the Norwegians.

  4. His epic journey is one of THE best survival stories ever told. How he managed to keep all his men alive was unbelievable.

  5. The 1st book I ever read about adventurers as a youngster was called ‘Shackelton’s Epic Voyage’ and I blame it for firing up my imagination and desire to go camping and stuff. I got a cracking book a few years ago that was full of Hurleys original glass plate photograps, the quality even in the book is mind blowing but not surprising considering the ‘negatives’ were probably minimum 10×8 (inches) The book is called ‘The Endurance’ and written by Caroline Alexander.

    Did you know that ‘Mrs Chippy’ was actually Mr Chippy? :-)

  6. Nansen, Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott

    That’s like looking at Led Zeppelin’s line-up isn’t it? Put any four of the current crop of adventurers in a line-up like that and it would look like McFly.

    Makes me so glad that so many of us still remember and draw inspiration from times and people long past.

  7. Saw the Branagh film on this which was really good. So thanks Mac for the heads up on that book, I’ll def have a read of it.

  8. What? They’d no doubt give it the ‘U-571’ treatment… Shackleton would be an Irish American and they’d be saved by a task force from the U.S. Marines base on South Georgia!! ;O)

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