An Expedition 100+ Years In The Making

Weddell Sea, Antarctica
-71.187901000000, -45.000000000000
Journal Entry:

Who was Ernest Shackleton, and what is Endurance? What’s the deal with the Endurance22 Expedition? As we all embark on this year-long virtual exchange journey together, let’s get started with a story that began over 100 years ago--a story that’s still looking for its ending!

Over 100 years ago, in 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton wanted to be the first person to cross Antarctica by land. Just as World War I was starting in Europe, Shackleton and his crew sailed to Antarctica on a wooden ship called Endurance, one of the strongest ships in the world at the time. This was Shackleton’s second expedition to Antarctica so he knew very well that the massive ice floes of the Weddell Sea would hit the Endurance ship hard. And they did!

Hit after hit, Endurance sailed on, until one night when the icy water froze around the ship and trapped it in place. Shackleton and his crew were stuck! Over the next 10 months, they watched helplessly as the shifting ice of the Weddell Sea slowly crushed Endurance and sent it to the bottom of the sea, almost 10,000 feet below the surface. No one has seen it since.

Can you imagine being stranded all alone on top of moving ice floes at the bottom of the world? This was long before cell phones, GPS or even reliable radio signals.