Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Journal # 4

It was very frightening for them to leave Patience Camp because while doing so there were whales popping up around them and some even came a little too close. There were also birds flying overhead causing the men to duck their heads from the droppings. There were three boats they took out the James Caird, Dudley Docker, and , Stancomb Wills. These boats were primarily pulling boats but also for catching bottlenose whales which I thought was interesting. The Caird is 22 feet 9 inches long.  The boats weren’t overloaded with men either the Docker held nine, the Caird held eleven, and the Stancomb Wills carried eight. At night they have a watchman which I thought was very clever of them to have. In the middle of night Ernie Holness fell into the ice with his sleeping back because the broken flow. He is ordered to keep moving until his clothes dry. I could not imagine the pain of the ice cold water cold feel like. The fireman Bill Stevenson had also fallen into the water. Shackleton ordered to leave some ice tools and dried vegetables. They launched the boats again and found that they were in the open ocean.  Once they settled on some ice that they found, the next morning they woke up to 30 foot waves that were shaking the ice. They need to escape, Greenstreet wrote in his diary, “…a very anxious time as our floe was rocking and rolling heavily being…” (Lansing, 151).  Thankfully, they launched the boats again and left that dangerous situation. Unfortunately, there was so sleeping that night.
The question is, how much more can they handle?  Shackelton has noticed that some men might be at their breaking point while others are still determined. Due to their lack of sleep and the cold he said everyone can eat what they wanted.  Sleeping arrangement as always, are tough. On the Caird they made room for 4 sleeping bags and took turns trying to sleep. On the Docker, they only had enough room for the men to sit upright and try to sleep. They continuously wiggled their toes to make sure they didn’t freeze.  Eventually, they saw land that they called Elephant Island but the crew ends up getting caught in a current which caused them to move stagnantly.  To try to make some distance before the darkness hit they had to split up. Shackelton couldn’t see the Docker anymore and try to signal to them but they didn’t answer. Worsley was the leader of this ship. Worley tried to use his pocket compass and when the daylight hit they realized they were right next to Elephant Island.  Worsley had always passed out due to exhaustion but woke up in time to order the men what to do.
The Caird and the Wills had a rough night as well. The Wills kept hitting waves and the men sat knee dip in water. Shacketon was worried if the rope broke the Wills ship they would never make it. When it became daytime the Wills stayed next the the Caird and ended up next to Elephant Island as well. They found a small beach to dock on.  In the end, they all ended up finding each other because to Docker had to search fourteen miles for the beach the others were on. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Part Four: Searching for Land

The men finally hit the waters when survival on the floe was out of the question.  This began an extremely dangerous leg of their journey.  A new water-specific danger surfaced, quite literally.  Whales were all around them.  Camping options were few and far between and one of their first attempts after leaving Patience Camp and their first attempt landed one of their men in the icy waters after a crack split right under his tent.  Things did not get easier from here.  In fact, Shackleton eventually let the men know that there would not be any more camping after how futile their attempts were after leaving Patience Camp.

Originally, they planned to set their course for Clarence or Elephant Island (which is where they ended up), but the conditions changed and they did set sail for King George Island and then on to Deception Island.  Deception Island was thought to be a good goal because there would supposedly be supplies and food there.  Even these plans were disrupted by the unpredictable weather and other variables affecting their course.  They had to fight hard after getting caught in a current that took them much further east than they should have been.  After even more set-backs, they again looked to Elephant Island as a possible destination.

Without the option to camp, the men lived in the boats which was a challenging experience.  There was no cover from the elements and the water that splashed into the vessels soaked them.  Their felt boots kept their feat soaked in icy water for extended periods of time.  Blackboro, the young man who had stowed away on the Endurance was wearing leather boots and complained that he could no longer feel his feet after several hours.  Hudson was developing an intense pain in his butt as well as frostbite in his hands.  They were overcome by thirst and hunger.

Just as Elephant Island became an attainable goal, the boats were separated.  The Docker disappeared.  The men in the Caird and Wills lit a candle at night so that the Docker may see them.  When they approached the island they found it difficult to locate an appropriate and safe point to bring the boats to shore.  The Caird and Wills searched the shore as the Docker was also looking for landing.  Both groups were unaware of the other’s proximity to the island.  Luck was on their side – their searches for safe landing brought them back together, an astonishingly fortunate turn of events. 

The two groups made for the best available spot to bring the boats in and then they made for land.  Blackboro, whose feet had been declared “dead” at this point was brought onto land.  Actually, Blackboro was the first man on the island.  This was a move planned by Shackleton to try to raise his spirits, which makes sense given Shackleton’s fear of the men losing their optimism and drive to forge forward.  They had finally hit land and were ready to make camp without the worry that the ground beneath them might split into two allowing the waters to engulf them.  This was a good day, although the men were sick, tired, and hungry, they were as happy as they could be in their situation. 

In this section, motivation cannot be described.  It was an necessity.  To have been unmotivated when those oars struck the waters could have meant a cold and wet ending for these men who had already fought mother nature herself to survive.  This part of the journey was one of pure survival – no rest; no certainty; and, no guarantees.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Post 3

Just like section 2, in section 3, more obstacles are arising making their destination to Paulet Island look even more challenging.  Their progress continues to be somewhat slow, as the ice never really opens up completely for them.  The men are pushed to the brink of starvation, as their lives begin to revolve around the thought of food, and the urgency of needing more of it to survive.  Their was times they had alot of food, like when Macklin killed the 1000 pound sea leapard, but this was only one of the few times they actually had a decent meal.  In this section the men had to eat the dogs in order to survive.  Many people may disagree with the eating of the dogs, however, its easy to have this opinion when your not starving to death. 

Post 2

Section 2 in my opinion was a bit more entertaining than the first section of this book.  The men are being faced with more and more obstacles, yet for the most part, coninue to have an optimistic outlook on their situation.  The Endurance has finally sunk in this section, and this in itself was one of the more demoralizing events of the section, being that, the ship sort of represented one of their last ties with civilization.  Though mostly everyone has stayed somewhat cooperative and positive up to this point,  towards the end of the section, McNeish showed one of the first real signs of fatigue and refused to continue onwards.  However, the problem was solved and McNeish continued on with his next assigned duty.  Shackleton felt uneasy from McNeish's little episode because he worries others may feel the same way.       

Endurance Section 3

Although Shackleton is preparing the men for the winter when all the animals will go away, he is refusing "too much food" for the seamen to eat. He feels that by eating little portions, it will prepare them for the Winter. I feel like this is torture, yet workable. If the seamen eat a decent amount of food, it might hold them from hunger longer; however, the seamen will be in for a surprise when Winter comes and they are even hungrier because their body became accustomed to how much food they were eating. It's a win-lose situation. Also, when Shackleton orders the killing of dogs for food, it almost disgusts me. Dogs are animals, but for some people dogs are friends or a part of the family; they're tamed, loyal, helpful in the sense of smell and are keen. They're animals that society has accepted greatly and domestically in which shouldn't be killed for food. Why wouldn't Shackleton kill seals over dogs? The seamen were losing their friend to put food in their stomachs which seems harsh and disgusting. I don't think I would be able to do this and it sounds like the seamen are doubting their boss.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Section 4-Amazing....

I thought I was extremely motivated and determined but I could have never , ever survived these unthinkable conditions and yet, the men complained very little(148).  From eating pemmican and hoosh and having hardly any water, it is amazing they could even stand , let alone man a boat in the extreme weather conditions. 
This leg of the journey was disappointment  after disappointment.  They had traveled backwards for sometime which made them head directly into the current for the third time.  Their clothes were frozen stiff and saturated with the oils from their bodies, the temperature was 4 below and the constant questioning of time took a mental toll on the men.  At this point, it was questioned"How much more could they take?"  The answer to that was an unbelievable amount of stress and pain.  More thirst and hunger, Shackleton becoming anxious, and Worsley changing from excitable and wild to broken down and unable to carry on.  Hudson was in unbearable pain, Blackboro had frost bitten feet and Rickenson collapsed of a heart attack........but after 497 days they were on land....1 year and 102 days.....Unbelievable!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Section 2

On the Endurance, Shackleton orders his crew to hunt and gather seal for food, since their supply is decreasing, and also to get rid of anything that is unnecessary to survival. For example, they make seal meat stew by including the lumps of blubber from seals. By including it in the stew, it can ease the seamen to get used to the taste for when they run out of food. To me, I would never be able to eat it; however, if I was put in that situation, I would probably have no choice but to eat it if it meant survival. Another thing Shackleton orders is to get rid of anything that is unnecessary to survival including excess clothing, things to stay warm, and even items to sleep in. They must prepare for the boat to sink and prolong it; so by getting rid of items, the weight is reduced. The seamen do get a little discouraged, but I understand their point of view. If I was in that situation, I would get a little discouraged as well. By prolonging the ship sinking and eating lumps of blubber from seals, I would feel like the captain is doubting survival and ensuring the sinking of the ship.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Section 3

In this section of the book, I feel that the crew members have lost a lot of their motivation for this journey. As for food, there is a lot some days and almost none others. I feel like this is mainly the reasons for their loss in motivation. I felt as though whenever the men got slightly ahead, something would drastically go wrong. These men are definitely very courageous, and even though there is a shortage in food and no land in sight, these men have a little hope in this journey. In this section, you can really start to see Shackleton's true colors and see how he handles certain issues on the ship. I really don't know if he was as prepared for this journey as he planned on it. Also, I am devastated that he had the dogs killed. It just blows my mind that the dogs were killed yet they were so loyal to the men unlike the seals they fed on. It is totally different killing them opposed to killing the dogs. Even though it is not much, a little hope i'm sure will go a long way for these men. This was by far the best section i've read, it really got and kept my attention.


Post #3

        What I found most interesting about Part III of Endurance is that it seems like Shackleton is beginning to unravel. Once the picture of optimism, he is now beginning to take that "optimism" to the level of refusing to let the men adequately prepare to spend winter on the floes. In the first chapter, Orde-Lees kills three seals and requests assistance to retrieve them. Shackleton does not permit any men to get the seals because in his mind, he feels that preparing for winter would be an acceptance of defeat. While this optimism made him a great leader and Macklin felt that just to be in his presence was an experience, other men could not understand why he wouldn't want to be prepared for the winter. If I were in their position, I would want to have as much food stored up as possible. Also, I feel that the more game that they catch and are able to eat, the more stores they will be able to save for when the animals leave in the winter. I would be very frustrated with this decision by Shackleton. A lot of the men shared this sentiment. When the food situation became critical, they all remembered that "the Boss" had refused to let them take in extra meat. A sense of mutiny is on the rise. Also, I feel that his attitude toward preparedness is showing that he is slowly coming undone. It seems that he is losing his composure in the face of defeat.
        Another part that struck me was when Shackleton ordered the killing of the dogs. I understand why he had to do it, but it was so sad. I can't imagine the mindless killing of pets. There is a difference between the dogs and the seals. Although it was sad when the killing of the seals was described, their deaths at least gave the men food. The dogs were very loyal to the men. When the author talked about how each dog went to their death with their tail wagging, my heart broke. I can't imagine how the men must have felt losing the affection of their dogs. To me, this act says defeat far more than killing a few extra seals for the winter. Shackleton's logic confuses me at times.
        I'm really anxious to read Part IV and see how life aboard the boats will be. I anticipate a lot of optimism in the beginning due to the new experience and the sense of moving toward a goal. However, I am sure that the worst is yet to come.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

post 3

In part three of Endurance, you start to see the men become more challenged as the chapters progress and how they are starting to go through more and more hardships, with the lack of food and where they need to go and how far away are they. Specifically in chapter three the men start to figure out how far they are away from places like Paulet Island. The are about 90 miles from their destination. But at this point there are men that want to escape and men that just really want to give up. The men are also finding it harder to find things to occupy their time with because they have been doing it for such a long period of time already. One of the main hardships that the men are facing it all the ice that they are encountering and how it will come apart and then all of a sudden it will close back up so that they can not get through. It is becoming harder and harder to find food. In chapter four they were talking about how they have not killed a seal in about 3 weeks and that id their biggest food source. So being that they have no food most of the men are starving. I can't wait to continue reading and see what happens next.

Friday, October 12, 2012

endurence post #3

Section 3  was a  little more upsetting, since  things are getting  more frustrating. The crew are aware  that  they are becoming more and more powerless, and  the men  are  not as motivated even though they do try to work it out.  They seemed to loose hope, and  at the beginning, there seemed  no way out, which seems really frustrating to me. Also,  I liked the point that they are trying to keep it as cheerful as they can, but due to the situations, the ups and downs they are having, they are not able to keep it up that way.   They are running out of food as well. Also what really made me feel bad is, when they were told that  they might end up eating dogs.  I can not even imagine that, in freezing cold, no place to sleep, nothing to eat, (specially eating dogs)no hope weather they will survive or not, and they are still working it out, because they are really motivated, and section three also included pictures of endurance which made it even easier to imagine the situation they were dealing with.

Endurance post 3

Section three had many ups and downs through out all the chapters. The 
crew seems to only have two things to focus on, food and how far they 
have to travel too. They changed camps a few times and made progress 
enough because at the end of the section, they managed to see land of 
Paulet Island. Though getting this far was quite a struggle. The men 
grew hungry on various occasions and all the men spoke of how tiresome 
conversations have become between everyone. They grew found and ate 
hundreds of penguins. Food, including a sea lion, always seemed to be 
found when all hope was gone. Many of the dogs were sent off to be 
killed as well. I felt bad for Macklin for having to kill his dogs, he 
seemed very attached to him. I think my favorite quote of the book 
thus far came from Greenstreet right after the team spotted land, "What 
i would far rather see would be a crowd of seals coming up so we might 
get food and fuel." This was described as cynical in the book, but i 
feel that it was very realistic. Land was miles away, and the crew 
needs more than just high hopes to get there.

Endurance: Post 3

     In the first chapter of section three, the men had just finished an exhausting struggle and were now left stuck with nothing to do but think.  On page 100 it states, "Many of them, it seemed, finally grasped for the first time just how desperate things really were. More correctly, they became aware of their own inadequacy, of how utterly powerless they were."  There ultimate goal at this point was to get themselves out, but unfortunately they felt powerless and felt that their was not even the smallest achievable objective to aim for.  Several of the men found Shackleton's attitude difficult to understand.  On page 103 it mentions, "But Shackleton was not an ordinary individual.  He was a man who believed completely in his own invincibility, and to whom defeat was a reflection of personal inadequacy.  What might have been an act of reasonable caution to the average person was to Shackleton a detestable admission that failure was a possibility.  This indomitable self-confidence of Shackleton's took the form optimism.  And it worked in two ways: it set men's souls on fire; as Macklin said, just to be in his presence was an experience.  They believed that this was what made Shackleton such a great leader and I can see exactly why they think that. 
     I really give the men a lot of credit and don't know how they were able to continue on dealing with such horrible circumstances.  On page 104, Greenstreet wrote: "The monotony of life here is getting on our nerves.  Nothing to do, nowhere to walk, no change in surroundings, food or anything.  God send us open water soon or we shall go balmy."  It is obvious that at this point during their expedition the men had finally had enough and were about to lose their minds if something didn't change.  I couldn't imagine having to sleep in such conditions where snow was on my face, feet on my stomach as Worsley had mentioned.  Many of the men did not understand why Shackleton made some of the decisions he did especially concerning food.  When Lees said something to Shackleton in chapter 3, Shackleton said: "It will do some of these people good to go hungry, their bloody appetites are too big."  I could not imagine being in such physical pain due to their shortage of food that caused many of the men a great deal of starvation. 
     I didn't even realize that there were actual pictures in this book until I was reading chapter three.  I thought it was neat to see a picture of the ice-locked Endurance on August 27, 1915 and the picture of the crushed wreck of the Endurance with the dogs that are left.  I especially liked the picture of Frank Hurley and Ernest Shackleton at the Patience Camp on the ice floes.  By seeing these pictures it just makes the story line of this book that much more real to me.  It is clear to see just exactly how motivation is used throughout their journey. It is their motivation that keeps them going rather than giving up at their weakest moments, the men continue to push their way through.

Part III

As I continue this book, I think in regards to how I feel I am extremely motivated and driven, but the men in this story go above and beyond any level that I could ever attempt.  Lansing paints such a vivid picture of despair and weariness at this point.  I can visualize the men , trudging, clothes weighing heavy , and water soaked.  The only recourse at this point ( or any point of the trip thus far) is to give up, but give up and die?  Lay down and try and give up?  I think that would be harder for all the men.  I see where the motivation is driven from at this point.  This story is the true "Survivor" show .

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I found section 3 to be the most suspenseful section thus far!  The men were on a constant waver between feast vs hunger and optimism vs hopelessness. The moral changed so much that at the end, even the slightest hope seemed almost useless. Every positive advance the men gain; such as extra seals to fest upon, or spotted land it seemed to immediately follow with a hardship.I found it interesting that Shackleton ordered the men to leave the extra seal meat because it was unnecessary surplus.  In the harsh unpredictable conditions the men were faced against this seemed almost foolish. But undoubtedly the men still obeyed Shackleton’s orders. Another shocking part of section 3 was when the men had to resort to killing the dogs. My heart ached for Macklin when he had to part from his pups. Besides the issue of hunger, then men also had to endure weather sets backs. With the ice cracking and warm weather the men were constantly surrounded by hope and fear.
                I really enjoy how Lansing wrote the book. The diary entries from the men seem to make it that much more real to the reader. Hearing how each individual endured the journey is eye opening and personable. I find myself putting myself in their shoes and wondering if I would have done the same. I do not know if I can honestly say I would have kept up the positive moral for as long as they have. It is clear that by the end of the section that hope is fleeting and positiving is running low. I am curious to discover the men’s fate.

Part III

This part to me represented a see-saw in a sense because the men went from high to low in several instances. They either had a ton of food, like the 1,000 pound sea leopard, or the hundreds of Adelie penguins or a very limited supply of food, leaving the men famished beyond belief. Sometimes there rations seemed so minimal I could not imagine surviving a day on that little bit of food. Besides the food, there was also sightings of land. Most of the men were excited to see the land and the two islands because they had not seen anything but ice and water for days upon days. Just as quickly as they learned they were near land, in the next instance they had drifted the opposite direction from the islands. So this represents a high and a low. There is also the everyday worry about the ice cracking and breaking up. This issue became more apparent as the section continues on. It really is an issue when they cannot make the last trip to get the supplies or when they have to wake up on a moments notice to move everything. There is also the constant stress of having to spot such cracks and staying up at night in shifts to watch the ice. It seems to go from good to bad on several occasions when it comes to the ice floes. Lastly, the effects that this "see-saw" stress of life has on the men seems to become more apparent . Some of the different attitudes and anger from the men are seen in this section. Many are becoming frustrated, especially when it came to food. They were upset that Shackleton was not more of a go getter in terms of hunting when there was food to be hunted. I like that in this section you get a feel for what the men are feeling because of what they say they are writing in their diaries and some of their frustrations they are vocalizing. It did surprise me when Shackleton ordered that the dogs be shot and killed and then eaten. What was worse was that the different dog team leaders were the ones who had to kill their dogs personally. I find this to be cruel. I thought that the men would've been more upset about having to complete this task but it seemed as though they pushed it aside and went with Shackleton's orders. I did not like this part of the story. I found it to be very sad however, I do understand why Shackleton knew it was necessary. The dogs were also consuming what little food they had and it was only logical in that given situation. The end of this section leaves the men in a most interesting predicament. They decide to board the boats and head for the island. But knowing how their luck is from the past sections I am very interested to read what struggles face them in part IV.

Post # 3

At the beginning of Part 3, most of the men started to lose their optimism, and it became an effort for them to remain cheerful. With no apparent signs of the pack moving in the right direction, making their chance of seeing land remote, topped off with insufficient food supplies and bad weather, put all of the men in agitation.  This frustration becomes apparent when their attitude toward Shackleton starts to change. When Shackleton ordered the men to leave the slain seals behind, saying that they had a month’s worth of food supply. Greenstreet wrote in his journal that he considered Shackleton’s decision “…rather foolish…it is far the best to be prepared for the possible chance of having to winter here” (p. 103). At this point, if it were me, Shackleton’s optimism and confidence would have also started to get on my nerves because his confidence blinded him to the harsh reality of their situation. The patience of the men was truly tested throughout this section. They were fast running out of food, and thus inevitably had to kill off their dogs, which was hard for the men because they had formed an emotional bond with the animals. When Shackleton was considering killing the dogs, the men were outraged, upset, and blamed Shackleton for their shortage of food.

January turned into March and still they were waiting helplessly for a “northerly movement of the pack” (117). When they first felt the rise and fall of the ocean on March 9th, the men were ecstatic, giving them hope again. However, that tiny spark of hope was snatched away again the next day when there wasn’t any movement of the pack. Their disappointment shortly turned into anger, and some started to take it out on each other. Matters got worse by the end of section 3 as their floe broke apart and Shackleton ordered the boats to be launched. The section ends on the ominous note that even as the crew leaves Patience Camp, the ice has begun to close. 

The book has become interesting as there is more activity going on; the hopes of the men were repeatedly crushed, resulting in disappointment; yet, they still stuck together. They are motivated to go on. Despite the fact that the men were emotionally attached to the dogs, killing the dogs was a necessity and the men remained strong. Shackleton’s optimism is catchy, yet irritating at the same time; but I think he is a good leader because he shows optimism. His main goal is to keep everyone together and alive, which is why he makes harsh decisions that sometimes do not sit well with the men. Yet, in the long run, I think his decisions are well thought-out and reasonable. 

Part Three: Surviving on the Ice

                Progress was a huge motivating force that, coupled with unhealthy optimism, seemed to feed into the men’s sense of survival prospects.  It is at this point that they finally progress, leave Ocean Camp, and are stopped short.  The men’s ability to fend off reality faltered.   “Mark Time Camp” was the name bestowed upon this new camp that seemed to symbolize the ideal that their stay would not be a long one.  The name could not have been more ironic; although, within weeks, they had to move to a new floe, which was more appropriately named “Patience Camp”.  I think that the names of these two camps acted as statements about their journey.  The reader must remember that many, if not all of the small things that kept them content and mentally strong were starting to become lost to the Antarctic at a quick rate.  Perhaps the men called it “Patience Camp” so that on some subconscious level they understood that they could be at camp for some time.  “Mark Time Camp” most probably drove them extra nuts because of the expectations involved with the camp’s name.

                They had to move to “Patience Camp” when the floe of “Mark Time Camp” was no longer sustainable.  During this long period of monotony and harsh living, the livelihood of the team starts to crack much like the floes that aided in the devastation of the Endurance.  The banjo that was once a form of entertainment and cheer was now, at least according to McNeish, an irritant.  Some men complained about the snoring of their tent mates.  Specifically, Macklin complains of Clark’s sniffles and the arguments between Lees and Worsley.  The men, who had generally thought well of Shackleton’s decisions and rationalized his actions, finally broke.  At this point in their expedition, Shackleton had already been through some failures – none was a pure fault of his own, the marches were doomed and he could not have fully known this until they hit a blockade.  This did not stop Shackleton from expecting the others to exhibit levels of optimism fit for a mad-man (like himself).  I would not say that Shackleton had lost his mind, but it was as if the same decision-making styles used since the beginning were now received in a new light.  What seemed insane was Shackleton’s decisive lack of changing with his environment.  As an example, he orders the men to leave the seals they had killed.  From this point forward, the fun and games were to an absolute minimum (partially because they had lost their novelty). 

                Between having to kill the dogs, the food shortage, uncertainty about where this floe would bring them, and the new potential threat of sea leopards made life particularly harsh.  In one moment, the men could go from zoned out boredom to hurriedly getting to work to keep the camp together.  On some occasions, the men had to react as quickly as lightening to get their things all on the right side of the floe when the crack broke it apart.  In fact, by the last crack they had shove off into the seas. 

All up until they had to make that drastic and final decision to take to the water, it was a harsh guessing game as to whether they would make it to land at all.  Let alone their destination, Paulet Island.  When they were in sight of other possible reprieves from ice-dwelling fear, there was no guaranteed route to get to the land.  They were constantly faced with glimmers of hope that most men tried desperately to ignore so as not to be let down.  Open sea was a potential ending point for them.  One that they knew would be detrimental to survival.  They hoped upon all hopes that the winds would not take them there and luckily, they were not drawn into sea.  The men took the last chance they had by dropping those boats into the waters.

There were a few different topics from class that I think apply to some of the events and progressions of the story within Part Three.  First, I thought about how the encounter with the sea leopard would have turned out differently if the men had gone into tonic immobility  Luckily for them, they reacted and took action instead of freezing up in fear.  In addition, in regards to food, the men mention at one point actually missing the blubber; their diet had become too much meat.  Earlier in the book, the men were not too keen on the blubber, but in Part Three they wanted to eat it.  Originally, I think palatability was a big problem with blubber, but desperation coupled with the concept of sensory-specific satiety (to the meat) may be why the men now wanted the blubber.  Just mixing up the food they ate was a welcome idea.

section 3

I am pleased to find that the book is progressively getting more exciting to read. Section three of the book is becoming a bit more depressing for the men. Section one they were very motivated to endure the adventure, and were excited about what was to come. Section two they still had a sense of hope, but their emotions did slip down from time to time. Now, in section three their spirits are really starting to become low. With their ship completely ruined and no longer available to them, their food supply practically diminishing before their eyes, and the cold weather making it impossible to get to a comfortable state, especially when sleeping the men are really heading down an unfortunate road. The fights between the men are upsetting because they really need to stick together in order to succeed in their mission. I am excited for the rest of the book. I hope that their spirits lift soon.

It is amazing what a difference a day can make. We here this clique statement all the time in life, but in this book and this section especially it is scary to think about how true these words really are. The men’s morale was really tested in this section and tension was high. In the beginning of this section, it seemed as though the men were losing patience with Shackelton when they killed the seals and he told them to just leave them, but they did not retaliate or get to upset. When the food and blubber supply started to get low however, and the dogs had to be killed, I feared that a mutiny might be in the works. Just like that their prayers were answered when a sea leopard almost killed one of the men, but they were able to bring it down themselves instead. This in turn not only gave them plenty of food and blubber to keep them content for a while, but also a little hope and morale. That seems to be the theme of this section as every time the morale begins to dwindle down, they are miraculously saved. Whether it be the groups of penguins they spotted, the other sea leopard, or even seeing land. Although they are constantly tested in this book, they always seem to have something good happen for them at just the right time. However, it is only obvious that as the books progresses this stream of “luck” is eventually going to run out. 

With the new year here, they are realizing how desperate they really are. There isn’t a lot of food to be caught however, five crabeater seals and an emperor penguin were found and killed.  Unfortunately, Wild and Orde-Lee had to encounter a life threatening experience. A twelve foot long 1100 pound sea leopard popped its head out of the snow and ran after Orde-Lee and then Wild. It was finally shot and killed by Wild. I am not sure how I would have reacted to an animal like that trying to eat me. I feel as if Greenstreet is realizing the reality to possibly have to stay there through the winter and Shackleton's optimistic attitude isn’t accepting that. His food rations that the crew has are very low. Orde-Lee actually collapsed from hunger.  Shackleton decided to kill the dogs, which is sad because they have an emotional bond to the crew however, oddly enough they called it a treat for them. I feel as if the dogs represented another piece of civilization which they had to kill off. One terrible part of being on this trip I would say is the bathroom situation. Since they are not eating healthy foods and living off of blubber their stomachs are feeling the side effects.  The crew worried a little less about starvation once they caught about 600 penguins. This didn’t give them a lot of meat because there was so little on each penguin. Macklin wrote in his diary that he is starting “to get anxious with the idea of escaping” (120,Lansing). I hope they do escape soon they have endured a lot so far. During their small rationed breakfast one morning a strange shape appeared and thankfully Wild shot it.  It was an 11 foot long sea leopard. They are now able to feast on 1000 pounds of meat, this is a positive for them as well as the sight of land. Some men didn’t even want to look because there was a chance of disappointment. Unfortunately, Shackleton gave the order to board the boats because they were heading east away from the land. Where they will end up next is unknown but I hope it’s a safe place and in an area where there are animals to hunt.

Endurance Post #3

            The beginning and ending of this section are similar since they both are negative due to the little faith and motivation the men have at this point in the expedition. After five days of difficult travels, there was almost no hope. Additionally, there was uncertainty in their plans of travel with their food situation. The beginning states that “many of them, it seemed, finally grasped for the first time just how desperate things really were.... They had nurtured in the backs of their minds the attitude Shackleton strove so unceasingly to imbue them with, a basic faith in themselves- that they could, if need be, pit their strength and their determination against any obstacle- and somehow overcome it.” Shackleton was a great leader especially due to his undying need to never give up. Some of the men, after they lost most of their motivation, judged Shackleton on his extremely high self-confidence. In my opinion, this section seemed the most realistic to me not in terms of their situation, but in terms of their overall moods and motivation level. Personally, I went into this book with the hypothesis that the men would have little to no motivation due to their terrible, terrible circumstances. At the end of this section, the directions of the winds were pushing the men towards the east, far away from the land. Afterwards, the floes began to crack and Shackleton ordered all the men onto the boats. Where the men go from there is completely uncertain and I can only hope more positive events happen.

Endurance #3

In this section of the book, the crew endure more hardships and their optimism and humor has decreased. Throughout the section, the men experience the constant increase and decrease in food, the lessening of patience with the crew members, and questioning of their leader's capabilities.The men still also had to endure bad weather conditions, most leading to soaking wet sleeping bags or tents.  The dogs were all finally shot under Shackleton's command, but I find this saddening because the men saw the dogs as pets and something to love. However, once they used the dogs' meat for food, you would think otherwise because the men wouldn't stop commenting on how tasty and delicious it was compared to the constant blubber meat they would have. Although the argument for that would be that survival is still above all else and what has to be done has to be done.  Another unfortunate aspect of this section of the book is that the crew get very close to land at some points, but they drift away from it on the ice. At the end of the section, it does not end well due to the men having to rush to pack up their belongings and tents due to ice cracking around them. Their only option is to get into the small boats and hope that the paths open to them won't close in a short bit of time.

Endurance Post #3

Approaching the near middle of the book seems to be a decline in optimism and motivation to move forward.  Their voyage still seems unpredictable.  Hallucinating land ahead and worrying about constant food supply is starting to psychologically mess with the men.  They are becoming bored with the same books, tunes, and are even losing faith in each other.  They are starting to doubt their leader, Shakleton, for example when he forces them to kill the dogs for food.  The men use these dogs as a sense of attachment and have formed companionships with these animals.  Time is barely passing, and the weather conditions are leaving the men cold and tired.  The men are even forming sores on their faces from icicles caused by tears.  Living conditions are also not a guarantee everyday.  When the wind picks up at first it is a sense of relief.  That is until their boats drift once floes split to find out that their direction of travel was opposite of their desires.  This section did not end on a positive note.

Endurance Part Three

                Section three was easy to understand. Their food ration increased and decreased several times throughout the section, along with their positive outlook. Some of the men got excited when land was spotted, because they hadn’t been on land in so long. However, Greenstreet was cynical. He said that he would rather see seals and penguins because they meant food, instead of land. Some tension started to come out when a trip for supplies was canceled; an argument broke out leading to milk being spilled during a time when food and drink were to be used sparingly. Towards the end, however, the men were more hopeful. They had killed an 11 foot long sea leopard that was nearly 1,000 pounds of meat. After that, they were more inclined to kill animals for food when they spotted them. It’s a good story and one can only imagine the hardships the men are facing through each section. The only thing I don’t like is how they keep going into detail on how they kill the seals, penguins, dogs and any other animal they come across. I try to skim those parts because I couldn’t imagine killing my animals and then asking for a piece of them to eat.

Endurance Post 3

Throughout part III, the morale and optimism seem to waver between being slightly high to extremely low. Their faith in Shackleton as a leader is definitely not as strong as it once was, and some of the men are even beginning to criticize his decisions. Sometimes they have an abundant amount of food which seems to live their spirits, but other times they have a low supply of food which greatly affects their moods. When Shackleton suggested that they eat the dogs because their food was running low, the men all had extremely adverse reactions to it; not because they wouldn't eat dog, but because they all had emotional attachments to the dogs. I feel that since eventually they were forced to kill the dogs as to not run out of food, this severely affected them because they lost an emotional confidant. After this, the level of food they have continues to vary.

When the wind began to pick up, the whole crew felt a wave of relief because if meant they were getting closer and closer to their destination. Shackleton even wrote in his journal that the wind was a turn in their fortune and must be spoken of with reverance. Slightly after this however, the crew began to grow tired of the snow that the wind blew into their tents. It was so cold and windy that they men were even described as having constant tears in their eyes that would slide down and create an icicle on their noses. Once pulled off, it would leave a sore that never seemed to heal. The men continue to comment how bored they are and how hard it is to get the time to pass. Sometimes all they can think about is food because they are so hungry. For all the good, fortunate happenings that occur, there also seems to be very many negative experiences as well.

At the end of the section, their attitudes are still pretty low. They continue to fight on and not give up, but it is definitely evident that peoples' motivation is slightly lessening. The end of the section does not end on a happy note. They have discovered that they were not heading in the direction they had wanted to, and the floe splits so they are forced to make an attempt to continue their journey on the boats. While this is not a very smart move, it may be their only chance of survival.

Endurance part 3

In this section the team is hit or miss in their rations. One week there is enough to eat, the next week there's next to nothing. This is partly because when they had more seals than Shackleton wanted he ordered the dead seals to be left because he felt they had enough for at least a month. He had a sense of optimism that was not at all macthing with the reality. In fact, the seals they did have only lasted a few weeks. Shackleton is continuously ordering the slaughter of the dogs, and is still completely out of touch with reality. At this point in the book, the men seem to be getting tired of it. They start to write in their journals in code so no one else will know who they are referencing. The attitudes of the men in the tent had went from a cheery disposition, listening to  music and reading, to not wanting to hear the same old tunes and read the same books they have read over and over. Some relief came when they discovered a wind was drifting them toward where they wanted to be and that some of the ice was breaking up enough to try to get the boats in the water. They did however start to hallucinate and see land that was not actually there. I feel like the men are definitely losing the  optimism they once had for being rescued and  Shackleton's optimism, to them and honestly to me,  is looking more and more like a man insane.

Endurance Post #3

     This is the first section of the book that low morale is a constant throughout all of the chapters. The beginning of chapter one sets the mood pretty well. "Many of them, it seemed, finally grasped for the first time just how desperate things really were." (pg. 100) The men even lost the motivation to try to see the brighter side of everything. "Many of them made a sincere effort to be cheerful, but without much success." (pg. 101) I don't think the men lost their interest in the adventure but at this point they are almost out of food and that is all each of them can focus on. Their rations are significantly slashed and this makes most of the men resentful towards Shackleton for not securing game when it was available. The men's motivation is definitely at an all time low. They are wet and hungry and incredibly miserable. Multiple arguements break out due to all the hostility and distaste for their current situation. For the first half of the section the men seem to just be waiting around for their next move. This makes them all anxious and they are forced to spend their days trying to just pass the time. The men are also starting to feel more and more cut off from the rest of the world. The constant whiteness of their surroundings has lowered their motivation and hopes significantly.
     It is not until chapter 5 that the men's food situation begins to improve. Wild had managed to shot and kill a snow leopard, providing the men with an astounding 1,000 pounds of meat and blubber. This brightens the men's spirits a bit. With their bellies full the men are content. Good news also comes when the men spot land and figure out that they are only 52 miles away from Clarence Island. This excitement is soon dwindled when the floe that they had set their camp on begins to split, leaving them with only 200 yards of living space. At the end of chapter 6 the floe once again splits and Shackleton gives the order to prepare the three boats to launch. There is not much hope in this move. The men are well aware that they cannot stay in their camp but the ice already appears to be closing in once they launch the boats.
I found section 2 much more enjoyable to read then the first section. What I really found interesting also kind've aburd was that when the men got hungry they started to resort to whale blubber. This showed that they were very motivated to stay alive and they would eat just about anything to do so. You would think that because the decrease in food the men would lose their hope, but they kept right to their journey with good spirits. I found it interesting that it said that Shackleton had a fear of losing control, but yet he is so far out in the water in the middle of nowhere how could he not lose control (I sure wouldn't be able to). Although I knew it was coming, the sinking of the Endurance still came as a surprise. The men were so close to this ship because it was tied into civilization and that was the only real civilization they had left. I feel as though the reason they were so optimistic about this journey even though there was a decrease of food was mainly due to the fact that the Endurance was still going strong. I am very eager to read more of this book to find out what is going to happen next.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Endurance is becoming easier to read and to keep my attention. The seamen are still handing in there with Shackleton and is believing everything he is saying. They are on the verge of losing their built and it seems like they are alittle discourage. They see the Endurance as a safely blanket, something that reminds them of civiliation. McNeish built two boat but they would not sail and this discouraged the men somewhat because it was a set back. Some of the things Shackelton does or as the call him, Boss, is preparing them for future encounters that they may not see right now. For example, Shackleton has the men eating blubber from seals which they will later on have to eat more of because the supply of food will decrease as time passes. By the end of this chaper, the Endurance is stinking more and more and I am waiting to see what happens next.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


This second section really relates to motivation. They must be really hungry to eat whale blubber. I know I am so picky that I would have starved before I ate that, and finally I might give in when it was starve to death or eat it. I like how this section we got to know each of the charactors and that Shackleton was considerate when he paired the crew up. This shows his charactor better as well. They are trying to make the best of a bad situation, their Endurance sinking. I can only imagine the future of this story.

Post 2

I also found that section two was a lot easier to read. I was quite interesting and came together a lot better then part one. You can see the adventure aspect in part two a lot more than you did in part one andI like that because it makes the book more interesting. You can also still see the struggle that these men are going through and that it is getting harder and harder as the book goes on but this is the part that makes the book interesting and that you can see all the adventure that these mean are going through. You can also see the motivation that Shackleton has for his crew to keep pushing then forward and no matter what he is going to help them. He tries to keep the crew on task through out everything including when the ship sank.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Part II

I found Part One to be interesting although it was a little hard to read at times. However, Part Two was much easier to read, although I found it to be a little sad. It started off with the men only being able to bring certain items with them because anything extra weighed against their chance of survival. In this situation, it makes sense to leave behind personal value items, but I imagined it was hard on the men, to leave behind their last pieces of home. I also found it sad when they had to kill the animals that were slowing them down, or when they had to kill seals for food. I understand their motivation to not die of starvation was very high, and anyone would do what it takes to survive in a situation like this, but I felt sad when reading in detail how they had to kill the animals. The men are very motivated in everything they do, which you see in each chapter. I wonder if their motivation will fall soon, or if they will try to keep it going strong.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Endurance: Section 2

Section two was absolutely much more digestible than the first.  I found it interesting and to be much more adventurous.  The men had somewhat accepted the ship's prolonged dying process and began salvaging what they could from her.  They finally set up a long-term(ish) camp where they could survive.  They were still hungry and very driven by food.  Worsely had written something along the lines of all the men could think about was food.  This was something they had never experienced before and unusual to them.   I was also particularly intrigued by Shackleton's adaptability with his men.  He seemed as if he knew them better than they did because he was able to read them and word things in a way they not only heard but understood and accepted it.  This is going to be key to reduce hostility and increase survival on their voyage.

Part II

Like most of my classmates, I also think that part II was a much easier section to read. It flowed better than part I. Although I was intrigued by this story from the beginning, I was really interested in the story line in this part and what will happen in future parts. To start, the men's motivation for food correlates with the class discussion on food and the need to satisfy hunger. It can easily be tied in because the men were willing to eat whale blubber just to satisfy their hunger. They would eat anything that would get their minds off of food. I can't imagine being in that predicament but I think I would feel the same and eat anything to satisfy my hunger. Also, despite the fact that they are in awful conditions, the attitude of the men seems very positive from their diary writings and actions. As a whole they don't let these tough conditions break them down and get the best of them. They continually push and keep a good mindset. It is very inspiring. I wonder if this motivation and positivity will continue in the next sections. Shackleton is also a very motivational leader and I like his leadership. He keeps the men going . It is important for him to have a positive presence on the men because they look up to him and I think they feed off of his attitude. I look forward to reading part III.

Endurance #2

I very much enjoyed reading this section of the book because it cut right to the survival aspect of it all. Also during this section, we got to read about Shackleton's feelings (more negative) to some of the crew members and how he stopped mutiny and people from quitting. He put different types of people into assigned tents and when a person did disobey him, Shackleton set him straight by pointing out that survival is key and that his job needs to be done wether on sea or on land. Though, I admire all of the crew members' work and their efforts towards getting things done no matter the weather, the low or high moods, and the fact that the Endurance was vanishing quickly. Their ability to still go on with their  daily schedules of work and even play astonishes me and gives hope and light onto their situation. I also admire Shacketon's strong leadership qualities and how he is quickly able to evaluate a situation and know his options. A shocking moment in the book was when he put down the valued Bible given by the Queen and only took the pages he truly needed.  We see in this chapter though, that the big responsibility of the crew and their lives weighs heavily on his heart and mind. I am interested in seeing how their journey with the lifeboats and the supplies that they were allowed to bring with them will turn out.