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. 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the part that you mention about the men being in the ocean with the 30 foot waves. I could not imagine being stuck in the middle of the ocean with nothing to protect me, and having 30 foot waves crashing around me. I also couldn't imagine seeing whales popping out of the ocean without being on a huge ship that could protect me from them.This section of the book was very intense and very exciting.