Friday, November 9, 2012
This section of the book is by far the most nerve wracking. It seems that everything that can go wrong did go wrong. The first chapter begins with the men being forced into three boats (the James Caird, the Dudley Docker, and the Stancomb Willis) with Patience Camp quickly fading from their view. The men aren't concerned with anything besides escaping the ice and surviving the harsh sea. The team manages to make decent headway before stopping on a heavy floe for a night's rest. During their short time on the floe, it cracks, sending Ernie Holness into the freezing cold water and Shackleton into the darkness. The following day the men abandon the floe and continue their journey.The men then end up on a "floe berg," which also ends up disintegrating beneath their feet.From this point on the men stay in their boats and suffer through multiple cold, sleepless nights. What these men endure is amazing. They suffer through exhaustion from constant rowing, freezing cold salt water, high winds, close living quarters, high waves, sinking boats, frozen stiff clothes, and sleepless nights. The three boats even end up getting separated, which led the men to believe that their crew mates were permanently lost at sea. I do not think I would have been able to make it through those kinds of living conditions. It was truly inspiring to see that despite their disheartening situation the men never gave up. Their motivation did not dwindle. Thankfully this sections ends on a high note for the men. The Caird and Willis mange to reunite with the Dockers while both groups approach the first piece of land they have seen in 497 days. All three boats make landfall and the crew is finally on solid, unsinkable land. This section of the book kept me on the edge of my seat. I was so worried about the crew because it seemed like some of them weren't going to make it. Their motivation never ceases to amaze me. Even in the toughest situations they managed to pull together and pull through whatever is thrown at them.