15 January 2010

Photo finish Friday: Antarctic Explorers

It all began with this arresting image:

And before my retinas had even finished processing what I'd seen, I'd added Ernest Shackleton's expedition of Antarctica on the Endurance to my ever-lengthening list of obsessions.

If you haven't seen any of the documentaries about this, put one on your Netflix queue already. One of the most extraordinary elements of the story is how well-documented it was, as it occured.

After his awe-inspiring exploits, Endurance second officer Tom Crean returned to his hometown, put away his medals, opened a pub, and never spoke of his Antarctic adventures again. He died at the age of sixty-one, of an infection from a ruptured appendix. Lack of immediate medical care finished off what starvation and brutal cold could not.

Modest Mr. Crean, I salute you.

Tom Crean's South Pole Inn, Annascaul, Co. Kerry, Ireland

1 comment:

  1. From my friend JM:
    "I have two books on Shackleton's adventures and cant believe they haven't done a full-blown out Hollywood production on his life story yet!

    When I was in New Zealand there was this amazing world travelling show 'Endurance' that had stopped for a few weeks at the Wellington museum which had two full floor displays off memorabilia,books,clothes and even the small little lifeboat the James Chaird (if memory serves me correctly) from Elephant Island was there at the exhibition in its full restored glory!
    And his granddaughter gave a talk too.

    One of the highlights of the trip for NZ!"

    Hey JM! I was lucky enough to see this exhibit, too; at the Dublin Nat'l Museum @ Collins Barracks. Wasn't it fantastic? Good memory -- the lifeboat was called the James Caird!