On the March
10-27-15. "For the Crew of the Endurance from Alexandra, May 31, 1914. May the Lord help you to do your duty & guide you through all dangers by land and sea. May you see the Works of the Lord & all His wonders in the Deep."
- Inscription in ship Bible presented by Queen Alexandra
At first, Shackleton hoped to march to land some 300 miles to the northwest, hauling the lifeboats and sledging rations that had been evacuated from the Endurance. Knowing they would have to travel light, Shackleton announced that only bare necessities could be taken; dramatically he deposited his own gold watch and the ship's Bible on the ice by way of example. Puppies born on board the ship and Mrs. Chippy, the cat, were shot, much to the regret of all.
Shackleton eventually made two attempts to march to land, both futile. The dogs successfully hauled the sledges loaded with supplies, but it was left to the men to pull the lifeboats. Loaded, the boats weighed at least a ton each, and it proved impossible to haul them over the colossal upheavals of ice. Nor could the boats be left behind, as beneath the unreliable ice was the ocean, countless fathoms deep. Helplessly, the men watched to see if the drift of the pack would carry them to land. Meanwhile, they could only wait. The men named their second encampment "Patience Camp."