"It was love at first sight."
- William Bakewell, on first seeing the Endurance at dock in Buenos Aires
On leaving England, the Endurance made ports of call at Madeira, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, where she was joined by Shackleton himself; he had delayed his departure to attend to business. Here, Shackleton replaced four unsatisfactory members of the crew before heading for South Georgia Island. The ship's company included 28 men, 69 Canadian sledging dogs and the carpenter's cat, Mrs. Chippy. This was one man more than Shackleton at first realized--a day out of Buenos Aires, he discovered a young stowaway, who joined the ship's company as steward.
Their 300-ton ship Endurance was equipped with both sail and a steam engine fired by coal. She had been built at a renowned shipyard in Norway especially to withstand the ice. The ship was originally named Polaris, but Shackleton re-christened her Endurance after his family motto: "By endurance we conquer."