Aboard Endurance main content.

Aboard Endurance

Part of the Shackleton exhibition.

"7-14-15 A mild blizzard set in during the morning.... It is bitterly cold and no one is allowed away from the ship. We are not anxious however. The alluring cosiness of the Ritz being too enticing. All day the wind screams in our rigging."

- Frank Hurley, Diary


In mid-March, the officers and scientists moved from their exposed deck-house cabins to the better insulated after-hold. Winter temperatures would get as low as -30 degrees Farenheit excluding wind chill. The new quarters, consisting of two rows of cubicles with a long table in between, were nicknamed "The Ritz."

The sailors remained in the fo'c's'le, the forward quarters, which was already insulated between decks. Although living in separate quarters and taking meals apart, the men of the wardroom and fo'c's'le were not entirely segregated. Sports, occasional entertainment "events" and ship duties were shared by both groups. Most importantly, from his early days in the merchant marine, Shackleton was known for his social ease with both officers and men. On the Endurance, he took pains to defer to the sailors, ensuring that they received the first allotments of winter clothing and respecting that, no longer the crew of a working ship, they were not required to perform night watchman duties.

"Amongst gentlemen quarrels should and can be avoided," wrote Orde-Lees in his diary. For the beset Endurance, the only real disturbances came from the restless ice outside.