Monday, March 14, 2011

Ever heard of a ...

Sea Leopard? Imagine being stranded in the Antarctic floating from ice floe to ice floe along with 27 other explorers, doing everything to survive, living off of any animal you could bear to eat and suddenly out of the icy water jumps a Sea Leopard ready to destroy you.  Sea Leopards are identified by their spots and look much like a seal, but much more ferocious. Explorers killed two of them during the expedition. Sea Leopards as they were called in the book(actual term being Leopard Seals), measure up to 10 feet long and can weigh as much as 750 lbs. They're truly fierce predators.

 This tale of survival is one of many told in Alfred Lansing's, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage.  Ernest Shackleton, his third voyage to the Antarctica,  had a goal of trekking over the continent. Accompanied by 27 explorers in August 1914, they set sail hoping to do just that. By October, their ship Endurance was ice locked. Knowing their chance of surviving the ship wreck was virtually impossible, they unloaded the vast amount of food ( stores as they called it), equipment, boats, sleds and dogs and set out.

Lansing relies on the diaries of many of the survivors  and tells it so vividly you feel as if you're on the ship, camping on an ice floe or helping oar a boat as they search for civilization; a search that would take two years!  "..All around us, day after day, the same unbroken whiteness, unrelieved by anything at all....."

Learn how they survived, hunger, thirst, frostbite, storms and boredom in what a bookseller told me is the authoritative book on the subject.

I'd like to thank one of our readers for the suggestion! Keep em coming!

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