Realizing this, Shackleton decided to try to reach the isolated whaling station on South Georgia island. One of the lifeboats — which Shackleton named the James Caird after the Scottish industrialist who had helped finance the expedition — was reinforced by the group’s carpenter to withstand the heavy seas of the South Atlantic, and Shackleton set sail with five others.
After a dangerous 800-mile crossing that took 16 days — one of history’s greatest open boat journeys — the group reached its destination. Shackleton was eventually able to organize a rescue of the remainder of his team on Elephant Island, including Hurley, and by 1917 bring them home with no loss of life.
One of Shackleton’s first questions on reaching England was, “When did the war end?” But the war was still on, and would drag on into the following year. And the sad postscript to the Endurance story is that some of the younger survivors of the expedition enlisted in the British forces and lost their lives fighting in France.
Hurley became a war photographer. He survived.
WHERE: The Ralls Gallery, 1516 31st St. NW
WHEN: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. through Nov 27.