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Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance

April 12 #1 To see this portion of the diary in the original, click the image above.
Diary of a Survivor
12 April 1916

By nightfall the weather was getting colder and wetter and once more we had to nerve ourselves up for another nightmare night to be spent in the boats.

At first it looked as if we might be able to make some sort of a camp on a floe, to the lee side of which we moored ourselves for a time to take shelter, but on the floe swinging round, our side became the windward side and drift ice descended upon us so suddenly that we had to cut the painter in order to escape in time from the embraces of the ice blocks, thereby losing eight fathoms of good rope. We made the three boats fast to one another and so spent another wretched night in the open, improving matters a little by drawing the remains of a tent over us, but it was bitterly cold and no one got any sustained sleep. In spite of everything, Lees snored as usual and denied it in the morning.

Before "turning in," save the mark, we prepared a hot beverage of milk, cooking it over a primus lamp in each boat. Never was a hot drink more welcome, especially as, as it subsequently transpired, this was the last one we had in the boats.

The filling of the lamps and boiling of the milk certainly reflect great credit on those who conducted operations with the boats bobbing about all the time, nor did the milk taste of parafin [sic] in the slightest degree notwithstanding that a good deal was spilled about whilst filling the primus lamp.

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