Shackleton's Endurance at the discovery of the
Caird Coast, 16th January 1915
Research Station is built on the ice shelf in approximately 75oSouth,
Original Painting, 4" X 6", gouache 1999,
Copyright Michael Skidmore 1999
South Georgia on December 5th 1914.
Two days later she encountered the first of the ice pack near the South
Sandwich Islands. She continued due south towards the Antarctic Continent where
Shackleton intended to take the shore lead southwesterly. He was aiming
for the newly discovered Filchner Ice Shelf and land at Vahsel Bay at the head
of the Weddell Sea.
This was to be his starting point for the crossing of Antarctica.
However the pack ice was particularly extensive, and it took over six
weeks to force a passage southerly, reaching the Coats Land on the 10th January
Endurance then cruised southwesterly, along new coastline
until she was beset on 18th January some 352 km further on.
The new land was later named the Caird Coast after a principal benefactor
of the expedition.
At some stage Endurance passed where Halley Research Station in now situated, identifying the chaotic grounded ice of the McDonald Ice Rumples and the ice falls of the Dawson-Lambton Glacier discovered by Shackleton. Currently Halley Research Station is situated some 15 km from the ice cliffs of the edge of the Brunt Ice Shelf, lying between these two ice features. The painting shows Endurance sailing southwesterly along the ice cliffs of the Brunt Ice Shelf in the ice-free shore lead near the present location of Halley Research Station.
It will be recalled that in 1984 scientists at Halley Research Station
discovered the hole in the ozone layer which exists over the Antarctic continent
during the summer months. The ozone
layer protects everyone on the planet from the harmful effects of the sun's
ultra violet rays. The depletion in
the ozone layer is now being experienced in the northern hemisphere too.
Note: This painting was an early version of a design for a Millennium stamp issue featuring the saga of Sir Ernest Shackleton's 'Endurance' expedition - the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-17- in the Weddell Sea sector. The actual issue featured nine designs for the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic Territories. The text is an amended version of the script describing the stamp design
. Return to Home Page Painting Gallery