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Shackleton's Boat Journey: The Narrative From The Captain Of The Endurance

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  465 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Shackleton's 1914 Antarctic expedition is trapped when their ship gets stuck in pack ice. Worsley was the ship's captain, and narrates the story of this remarkable journey, in which not a single man was lost, despite the unspeakable hardships.
ebook, 156 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Narrative Press (first published January 1st 1640)
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Feb 10, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd already read Worsley's "Endurance" and fell in love with the land of Ice. That book covers their entire journey while this little book zooms in on the truly horrifyingly-exciting adventure of that story: The last leg of an amazing time in the Antarctic by Shackleton et al.
Worsley's account of the Endurance journey is my personal favorite so when I stumbled upon this at my public library I grabbed it quick. You know how some story tellers just are more captivating than all the others? That's
Claire Scott
Holy mackerel! It took a little getting into because there was just so much sailing vocabulary I didn't know, but I ended up reading through without stopping (much to my chagrin tomorrow morning, I expect).

Recommended by a patron as this is the 100th anniversary of Shackleton's expedition. A surprisingly fast read and a gripping adventure, plus the added thrill of being a memoir by a man who actually referred to Sir Ernest* as "Shacks."

*("For scientific discover, give me Scott; for speed and e
Apr 09, 2012 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read as much as I could put my hands on regarding the Endurance expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton. There is simply not a better adventure story out there than this one. Worsley was Shackleton's ship captain; a man of courage, strength, and determination.

Worsley was also an amazing seaman, navigating a 22 foot open boat hundreds of miles through uncharted waters in a hurricane. Amazing just doesn't cover it. But don't start with this book. "Endurance" is his seminal work and you should b
Oct 21, 2008 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. What a crazy adventure. What could be more fun then hanging with Shackleton in Antarctica? I could almost feel the cold as I read this book. Burr.
Kevin Webster
Jan 10, 2017 Kevin Webster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! That this group of humans survived this journey is nothing short of amazing. And 100 years ago! It seemed to take forever to read it; mostly because I paused at the photos for so long. 143 pages should not take so long, but I felt exhausted reading along, as the crew met trial after trial.

Worsley has a great way of telling the story, and although it was sometimes difficult with terminology (not being a seaman myself) I was caught up in it. It makes Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Surviva
Debbie Johansson
Jul 07, 2011 Debbie Johansson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the past few years I have become interested in stories of survival. Every now and again I watch such shows as Man vs Wild and I Shouldn’t Be Alive. However, the most amazing story of survival that I know of is that of Shackleton’s 1914-16 expedition to Antarctica.

Shackleton’s Boat Journey, written by F.A Worsley, captain of the H.M.S Endurance, begins after this ship was crushed by ice. The twenty-eight party members then endured living on ice floes for five months before finally reaching an
John Mccullough
Nov 25, 2014 John Mccullough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant courageous héros. Barking mad. Both. In an attempt to have British explorers the first to cross Antarctica, Sir Ernest Shackleton mounted an expedition in 1914. Sailing the ship Endurance into the Weddle Sea, they became beset by ice and the ship eventually crushed. This book,written by the ship's captain, Frank A. Worsley, documents the trek from the crushed ship, using three small (20 to 22 feet long) boats from the Weddell Sea to Elephant Island to South Georgia over the course of s ...more
I read this edition, written by the captain of this epic expedition thinking that the first-person account would be the very best. I felt like I got a good overview of the basic facts, but from kind of a quiet, humble old sailor. His own name isn't even in the title of the book! He starts when the voyage begins and ends at the end. He reveres Shackleton from start to finish. I liked this guy and appreciated him for telling this incredible story almost casually. As if; "That's what you do". One c ...more
Rick Hollis
Feb 09, 2014 Rick Hollis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I have read a number of books about Shackleton and his disastrous Antarctic trip. Most are extracts of the real history, pieced together the way histories usually are. This is the real thing. Worsley wrote the book, seven years after he was a key character in the actual events.

Worsely was the navigator. He was not the one who got the Endurance hopelessly caught it the pack ice. He was the won who navigated the three boats from the edge of the ice to Elephant Island. He was the one who navigate t
Another truly great adventure story (although the saga of how he came to be in the predicament is a rather sorry one,) is that of Shackleton’s great boat journey. After his ship became trapped and crushed in the ice during an abortive attempt at a sea-to-sea overland journey across Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton led a group of six men (the remaining crew were left behind to wait for rescue) in a 22-foot boat across some 800 miles of the stormiest ocean known to man at the height of winter. The vo ...more
Stephanie Herron
Years ago I read Alfred Lansing's book "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage", and was totally gripped by the endurance and courage of these men. I always had a special interest in Frank Worsley as my parents retired to Akaroa (NZ) about 20 years ago and I have a photo of the house there in which he was born (marked by a plaque). Reading his own (extremely well written) first-hand account of the risky and heroic voyages on the open sea in tiny 20-22 foot open boats, first from the pack-ice ...more
Jul 10, 2013 Cameron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a thrilling account of one of the most daring, desparate and dangerous journeys ever undertaken.

It a short, no frills account from the lauch of the 3 boats from the ice floe to eventual successful rescue of the 22 men left on Elephat Island.

As it is a first hand account there is minimum surmising or post-fact elaboration.

If I had 1 critism is that the foot note about the "James Caird" being at the National Maritime Museum is out of date - the boat is at Dulwich College again.

I would reco
Dec 12, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic little adventure story. The writing is quite vibrant and feels fresh; the only unfortunate thing is that the author assumes a familiarity with some navigational devices and the geography of the area, which I think is unfamiliar to the modern reader. You can't fault him for that - after all, the book is a hundred years old, but it does mean that there are some confusing passages.

Still, highly worth reading as a late-Victorian tale of real-life adventure, by someone who was actually ther
Jerry Smith
May 26, 2008 Jerry Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jerry by:
Shelves: history
This is a fascinating read, written by someone who was actually on the tip and therefore all the more powerful for that. It is couched in terms and language of the day so also makes for a great insight into the thinking of the times.

It is hard to imagine that world in today's high tech situation. If Shackleton hadn't braved this journey all his party would probably have died - nobody knew where they were and of course there was no way for them to contact the outside world.

It is a relatively sho
Sep 30, 2015 Tawny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
A first-hand account of Sir Ernest Shackleton's disastrous expedition to Antarctica. Favorite lines:
1. "At all times [Shackleton] inspired men with a feeling, often illogical, that, even if things got worse, he would devise some means of easing their hardships" (170).
2. "It seemed to me that among all [Shackleton's] achievements and triumphs, great as they were, his one failure was the most glorious. By self-sacrifice and throwing his own life into the balance he saved every one of his men--not
Greg Brozeit
Jan 10, 2014 Greg Brozeit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: polar
A wonderful short book recommended for anyone who is familiar with the Shackleton Endurance expedition and wants to read more. Worsley was the captain of the Endurance and was also the navigator on the rescue journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia and over the South Georgia mountains to Stromness Bay. This is his recollection of the trip from when the crew left the ice pack for Elephant Island through the ultimate rescue of the entire crew. Not a good starting point to learn about the ill ...more
Oct 29, 2013 Maria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was short and an easy read. It was a journal format for one of the people that was with Sir Shackleton. The amazing thing is how beautiful he described Shackleton's leadership qualities. There was a definite devotion that his men had for him. He did not lose one person on this unfortunate event of being stranded. And he cared immensely for all of his men. It is also a tribute to what we as humans are able to endure when it comes to hardships but also ingenuity in survival skills.
A fascinating contrast to Shackleton's South, written in a much more informal style and focusing primarily on the titular boat journey to South Georgia. It's a great narrative no matter who writes it, and Worsley's buoyant prose leaves you in awe of what he and the others on the James Caird lived through without being depressing. Some of the language is outdated, but still a good and engaging introduction to the Endurance expedition.
This is a first-hand recounting of the voyages of three small boats from the Antarctic pack ice to Elephant Island and then of one boat on to South Georgia, including the subsequent hike over the island to the whaling station. Though not as smoothly written as Lansing's "Endurance," which my dad read me several times as a child, you get a much stronger feeling for the hardships involved in these amazing feats.
Dec 19, 2013 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Great first-hand account of the what the crew of the Endurance went through. I'm just still in awe of what they all went through, and physical dangers they survived. You could clearly see the admiration and loyalty Worsley had for Shackleton as a leader. After reading Alfred Lansing's "Endurance", this felt much more personal, and it was kind of fun to hear some of the humor and personal thoughts through the whole ordeal.
Mar 11, 2015 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, exploration
What an amazing tale! I found the book gripping throughout even though I knew how it would end. I was continually amazed by the courage, endurance and tenacity shown by all the members of Shackleton's expedition in what were often truly appalling conditions. It's hard to believe that anybody survived being constantly wet and cold, often going without sleep and sufficient food or water. An uplifting account and a great pleasure to read.
Nick Gibson
Aug 06, 2016 Nick Gibson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rip-roaring adventure that depicts the collegiate, near-suicidal bravado of those at the tail end of the exploration age. A story about men that should humble the modern reader with seemingly unattainable courage and perseverance in face of suffering and hardship. Most poignant is the looming shadow of the World War that would soon wipe this class of adventurers into the open grave of trench warfare.
Jan 14, 2016 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am already a fan of all things Shackleton and this account of the efforts made to rescue his men from Elephant Island just reinforces his supreme leadership qualities and the toughness of these adventurers in an age where rescue wasn't just a satellite phone call away. Written by Frank Worsley, the skipper of Endurance, its a powerful description of the fearsome Southern Ocean and biting cold they survived crossing literally uncharted sea and land.
Jan 18, 2014 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With humor and compassion, the captain of the Endurance in 1914 writes his narrative of the harrowing sea journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island, across the mountains to the whaling station, and, finally, rescuing his shipmates on Elephant Island. His anecdotes and asides are wonderful.
Mar 03, 2011 Kimberly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kimberly by: book club January 2011
Shelves: book-club
I loved the story behind this book. It is an amazing story of survival and endurance. It shows incredible leadership and a drive for survival. There are several books about this journey and I think some of the others may have been written in a way I would have enjoyed a little more. This account was very factually and not as engaging to me but I still loved the story.
Jun 21, 2012 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
And you can see and touch the James Caird in London at Dulwich College. It is inspiring to see it and amazing to touch it. I've seen a replica in the Maritime Museum in London, but take a couple hours and see the real thing.

The story is hair raising and at the end of it you want to shake Worsley's hand.
Joe White
One of the original small boat expeditions, though under forced conditions. This is exceptionally comparative material for any of the contemporary ocean rows that have sprung up.
There is also some mountaineering and lots of ice expedition narrative for those seeking cold adventures.
Jill Bramhall
Aug 03, 2016 Jill Bramhall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was such a gripping tale of total endurance in conditions I don't think any of us now could imagine. I admire the strength & courage of Shackleton & his men in such appalling conditions that lasted 18 months.
Mar 30, 2014 Kellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow! This first hand account makes the story even more gripping and nail biting! I was touched by the many instances of Worsley's acknowledgement of God's hand in their journey. Just an unbelievable story.
Oct 02, 2008 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first-person narrative by the captain of Shackleton's ship as he, Shackleton, and a small crew made a daring sea voyage to get help for the remainder of their stranded crew. Lots of fascinating details about survival in the polar sea.
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