Day 13

Daily Distance:
Total Distance:
79° 34' / 167° 49'

Read the Journal Entry for Day 13

Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Latest Expedition Update:

Day 26, 09 December Distance travelled: 304.5 nmi Temperature: -10 °C Conditions: Bathed in sunshine this evening Read Journal Entry
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Day 13 November 26, 2008

12.6 nm covered today, in heavy, low cloud and flat light, which made navigation very difficult.

Note that 100 years ago Shackleton had achieved a new "Farthest South", beating the previous record set on Capt Scott's 1902 Discovery Expedition.

Last night's campsite is shown in the picture below.


A photo of the team taken on about Day 2 is shown below.


The expedition has also featured on NZ Television. To see the clip click here.


1. Sitrep No 13 as at 0730 hrs GMT 26 Nov 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 12.6 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 141.5 nm
4. Daily Average to Date: 10.88 nm
5. Hours travelled: 7
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 45
7. Distance to RV: 552.29 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 649.29 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 12.27 nm




November 26th, 1908

A day to remember, for we have passed the "farthest South" previously reached by man. Tonight we are in latitude 82° 18V21 South, longitude 168° East, and this latitude we have been able to reach in much less time than on the last long march with Captain Scott, when we made latitude 82° I6V2' our "farthest South." We started in lovely weather this morning, with the temperature plus 19°F, and it has been up to plus 20°F during the day, giving us a chance to dry our sleeping bags. We were rather anxious at starting about Quan, who had a sharp attack of colic, the result no doubt of his morbid craving for bits of rope and other odds and ends in preference to his proper food. He soon got well enough to pull, and we got away at 7:40 A.M., the surface still very soft.

There are abundant signs that the wind blows strongly from the south southeast during the winter, for the sastrugi are very marked in that direction. There are extremely large circular crystals of snow on the Barrier surface, and they seem hard and brittle. They catch the light from the sun, each one forming a reflector that dazzles the eyes as one glances at the million points of light. As each hour went on today, we found new interest to the west, where the land lies, for we opened out Shackleton Inlet, and up the inlet lies a great chain of mountains, and far into the west appear more peaks; to the west of Cape Wilson appears another chain of sharp peaks about 10,000 ft. high, stretching away to the north beyond the Snow Cape, and continuing the land on which Mount A. Markham lies. To the south southeast ever appear new mountains. I trust that no land will block our path.

We celebrated the breaking of the "farthest South" record with a four-ounce bottle' of Curacao, sent us by a friend at home. After this had been shared out into two tablespoonfuls each, we had a smoke and a talk before turning in. One wonders what the next month will bring forth. We ought by that time to be near our goal, all being well.

NOTE. It falls to the lot of few men to view land not previously seen by human eyes, and it was with feelings of keen curiosity, not unmingled with awe, that we watched the new mountains rise from the great unknown that lay ahead of us. Mighty peaks they were, the eternal snows at their bases, and their rough-hewn forms rising high toward the sky. No man of us could tell what we would discover in our march south, what wonders might not be revealed to us, and our imaginations would take wings until a stumble in the snow, the sharp pangs of hunger, or the dull ache of physical weariness brought back our attention to the needs of the immediate present. As the days wore on, and mountain after mountain came into view, grimly majestic, the consciousness of our insignificance seemed to grow upon us.

We were but tiny black specks crawling slowly and painfully across the white plain, and bending our puny strength to the task of wresting from nature secrets preserved inviolate through all the ages. Our anxiety to learn what lay beyond was nonetheless keen, however, and the long days of marching over the Barrier surface were saved from monotony by the continued appearance of new land to the southeast.

Day 13 Report

  1. Day 13 Report
  2. Day 13 Sitrep

Day 13: Overview

Distance covered:
12.6 nm
10 mph
Heavy, low cloud and flat light.

The Heart of the Antarctic

This is the story of the “Farthest South” expedition, told by its leader. After enduring biting winds, short rations and crevasse-ridden glaciers for over a year, Shackleton’s party faced a desperate forced march to return to their ship, The Nimrod, or face being marooned on the ice.

Taken from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s own compelling chronicle of his first Antarctic expedition, written on his return in 1909.

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