Day 18

Daily Distance:
Total Distance:
80° 18' / 168° 04'

Read the Journal Entry for Day 18

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 18 December 1, 2008

Another good day with 14.3 nm covered. Listen to Henry Worsley's report as he describes imagining walking and talking with Shackleton, and what they discussed.

The team have sent a couple of photos.

Listen to Henry Worsley describe the Photos.

This photo is of a parahelion, caused by a refraction from falling ice crystals high in the sky. When they fall perpendicular to sun rays, a parahelion is formed. The halo is where the ice crystals are most concentrated, and the light does the most effect. If you look closely (not too closely of course) you can notice that the sky inside the parahelion is slightly darker than the sky on the outside. That is due to the ice crystals. Parahelions do not occur every day because it is only in rare instances where the ice crystals fall in a perpendicular fashion.


The photo below is of the various teddys that are being carried on the expedition, pictured inside the tent. The teddy on the right is Robert Swan's teddy, which has previously travelled to both the North and South Poles!



1. Sitrep No 18 as at 0725 hrs GMT 01 Dec 08
2. Distance Covered Today : 14.3 nm
3. Total Distance Covered : 185.4 nm
4. Daily Average to Date: 10.39 nm
5. Hours travelled: 7
6. Days to RV on Jan 9 at 97 Mile Point: 40
7. Distance to RV: 508.39 nm
8. Distance to Pole: 605.39 nm
9. Required Daily Average to achieve RV: 12.71 nm

December 1st, 1908

Started at 8 A.M. today. Quan has been growing weaker each hour, and we practically pulled the sledge. We passed over three undulations, and camped at 1 P.M. In the afternoon we only did four miles, Quan being led by Wild. He also led Socks with one sledge, whilst Adams, Marshall, and I hauled 200 1b. each on the other sledge, over a terribly soft surface. Poor old Quan was quite finished when we came to camp at 6 P.M., having done 12 miles 200 yards, so he was shot. We all felt losing him, I particularly, for he was my special horse ever since he was ill last March. I had looked after him, and in spite of all his annoying tricks he was a general favorite. He seemed so intelligent. Still it was best for him to go, and like the others he was well fed to the last. We have now only one pony left, and are in latitude 83° 16' South.

Ahead of us we can see the land stretching away to the east, with a long white line in front of it that looks like a giant Barrier, and nearer a very crusted-up appearance, as though there were great pressure ridges in front of us. It seems as though the Barrier end had come, and that there is now going to be a change in some gigantic way in keeping with the vastness of the whole place. We fervently trust that we will not be delayed in our march south. We are living mainly on horsemeat now, and on the march, to cool our throats when pulling in the hot sun, we chew some raw frozen meat.

There was a slight breeze for a time today, and we felt chilly, as we were pulling stripped to our shirts. We wear our goggles all the time, for the glare from the snow surface is intense and the sky is cloudless. A few wisps of fleecy cloud settle on the tops of the loftiest mountains, but that is all. The surface of the Barrier still sparkles with the million frozen crystals which stand apart from the ordinary surface snow. One or two new peaks came in sight today, so we are ever adding to the chain of wonderful mountains that we have found. At one moment our thoughts are on the grandeur of the scene, the next of what we would have to eat if only we were let loose in a good restaurant. We are very hungry these days, and we know that we are likely to be for another three months.

One of the granite cliffs we are nearing is over 6000 ft. sheer, and much bare rock is showing, which must have running water on it as the hot sun plays down. The moon was visible in the sky all day and it was something familiar, yet far removed from these days of hot sunshine and wide white pathways. The temperature is now plus 16°F, and it is quite warm in the tent.

Day 18 Report

  1. Day 18 Report
  2. Day 18 Sitrep

Day 18: Overview

Distance covered:
14.3 nm
10 mph
High cloud and sun

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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