One hundred years ago this week Ernest Shackleton wrote in his diary:
"Tongue and pen fail in attempting to describe the magic of such a scene." He was in the crow's nest of the Nimrod on his way to try to find true Geographical South Pole. The magical scene was one of huge icebergs sitting in a totally still sea. As the Nimrod moved slowly through the water the motion of the ship's propellers caused ice and snow to crash down behind them, breaking what was otherwise absolute silence. He saw "ominous dark cloud" coming in from the North and became frozen with fear that the ship would get stuck in the ice.
Then, at 3pm on the afternoon of January 16th 1908 he saw open water ahead. His spirits lifted; he had reached the Ross Sea.
Although the Nimrod expedition failed to find the Geographical South Pole (they failed by only 112 miles, when shortage of food and terrible conditions made them turn back), Shackleton wrote the words in the title of this post.
He made three expeditions to the Antarctic - on the first (under the leadership of Scott) he had to be sent home ill; the Nimrod was the second and of course his most famous one, in the Endurance, was crushed in the ice before he could really start. But he was a brave man and the men he led knew of his greatness.
Roald Amundsen finally reached the South Pole in 1911.
What a lot has happened in those one hundred years!