Shackleton’s Island

There are many historical stories to be told about South Georgia. About its discovery, about the whaling and in connection to several expeditions. But the person that is most connected with the island, is Sir Ernest Shackleton. His famous ‘Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (better known as the Endurance expedition) through the Weddell Sea started and ended on South Georgia.

 

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Cemetery on South Georgia with Shackleton’s and Wild’s graves

Shackleton’s life also ended on South Georgia. On 5th January 1922, he suffered a fatal heart attack. While his body was en route to Britain to be buried there, they received a message from his wife, Emily, who said that he was to be buried on South Georgia. In the little cemetery (mainly with graves from the whaling era), there now is one grave that is facing a different direction. Shackleton was buried facing to his beloved South. In 2011, the ashes of his second in command and right hand, Frank Wild, were buried next to him.

Tradition wants that everybody who visits this cemetery proposes a toast to the Boss, and pours the second half of the glass of whisky over his grave.

 

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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