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Tag: Ernest Shackleton

Polar Documentaries

Frozen Planet

I finally had some free time to catch up on a few documentaries this last month and spent part of the past two weeks watching the Frozen Planet series, which was released to DVD and Blu-ray earlier this year. Its quality matches that of the Blue Planet and Planet Earth series, and I was happy to see lots of behind the scene footage included where the film crews must deal with hazardous issues like hurricane speed winds, leopard seals, and killer whales (in one scene a pack teams up against some crew members in a small boat and push a coordinated wave towards them – the same technique they used to also knock seals off ice flows).

Another bonus was an inside look at the new research stations that have been built in Antarctica, which look like they would be fun to work in.

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Still Life

First published back in 2010, Still Life captures the preserved Antarctic huts left behind by the early explorers and Jane Ussher’s artistic photography sets a respectful tone which lets you focus on details which could otherwise be missed in other resources. The book has been in the spotlight lately with the resurgence of interest in Polar exploration history, and most recently was featured prominently in Nigel Cabourn’s Last Expedition exhibit for buyers and press.

Not to be missed, you can also now explore the insides of both huts and see many of the same objects shown in the book thanks to Google: Scott’s Hut and Shackleton’s Hut

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Shackleton’s Whisky – Revisited

The finding and reproduction of Ernest Shackleton’s whisky has been well publicized over the past two years, with the the most recent PR blitz happening last summer to support the start of sales in North America by Whyte & Mackay. I was skeptical of the whole thing at first, but after reading Charles McGrath’s excellent piece in the NYTimes along with the scientific analysis I was sold (I for one am glad to know that there is an Institute of Brewing).

If you’re a whisky fan, it’s worth tracking down a bottle I think. I’ve ended up with two myself – one for opening now and the other to save for years down the road.

Related: Looking for liquor references in Shackleton’s book


Historic Polar Images

The Scott Polar Research Institute has an incredible collection of photography from many famous polar expeditions and voyages available online, spanning the entire period of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Highlights include galleries for the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909, and 1910-1913 (split into several different collections by photographer: Ponting, Levick, Debenham).

The Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition is also well documented – it was the last adventure taken by Earnest Shackleton (who later died of a heart attack while the ship was docked in South Georgia in the Atlantic Ocean) and is considered by many to be the closing of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Shackleton (left) on board the Quest with Frank Worsley.

Quest pushing through ice.

Expedition members walking toward the camera.

Expedition members on deck.

See the rest of the images of the Shackleton Rowett Antarctic Expedition online.

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