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"Strive to the Uttermost"

Our hardy team seized an opportunity to pay homage to Sir Ernest Shackleton at South Georgia Island's most hallowed grounds, the retired whaling settlement of Grytviken.

The Grytviken Station Church

In 1916, Grytviken served as the nerve center for Shackleton's painstaking and ultimately successful efforts to organize the rescue of his crew who were stranded over 800 miles away on Elephant Island. Six years later on a different expedition, Shackleton passed away onboard the ship Quest while it was anchored just offshore. His widow determined that Grytviken would be Shackleton's final resting place. In 2011 the remains of Frank Wild, Shackleton's right hand man, were interred alongside "The Boss" in Grytviken cemetery.

PolarExplorers Director and Guide, Annie Aggens at Shackleton's Grave

In tribute to Shackleton's remarkable perseverance and lifelong love of poetry, a paraphrased snippet from the Robert Burns poem "The Statue and the Bust" adorns the backside of his headstone:

I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life's set prize

Our team, no doubt, can relate to striving to the uttermost in light of yesterday's massive and commendable team effort in descending Turnback Glacier to the shores of Fortuna Bay while being assailed by whipping wind and blinding rain.

Grytviken ceased operation as a whaling stating in 1966, but the station church (where Shackleton's funeral was held) and South Georgia Heritage Trust Museum remain open to visitors. It is an amazing, impossibly tiny patch of "civilization" and significant history in the midst of thousands upon thousands of miles of wilderness.

Tonight the team will celebrate with a barbecue onboard the Plancius. Tomorrow will be their last day along the shores of South Georgia before returning to South America.


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