What were the hardships faced by Shackleton and his expedition to Antarctica?

              Ernest Shackleton set out on the ‘Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition’ in 1914. The expedition faced terrible hurdles throughout the journey. Their ship ‘Endurance’ became beset in the ice of the Weddell Sea on the way. He and his crew were forced to spend the whole of the 79 days of the winter there. Finally, the crew was forced to abandon the ship, because it was about to be crushed by the ice.

               However, they had saved a large quantity of food and gear, as well as their three boats. For three months the ice floes took them further to the north. Food shortage became acute as weeks passed. They caught seals and ate their meat. So they could conserve the remaining packaged rations. The most dangerous thing was the cracking up of ice. Sometimes, huge killer whales charged up from below, and sought to attack them.

               Later, Shackleton found that instead of making good progress westwards, they had actually travelled 48 kilometres to the east, as a result of the drifting ice. However, they finally made a landfall on an uninhabited island known as the Elephant Island.