Friday, April 08, 2022

Fullbore Friday

Great men cannot do great things without a great staff.

Educated people know who Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton is, but who knows who Frank Worsley is?

Anyone who has been responsible for navigation should;

When the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was found nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in March 2022, it was located just 4 miles from its last known position, as recorded by the Endurance’s captain and navigator, Frank Worsley, in November 1915.

At the bottom of the world. No GPS, just math, the stars, and a bit of instinct ... and any hope of survival was riding on you.

When the Endurance was crushed, the crew had to get themselves to safety, or die on an ice floe adrift somewhere in the Southern Ocean. In April 1916, six months after the Endurance sank, the sea ice on which they had camped began to break up. The 28 men and their remaining gear and supplies loaded into three lifeboats – the James Caird, Dudley Docker and Stancomb Wills – each named for major donors to the expedition.

Worsley was in charge of getting them to land. As the journey began, Shackleton “saw Worsley, as navigating officer, balancing himself on the gunwale of the Dudley Docker with his arm around the mast, ready to snap the sun. He got his observation and we waited eagerly while he worked out the sight.”

To do that, he compared his measurement with the time on his chronometer and written tables of calculations

Read it all ... and remember, fact is always more interesting than fiction.

It is hard to find a man more focused on service.

During the First World War, Worsley captained the Q-ship PC.61 and was responsible for the sinking of a German U-boat, UC-33 by carrying out a skillful ramming manoeuvre. For this action Worsley was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Later in the war he worked in transportation of supplies in Arctic Russia, and in the North Russia Intervention against the Bolsheviks, earning a bar to his DSO. He was later appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. From 1921 to 1922, he served on Shackleton's last expedition to the Antarctic as captain of the Quest. In between berths in the Merchant Navy, he led an expedition to the Arctic Circle and participated in a treasure hunt on Cocos Island. He wrote several books relating to his experiences in polar exploration and his sailing career.

During the Second World War, Worsley initially served with the International Red Cross in France and Norway. In 1941, he falsified his age so he could rejoin the Merchant Navy. When officials discovered his actual age, he was released from duty. He died from lung cancer in England in 1943.

There is a man to benchmark yourself against.

Be humble.


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