Endurance trapped in Ice


Endurance trapped in Ice 66cm x 51cm Original Oil on Canvas Board by Ian Hansen

 Sir Ernest Shackleton’s voyage to Antarctica 1915, planning to cross the Continent via the South Pole. Only 80 mile short of their intended starting point, the Endurance became trapped in the pack-ice in Jan 1915.  The Endurance had drifted at least 1186 miles since first becoming fast in the ice 281 days previously, she was 346 miles from Paulet Island, the nearest point where there was any possibility of finding food and shelter.  Shackleton ordered the boats, gear, provisions and sledges lowered onto the ice.  The men pitched five tents 100 yards from the ship but were forced to move when a pressure ridge started to split the ice beneath them. “Ocean Camp” was established on a thick, heavy floe about a mile and a half from what was fast becoming the wreck of the Endurance.  The Endurance finally broke up and sank below the ice and waters of the Weddell Sea on November 21st 1915. The men had saved as many supplies as they could (including Frank Hurley’s precious photo archive) before she disappeared.

The crew provisioned 3 of the ship’s boats and skidded them over the ice until they reached open water and sailed to the remote Elephant Island. Realising their chance of being rescued were nil, Shackleton selected 5 of the fittest men to take the largest boat, James Caird 22’ long, to sail 1300 km to the Norwegian whaling base at South Georgia. Shackleton made it and returned to rescue the remainder of his crew without losing a man.

Born in South Australia in 1948, Ian’s childhood years were spent on the shores of Hervey Bay. It was here that his deep love of the sea and ships began. By the age of eight, he was actively painting with watercolour, moving to oils when he was eleven. His first oil work still hangs in his studio in Hunters Hill. Joining the Navy at fifteen, Ian served for twelve years continually painting the ships and scenes he observes on his travels. On leaving the navy Ian decided to paint full time and eventually settled in Sydney.

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