Sunday, January 31, 2016

Antarctica Journal Entry—Part 2

Here is part 2 of the fictional journal entry I wrote that ya'll have been waiting so patiently for. To read part 1, click HERE. Now, without further ado, here you go! Enjoy!

April 1916—Elephant Island

Since my last journal entry in last November, much has befallen me and my partners. Life has treated us harshly and it is a miracle we are still alive. After that fateful day when the Endurance shattered and sank, we have been using every ounce of strength for mere survival. For months we have struggled to reach somewhere—anywhere that is solid ground. Our camps have been made upon ice flows on the Weddell Sea. Sometimes, we awaken during the night to the ice splitting beneath our camp and we all must hurry to break camp and get on the same side of the ice lest we be split up and certainly die.

During the days, we have little time to rest. We must trek forward when we can, even though we are cold, exhausted, and hungry. Many times our boots fill with snow and threaten to freeze our feet stiff. Every step is an effort. Were it not for the firm and steadfast leadership of Captain Shackleton, we might give up in despair. However, thank God for the man who does not let us give up. He pushes us on through thick and thin, exhaustion and cold, hunger and fear. He has kept our hope alive, though it often is meager. Some days we have more hope than others, but always we have an inward struggle that threatens to overwhelm us. I suspect even the Captain has his own difficult moments though he tries hard to conceal it. It is such as blessing to have him lead us. Without him, I know that by now we would not have survived even this far.

Many days we have difficulties finding food. It is wonderful when we can eat seal, fish, or penguin. Yet more often than not we cannot find any form of food that is trapped behind the ice. On days such as these, it sorrows my heart to admit that we have had to eat our faithful dogs. No matter what, our rations are little and we are constantly hungry. Sometimes it is a wonder to me that some of the men have not resorted to sneaking food but I am sure that it is because of Captain Shackleton's firm hand. He has made it very clear that if we are to survive this time of hardship, we must stick together.

Six days ago, we spotted the ice breaking up. Some might think this a relief to us, but it is not so. With no other way off Antarctica, we had to drop the lifeboats in the water and brave the icy waves and icebergs. We knew that this might well have been the end for us if a boat were to be sliced open by ice. Even the freezing waters that splashed upon us could have frozen us to death. Most certainly, every part of our bodies felt frozen but we rowed on for many sleepless nights. We pushed onward as we knew that this was our only chance of survival. Our frost-bitten fingers grew painful blisters—had we been able to feel them. Even these blisters were frozen! For several days, I thought that we would die of, if nothing else, the cold water drenching us.

However, after five days being tossed about on the sea, our hope was once more restored by the sight of land! True, it was uninhabited, but it was solid ground! It is called Elephant Island. It is the first solid ground we have set foot on in 497 days! This is where I currently write from. We arrived yesterday. Captain Shackleton and a few of the men are trying to devise a plan for rescue but it seems that the treacherous Drake Passage stands in our way. Many of the men are discouraged, including myself.

I pray that the Lord has not brought us this far only to die, but maybe He has. I continue to pray daily for our rescue, safety, and that each of us may return to our families unharmed before too long. The longing I have for my wife and children is overwhelming. My heart aches to think about them. I miss them more than words can express. How I hope that we will soon be reunited!

I did not realize until this moment that the men are gathering around the Captain. Hopefully he has a plan. I will do my best to record the going-ons of these next few weeks, but I know that we will be having much difficulty and may not have time to write. Perhaps I will manage to record some later, but now I must go.

And that concludes part two! I hope that you enjoyed it. The concluding part will come soon— stay tuned! Let me know what you think and if you have studied the various south pole expeditions. Would you like to see more posts of this sort? Have a good evening!

8 comments:

  1. Great post, Bethany. Yes!!! I want to read the next entry. I've never read the story of Captain Shackleton, but I've seen an excellent mini-series on his South Pole expedition. I think I have it on DVD if you want to borrow it sometime.

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    1. I will have to do that! Thanks for the offer! I'm so happy that you are having (it sounds like) as much fun reading these posts as I am writing them! Hopefully you won't have to wait a super long time before I can get up part 3.

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  2. Wow, this is amazing! :) You're talented, Bethany. I would love to read more of this kind of thing, and I'll be looking forward to reading part three soon!! :D

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    1. Thanks, Faith! It means a lot to hear that from such a great writer as you! :-) If others would also like to read more of this sort of thing then I'd be happy to do them. I really enjoy writing them. Part 3 coming soon!

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  3. What a neat way to write a story!
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. I'm glad that you liked it! I like telling stories like this.

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  4. Yay! Part 2! Great job again and I can't wait to read more!

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    1. Thanks! I'll try to get part 3 done soon!

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Bethany R.