Cold Feet

A Teacher's Tale

The brief but eventful history of Antarctica has yielded many great quotes so I thought it might be fun to collect a few goodies here for your delight.

"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised."

Apsley Cherry-Garrard

"Adventure is just bad planning"

Roald Amundsen

On the Continent itself:

“…whoever has resolution and perseverance to clear up this point by proceeding farther than I have done, I shall not envy him the honour of discovery, but I will be bold to say that the world will not be benefited by it.”

Captain James Cook


"...quickness of repartee was characteristic of Shackleton and indeed a key to his character. His aptitude for satire, for bantering his companions, could be embarassing and sometimes annoying. However, it was always done without malice. Shackleton was responsible for most of the nicknames on board Discovery, some of them given for reasons known only to himself"

Louis Bernacchi
Mate on the Discovery

“For scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen. But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton. Incomparable in adversity, he was the miracle worker who would save your life against all the odds and long after your number was up. The greatest leader that ever came on God's earth, bar none.”

Sir Raymond Priestley
Member of the Nimrod expedition

"At all times he inspired men with a feeling, often illogical, that, even if things got worse, he could devise some means of easing their hardships"

Frank Worsley
Skipper of the Endurance


"Honest and truthful himself, he was inclined at first to take people at their own valuation, which led, sometimes, to bad judging of men. But when he found out a fraud, he was quite ruthless in his reaction. ... However, he was very sensitive and highly strung, could not bear the sight of blood was full of tender sympathy for pain in animals and for the genuine troubles of his friends."

Louis Bernacchi
Mate on the Discovery

By Shackleton:

"Never for me the lowered banner, never the last endeavour."