“In memories we were rich. We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had ‘suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole.’ We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that nature renders. we had reached the naked soul of man.”(Shackleton, South, describing the end of the crossing of South Georgia)
Ten days after landing, with frostbitten feet, Shackleton, Crean, and Worsely headed out on foot for the whaling stations, 22 miles away. With only a compass to guide them, they trekked over the mountainous interior of the island, with screws from the Caird sticking out of the soles of their boots for traction. Along with the compass the men carried only enough food for three days, a carpenters adze, and 90 feet of rope. Shackleton’s drive to return to his men was great as he states in his book “South”, “Over on Elephant Island 22 men were waiting for the relief that we alone could secure for them. Their plight was worse than ours. We must push on somehow.”
After marching without rest for 36 hours straight, on May 20, 1916, Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean walked into South Georgia’s Stromness Station. Unrecognizable at first in their rags and dirty faces, Shackleton and his men were greeted with enthusiasm and concern by the station manager, Mr. Sorlle. The whaling station members quickly reunited Shackleton with his men on the other side of South Georgia. They began planning a rescue for the crewmembers left on Elephant Island.