Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Teaches Us … What?

Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Teaches Us … What?

From the BBC – 9 March, 2022

Scientists have found and filmed one of the greatest ever undiscovered shipwrecks 107 years after it sank.

The Endurance, the lost vessel of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, was found at the weekend at the bottom of the Weddell Sea.

The ship was crushed by sea-ice and sank in 1915, forcing Shackleton and his men to make an astonishing escape on foot and in small boats.

Video of the remains show Endurance to be in remarkable condition.

Even though it has been sitting in 3km (10,000ft) of water for over a century, it looks just like it did on the November day it went down.

Its timbers, although disrupted, are still very much together, and the name – Endurance – is clearly visible on the stern.

“Without any exaggeration this is the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen – by far,” said marine archaeologist Mensun Bound, who is on the discovery expedition and has now fulfilled a dream ambition in his near 50-year career.

“It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation,” he told BBC News.  Click here to read rest of this report.

Editor writes…

Neil Oliver’s reflection is summed up on the YouTube platform as follows:

Asleep beneath the sea for over a hundred years what did Shackleton’s Endurance make of the news that greeted her as she came back into the light in 2022?

Any ideas? Might the ‘Endurance’ say – for example – that this proves that we are doomed to live in a permanent state of war; is the disorder which entered the world following the sin of pride and disobedience of our First Parents set to be with us, more or less, for good?

Comments (11)

  • RCAVictor Reply

    At the risk of making a corny analogy, I think the “Endurance” is a useful symbol of the Barque of Peter.

    Said Barque has been buried for about 60 years now under the Modernist assault of lies, false facades, heresies disguised as truth, and all the modus operandi of homosexuals and Satanists – yet it is still there beneath all this ocean of filth that has obscured it. Buried, but unlike the real Endurance, untouched and ready to surface at the Consecration.

    We have to be wary and vigilant, however, of two things: not only that our personal Faith remains in the same preserved condition as the Barque of Peter, by clinging to Tradition with all our might, but that it does not get buried at all. Our personal faith does not have the same guarantee that Our Lord gave to His Mystical Body: “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    Many Catholics have already learned to shun the scandalous novelties, heresies, betrayals and sleazy corruption that characterize “the New Evangelization,” but tragically, there are even more who have not. May God have mercy on them and bring this era of confusion to a close.

    March 20, 2022 at 1:33 pm
    • Michael Reply

      What an excellent analogy l thoroughly concur.
      Every blessing
      Michael 🙏

      March 20, 2022 at 3:49 pm
    • editor Reply

      RCA Victor,

      Not “corny” at all. A very good analogy, in fact.

      As for your concluding prayer – Amen, to that!

      March 20, 2022 at 4:45 pm
    • Josephine Reply

      RCA Victor,

      A great analogy – I didn’t think of that. My humdrum mind just went with this is human nature, we’re stuck with wars until the end of time.

      I do think Neil Oliver is a deep soul, though. I hope he finds his way to the Catholic faith.

      March 20, 2022 at 5:52 pm
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    It could be an analogy of the Church in decay but my first thought was that it’s a symbol of our ongoing sinfulness which causes wars. Even the promised period of peace (Fatima) is only a temporary promise, not world peace forever, so that confirms my interpretation of the Endurance as a symbol of our fallen human nature which is what causes wars.

    I loved the video reflection, it was very touching.

    March 20, 2022 at 4:38 pm
    • editor Reply


      I liked the reflection as well. And yes, a symbol of our fallen from grace human condition – definitely.

      March 20, 2022 at 4:46 pm
    • Josephine Reply

      Margaret Mary,

      that’s a good reminder of the Fatima peace promise only being for a temporary period of peace. I think that tends to be forgotten.

      March 20, 2022 at 5:53 pm
    • Mack Reply

      Margaret Mary,

      I found Neil Oliver’s video very touching as well. He knows how to tell a story so that it speaks to the heart.

      March 20, 2022 at 10:55 pm
  • Laura Reply

    I agree about the reflection – it’s lovely and made me think about how quickly the years pass. We’re gone in a flash, but life goes on for aeons. Life and death is the theme that I am left with.

    March 20, 2022 at 6:17 pm
  • Mack Reply

    I have to be honest, I knew nothing about this man or the Endurance, until I read your BBC report, which got me searching. I found this and really he was a real hero figure.

    This is one important quote from the above article:

    “For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” – Sir Raymond Priestly, Antarctic Explorer and Geologist.

    So, after reading up about Shackleton, I would say that what I have learned from the story of the Endurance is that we should have ambitious goals in life, spiritual as well as other kinds of ambition, the usual, and always be prepared to fail and pick up to start over.

    I think the whole story is inspiring.

    March 20, 2022 at 10:52 pm
  • Athanasius Reply

    Some may think me an old cynic or narrow minded but I’ve never really been inspired by stories of people who travel away to dangerous places for the purpose of exploration. I can think of a better way of risking one’s life and that’s by being a missionary travelling to distant, often hostile, lands to convert souls to God. Now those are profitable lives in my view and, in many cases, happier deaths leading to certain eternal life.

    In regard to the latter, it’s quite telling that Vatican II killed the missions with its exploration into the forbidden heretical territory of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue!

    March 21, 2022 at 12:18 am

Join the discussion...

%d bloggers like this: