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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 6 (October 2, 1933)

The “Quest,” and the Leader's End

The “Quest,” and the Leader's End.

So presently Worsley—now with the rank of Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve—was off to the icy South again with his staunch friend Shackleton. The little topsail-schooner rigged lowpowered steamer, the Quest, obtained for this new expedition to the Antarctica, was not nearly so suitable a vessel as the lost Endurance. One trouble page break page 29 after another befell the ship. The weather was fearful. Shackleton and Worsley often discussed the South Sea Islands, by way of a sea-change from the ice, and they talked of a visit some day to a marvellous pearlshell lagoon of which Worsley knew. But that was never to be. “The Boss,” cheerful and plucky as ever, said “Good night” to his “Good old Skipper,” as he was fond of calling him, and to Wild, as usual one night, and died suddenly at three o'clock in the morning. He was buried on South Georgia; a black cairn and cross mark his grave in this icy waste.

Worsley brought the little ship back to England. In his book he has little about his own work in the Quest but much about his beloved chief, that “proud and dauntless spirit,” whose name is among the immortals.

It was not long before our New Zealander was again battling with snow and ice and gales, this time in the Far North. There is another epic of seamanship in his masterly handling of the small brigantine The Island under sail among the ice in high latitudes. One of his shipmates said of him that he seemed not a bit put out when the ship's auxiliary power was disabled and she was left wholly dependent on her canvas. If ever there was a man who could be described as a “Sailor of the Sail” it is Frank Worsley. And now, after a lifetime of hard-weather seagoing, when most men of his age are expectant of easy retirement, certainly when a man of his national services and achievements should be enjoying a comfortable pension, he is still ready for a job of adventure. For Worsley is one of those whose hearts are eternally young.

The departure from Elephant Island on the epic 800 miles voyage in a small boat to South Georgia.

The departure from Elephant Island on the epic 800 miles voyage in a small boat to South Georgia.