A brief overview of the life of Ireland's greatest Antarctic explorer.
The Shackleton – Rowett Expedition departs England.
September 24th 1921.The Shackleton – Rowett Expedition left England, aboard the ship Quest on September 24th 1921. Sir Ernest Shackleton had originally intended a trip north to explore the Arctic regions – the unexplored Beaufort Sea area in particular, and had received initial interest from Canadian authorities. However with a change of government in 1921, and its differing policy towards the funding of expeditions, it soon became clear that there would be no financial backing from Canada.
Shackleton turned his attentions yet again to Antarctica. He had secured some funds from a former school friend, John Quiller Rowett, with which he had obtained a 125 ton Norwegian sealer, the Foca 1, which he newly named Quest. With a change of destination, Shackleton outlined the ambition of his voyage south as being an “oceanographic and sub-antarctic expedition.”
While the expedition appeared to lack a clear and obvious goal, it did not fall short of intention. The itinerary included circumnavigating the Antarctic continent, mapping uncharted coastline, searching for lost or wrongly charted islands, subsequent searches for mineral resources and an extensive scientific research program.