This was the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, commonly known as the Endurance Expedition, and Shackleton’s third attempt to reach the South Pole. Over four months since Shackleton and his men had left London aboard the Endurance, the ship was once again was ready to take to the sea.
The goal of the expedition was, firstly, to reach the South Pole, but also to be the first people to complete a crossing of Antarctica via the pole.
Their leaving point was the island group of South Georgia, at the time part of the Falklands Islands Dependencies (it was renamed South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands in 1985). Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance left South Georgia, heading south towards Antarctica. They could have had little idea of the long and treacherous journey that lay ahead of them.