1921 January – March

In January 1921,  Shackleton acquires a 4-year-old Norwegian sealer, Foca 1. The ship is especially suitable for Arctic sea conditions. It is renamed Quest at Emily Shackleton’s suggestion.  It is 125 feet long and 204 tons (gross tonnage). 

Saturday 22 January 1921

Shackleton embarks at Liverpool on RMS Aquitania, bound for New York.  His eventual destination is Montreal, where he will lobby for support for the expedition. He is accompanied by James Aloysius Cook, as his secretary. Cook runs some of Shackleton’s business affairs, including the Tabard cigarette company.

Thursday 27 January 1921

No escape from the lecturing. Three days before arriving in New York, Shackleton delivers a lecture on the Endurance expedition, to passengers on Aquitania, given in the First Class Saloon. Sir Philip Gibbs (formerly one of five British official war reporters during WW1) is travelling on the same voyage and writes “an appreciation”:

Shackleton and Cook arrive in New York on January 30th

Saturday 5 March 1921

Shackleton arrives back at Southampton, from New York, on RMS Aquitania after six weeks away lobbying for funding.

Also this month, the Quest arrives in Southampton for refitting at the J I Thornycroft yards.

Quest at Southampton, 1921

Tuesday 15 March 1921

Shackleton writes to Hugh Robert Mill, the geographer and meteorologist, offering a fee and asking him to draw up a scientific plan for the Arctic expedition, exploring the Beaufort Sea.

Saturday 26 March 1921

Just three weeks after returning from his last transatlantic trip, Shackleton departs Southampton on RMS Mauretania, yet again heading to New York and then transit to Canada in another attempt to secure the financial backing of the Canadian government.