First edition due in September 2022

28 November to 3 December 1921, Rio


Monday 28 November, 1921

Newspaper reports in England carry Shackleton’s announcement that the expedition plan has changed, abandoning the stop at Cape Town, and now heading directly from Rio to South Georgia arriving there at Christmas and then departing in the New Year for Enderby Land in the Antarctic. They expect to enter the ice around January 25th and proceed as far as possible towards the continental coastline, aiming to emerge from the ice in the middle of March. From there they will re-coal in South Georgia and head to Tristan da Cunha, and thence Cape Town in late April or early May.

The papers report ‘Everybody on board Quest is fit and well. Marr, the Boy Scout, is shaping splendidly. “He has become a sailor” said Sir Ernest Shackleton “and is one of the most efficient members of our ship’s company”.’

Also on this day, Douglas and Wilkins depart Montevideo on the SS Woodville, under the command of Captain Leaske, an Orkney Islander, bound for South Georgia. Going there ahead of the main party, allows them to spend much more time studying the island.

In the evening, a banquet is held by the British Society in Rio at the Club Central in honour of Shackleton and members of the expedition. Shackleton, Worsley and Wild all attend.

Tuesday 29 November, 1921

Sir John Tilley sends a telegram to John Rowett’s London home, 9 Hyde Park Terrace:

“British Society of Rio de Janeiro entertaining Quest offer felicitations on your public and patriotic spirit in financing expedition which we feel rebounds to prestige our country. Brazilians of all classes applaud initiative and offer much cordial wishes success expedition. John Tilley, British Ambassador.”

John Rowett replies by telegram:

“To John Tilley, British Ambassador, RIO DE JANEIRO

Please convey to British Society of Rio de Janeiro my sincere thanks and appreciation of their cable. It is a privilege to be associated with the members of the QUEST Expedition under the leadership of Shackleton upholding the honour of British Exploration.”

Wednesday 30 November, 1921

The British society of Rio entertain members of the expedition at a St Andrew’s Day dinner.

Work on Quest continues at the Wilson’s yards in Rio. It is oppressively hot. Marr describes the relief of the refreshing breeze – the “Rio Doctor” – that arrives punctually at 4pm each day.

Towards the end of the week, Shackleton visits with Captain Arthur Porrett Dix, Captain of RMSP Andes, whom they had met at Lisbon in October. Andes is soon to depart for England, reaching Madeira on 12 December and Southampton on 17 December. The Andes carries with it the first films taken on the expedition.