The Final Step
21:00 on Wednesday the 15th November, 2006
We woke enthused for the final leg of the journey a short 12 kilometers trek, a beach walk around the head of Fortuna Bay and over the ridge to the old whaling station at Stromness. The beach walk led us through the elephant seals, ferocious fur seals busy protecting their patch. At the head of the Bay we were joined by the fifty other Beyond Endurance explorers, who had sailed in the previous night and collectively we climbed the rocky spurs and across the snowfields before reaching the Crean Lake high on the col. The steep snowy descent brought us out of the clouds and afforded us the opportunity to slide down a couple of hundred feet in record time. Our first views of Stromness below inspired us on towards the finish. The tiredness in the legs faded as we picked up the pace and marched the last kilometer to the derelict whaling station. We had finished our final leg and our expedition leader paid a fitting tribute to those early polar explorers - Shackleton, Crean and Worsley whose footsteps we had followed.
I was truly humbled by their epic endeavours and achievements both in their sea crossing in the small twenty two foot long sailing boat, the James Caird, and in their thirty six hour crossing of South Georgia. Tonight we would party..
Donal is the managing director of Cappanalea OEC, the premier...
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