Endurance

Arrived in Funchal, Madeira on Thursday evening, it was mild, dry and cloudy. We headed straight from the airport to registration in the city centre (where the race starts and finishes).

  

     
 
We signed the forms and picked up numbers, chips etc. This process was a lot more relaxed than usual, I guess because the registration is over two days and we were pretty late.

Took the obligatory ‘posing with number’ photo, what am I standing in front of? A monument to João Gonçalves Zarco, a Portuguese explorer who is recognised for establishing settlements in Madeira in 1419.

  

On the theme of explorers, my chosen read for this trip is Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (1961 ed). I found this in an antiques shop fairly recently for a couple of quid. Now I’ve read a fair few Shackleton books and this one is a good one, well researched, honestly written:

  
I’ve been in love with Shackleton forever and have had a slightly macabre fascination with Scott since I can remember. I haven’t nurtured these interests for a while, probably still sulking over missed opportunities. Anyway, I’m back on the Endurance right now and in the early stages of the voyage, the ship is stranded in pack ice and day after day remains; “Still fast…” According to the diary of Chippy McNeish.

Funchal is wet today, after a beautiful morning it has poured down all afternoon. The gantry is up.

  

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