The Quest Crow’s Nest
In 1921, Sir Ernest Shackleton made another voyage to the Antarctic on the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition. More commonly known as the Quest Expedition, it was to be Shackleton’s fourth and final Antarctic expedition.
The ship Quest was launched in 1917 in Norway and originally named Foca I. She was a small, two-masted wooden schooner of 205 tons, purchased by Shackleton for the expedition and renamed Quest at the suggestion of Lady Shackleton.
Built for Arctic waters, she had a 125-horsepower steam engine and a reinforced bow sheathed in steel but needed extensive refitting for the Antarctic. Modifications included adding a new crow’s nest, a lookout high on the front mast to aid navigation through the ice packs of the Weddell Sea.
‘Apart from her white crow’s nest and exceptionally large bridge, there is little to distinguish the vessel… but the romance of her mission and the fame of her chief Sir Ernest Shackleton, invested the Quest with a glory of her own.’
Leeds Mercury, 17 August 1921
This year, the crow’s nest is travelling back to South Georgia to feature in a very special exhibition, Shackleton’s Last Quest. The exhibition marks the centenary of the launch of the Quest voyage and the event that is considered the end of the heroic era of exploration, the death of Shackleton.
Follow the crows nest journey as it travels across the globe.