The Quest Returns
‘…a snowstorm beat down upon us—a ghost, it seemed to me, of the hurricane in which he and I had approached South Georgia after our boat journey from Elephant Island.’
On 16 April Quest reached Leith Harbour Whaling Station where the crew were surprised to see Hussey approaching in a motor-boat and learned that he had returned to South Georgia with Shackleton’s body.
The crew of Quest erected a stone cairn topped with a wooden cross to perpetuate the memory of Shackleton on Hope Point, a prominent spot on the headland overlooking the entrance to the King Edward Cove. In heavy snow they cemented an engraved brass plate and placed in the cairn a photograph of themselves which they had all signed.
And as they raised the memorial, Frank Worsley recalled, ‘a snowstorm beat down upon us—a ghost, it seemed to me, of the hurricane in which he and I had approached South Georgia after our boat journey from Elephant Island.’
‘No one grudged the labour and time spent, for it was the last job we should do for the Boss.’ Frank Wild
For two weeks Quest lay at Leith Harbour and Stromness whilst they made ship repairs and collected food and fuel supplies. Wild encouraged his men to rest and recover. They visited old friends and played football matches with the whalers.
They departed South Georgia on 8 May for Cape Town via Tristan da Cunha. On 16 September 1922 Quest returned to Plymouth, one year after she had left England. Anchoring in Cawsand Bay they were met by Rowett.
‘We returned to England on September I6, quietly as was befitting, our homecoming saddened by the loss of the companion whom we had left down there.’ Frank Wild