Elephant Island is named for the Elephant Seals that live there. In 1916, Shackleton's men landed at Point Wild (named after Frank Wild, who was second-in-command on the expedition) in three lifeboats, almost five months after their ship, the Endurance, became stuck in the Weddell Sea pack-ice and sank. Shackleton and five of his men launched one of the lifeboats, the James Caird, on April 24, 1916. The James Caird made it to South Georgia Island, and Shackleton, Crean, and Worsley hiked across South Georgia to a whaling station. A boat was then sent to get the three from the other side of South Georgia. Finally, after three attempts, Shackleton rescued the men left on Elephant Island on August 30, 1916. The most amazing thing about Shackleton's expedition is that none of his men died.
Due to weather conditions, we were unable to land with the zodiacs at Elephant Island. The captain did bring the ship close enough to Point Wild that we could read the memorial at the site where Shackleton's men spent 135 days living beneath two upturned lifeboats. The memorial commemorates the Yelcho's arrival on August 30, 1916, and the rescue of Shackleton's men. The statue is in the midst of Chinstrap Penguins.