Ross Sea party 1914–1917
The Ross Sea party was a component of
Shackleton set sail from London on his ship
A greater misfortune occurred at the onset of the southern winter when the Aurora, locked in an ice-floe which broke off from the main shelf, was torn from its moorings. The ocean currents then pulled ship further away from the sledding parties marooned on shore and drifted for over six months before breaking free of the ice. Sadly the Aurora's damaged rudder forced her to return to New Zealand rather than returning for the stranded shore party.
Despite these setbacks, the Ross Sea party survived inter-personnel disputes, extreme weather, illness, and the deaths of three of its members to carry out its mission in full during its second Antarctic season. This success proved ultimately without purpose, because Shackleton's main expedition was unable to land after Endurance was crushed in the Weddell Sea ice. Shackleton eventually led his men to safety, but the transcontinental march did not take place and the Ross Sea party's depots were not required. The Ross Sea party remained stranded until January 1917, when Aurora, which had been repaired and refitted in New Zealand, arrived to rescue them. Public recognition of their efforts was slow in coming, but in due course four
After the conquest of the South Pole by
Shackleton estimated that the crossing would cover approximately 1,800 miles (2,900 km),
 a distance too great for his party to carry all its supplies. In support of the main journey, therefore, a separate Ross Sea party would land in McMurdo Sound and would lay a series of supply depots across the 400 miles (640 km) width of the Barrier, to assist the crossing group home.
 It would also carry out scientific investigations. Shackleton described the depot-laying as vital to the success of the whole undertaking, but believed it would not present any great difficulties in execution.
 The Ross Sea party's vessel would be