On the 17 April Shackleton and Wild took the three boats a few miles to the west to a safer haven, a sandy spit they named Cape Wild, where, after Shackleton set off for South Georgia in the James Caird, the remaining twenty-two men would camp for four months.
'Conditions on Elephant Island were rigorous in the extreme. The wind blew savagely, there were snow-storms, the ground was sodden and uncomfortable ... The abundance of fresh food was consoling; they were able to kill seal, sea-elephants and penguins in those early days. Indeed, their new camp was hard by a rookery of ringed penguins, and they imagined they were provided with a regular supply of food, but on the day after their arrival the ringed penguins migrated, and from that time they had to rely on the gentoons which now and then came ashore and which were quickly despatched. Elephant Island, one of the largest of the South Shetland Islands, lies in lat. 61°05'S., long. 55°10'W. It is about 23 miles long (E.-W.) and about 13 miles at its widest. From the point where the Endurance was first beset it is a little over a thousand sea-miles. The island was right off the track of whalers and sealers, and nobody was likely to look for them there.' (M. and J. Fisher, Shackleton, London, 1957, pp. 370-1)
'Marston and Greenstreet now suggested building a hut with the two upturned boats as roof. Wild agreed. He chose a site with the only scrap of protection. It was near the end of the spit, in the lee of the rock to the north ... On 29 April, after two days work, it was ready for occupation. The interior was dark. It reeked from guano, since the foundation was an old penguin rookery. It was impossible to stand upright inside. Into this, twenty-two men would be crammed with a floor space of only 19 feet by 10 feet.' (R. Huntford, Shackleton, St. Ives, 1985, p. 531)