Southern Ocean: Shackleton expedition kicks off

EXPEDITION: A crew of six British and Australian adventurers have set off on an expedition of a lifetime – the Shackleton Epic aims to recreate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 crossing of the Southern Ocean in a small wooden lifeboat.

Published 10 years ago, updated 5 years ago

As reported by

On the 23 January, the intrepid adventurers, led by Tim Jarvis, set off from the remote Elephant Island. They will travel 800 nautical miles from the South Shetland Island to rugged South Georgia, followed by a difficult mountain crossing to the former whaling station at Stromness, using replica equipment and clothing of that used by Shackleton and his men.

Finally, they will pay their respects during a visit to Shackleton’s grave at Grytviken.

Tim Jarvis said: “I hope this expedition not only does his memory justice, but also reminds us all of how incredibly beautiful, yet fragile, this part of the world is. Hopefully, if we succeed, we’ll be able to shine another light on the changing Antarctic environment.”

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been nominated as the conservation partner for the expedition in order to raise funds for its work to combat climate change.

The expedition vessel, the Alexandra Shackleton is a 22.5’ whaler – an exact replica of Shackleton’s James Caird and is named after Shackleton’s granddaughter, Alexandra, whose idea it was to pay homage to the original voyage.

The expedition crew are Tim Jarvis, expedition leader (British/Australian); Nick Bubb, skipper (British); Paul Larsen, navigator (Australian); WO2 Barry Gray RM, mountain leader and expedition cook (British); PO Seb Coulthard RN, bosun (British) and Ed Wardle, cameraman and mountaineer (British).

During the expedition, the 75’ yacht, Australis, will act as the support vessel providing communications, safety and filming platform.

Depending on weather conditions, the Alexandra Shackleton should reach South Georgia within 16 days, the same time the James Caird took to cross the infamous stretch of ocean.

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