The voyagers involved in the Shackleton Epic, the intrepid expedition attempting to be the first to authentically re-create Sir Ernest Shackleton’s voyage of survival crossing 800nautical miles of the treacherous southern ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia, and the climb over its mountainous interior, set off Sunday 20 January, 2013.
The Shackleton Epic crew
But first, the crew of six British and Australian expeditioners had to successfully guide their boat, Alexandra Shackleton (a replica of the 22.5’ James Caird) 170 nautical miles under tow from King George Island, where they have been conducting sea trails.
The crew departed King George Island Friday 18 January and were towed by expedition support vessel Australis.
Shackleton Epic aims to honour the achievements of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men in the lead up to the centenary of the expedition (2014-2016) while raising awareness about the impacts of climate change in Antarctica.
Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition is one of the greatest survival stories in history and has inspired adventurers across every continent over three generations.
The Shackleton Epic begins
Now, in honour of Shackleton’s remarkable 800 nautical mile voyage across the Southern Ocean, from Elephant Island to South Georgia, and his crossing of its mountainous interior, the Shackleton Epic expedition will sail Alexandra Shackleton, a purpose-built, exact replica of Shackleton’s 22.5-foot (6.9m) lifeboat, James Caird across the same stretch of open ocean and then attempt to cross the rugged peaks of South Georgia.
Led by expedition leader Tim Jarvis, AM FRGS, they are attempting to become the first to authentically re-enact Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyage and then dangerous crossing of its mountainous interior.
To this day, no-one has successfully re-enacted Shackleton’s complete ‘double’ journey across sea and land using traditional gear. British/Australian adventurer Jarvis, 46, a veteran of multiple polar expeditions, believes it will be the most challenging expedition of his life.
Shackleton Epic has been in development since 2008, when Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest, approached Tim Jarvis with the idea of an expedition to honour one of the greatest leadership and survival stories of all time.
Expedition leader Tim Jarvis
Expedition leader, Tim Jarvis, 46, an accomplished polar adventurer and environmental scientist who has dual British and Australian citizenship, will be joined in the expedition by five others, including: British skipper, around the world yachtsman Nick Bubb, Australian navigator Paul Larsen who recently set a new world speed sailing record, and Brits, mountain leader WO2 Barry Gray RM, Bosun Petty Officer Seb Coulthard RN and mountaineer and cameraman Ed Wardle.
According to Jarvis: 'The expedition is in honour of Shackleton’s legacy. It demonstrates how a group of people from different nations are able to put their differences aside to work towards the achievement of a goal against seemingly insurmountable odds, a message that resonates powerfully in our modern world.'
They hope to complete the expedition by mid-February 2013.
FOLLOW THE EXPEDITION BLOG AND LIVE TRACKING at www.shackletonepic.com