Epic Shackleton adventure re-created for centenary
The group will carry out the re-enactment using only the equipment and food available to Shackleton almost a century ago.
Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 06:50 PM
EXPLORER: Shackleton set off on his third trip to the Antarctic in 1914 with the ship Endurance, and planned to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
A group of adventurers are to re-create the epic 1916 Antarctic voyage undertaken by legendary Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton, the project's organisers said Monday.
The group, who will be led by British/Australian adventurer Tim Jarvis, will carry out the re-enactment using only the equipment and food available to Shackleton almost a century ago.
The announcement of the Shackleton Epic coincided with the launch of the expedition vessel at a ceremony at Portland, southern England.
The Alexandra Shackleton, named in honor of Ernest's granddaughter, is an exact replica of the James Caird, the explorer's 23-foot whaler.
"The Shackleton Epic expedition is a fitting tribute to my grandfather, Sir Ernest Shackleton, as we celebrate the centenary of his astonishing voyage (1914-1916)," said Alexandra Shackleton.
"Tim Jarvis is the ideal person to lead this expedition as his determination, along with the high calibre team he has assembled will honour the leadership of Ernest Shackleton," she added.
Shackleton set off on his third trip to the Antarctic in 1914 with the ship Endurance, and planned to cross Antarctica via the South Pole.
But the vessel became trapped in 1915, and sank 10 months later as it became crushed by the advancing ice.
Shackleton and his crew lived on the floating ice until April 1916, when they set off in three small boats for Elephant Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula.
From there, Shackleton and five crew made the treacherous 800-mile voyage to South Georgia using the James Caird, reaching their destination 16 days later.
After a mountainous trek, the group reached a whaling station and raised the alarm. All members of the Endurance mission were eventually rescued with no fatalities.
The modern-day explorers will set off early next year from Elephant Island, and will also re-create Shackleton's arduous South Georgia hike.
"This expedition marks the centenary of Shackleton's voyage and honours his legacy," said Jarvis.
"The message of individuals putting differences aside and working collectively to overcome insurmountable problems has continuing resonance today, whether tackling climate change or other global issues," he added.
The only advantage the crew will have over the 1916 team will be the storage of modern emergency equipment on board.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition