Shackleton's Epic Southern Ocean Voyage Deja Vous.........


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Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 23, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
Beginning tomorrow.

"In honor 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."
James Caird replica.
James Caird replica.
Credit: guido

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 23, 2013 - 12:38pm PT

The original epic still shivers me the core!!!!!!!!

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 23, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
I don't think the original crew had Musto HPX Goretex foulies.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 23, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Will they be Tweeting?

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 23, 2013 - 12:50pm PT

I doubt anyone makes the clothing they had back then. Probably the knowlege and skills have disappeared.

I remember some of the handmade Eskimo winter wear I had when my parents taught in a village. Heavier perhaps than current stuff... but amazingly effective and durable. In some ways still superior.

I'd imagine sailors arctic (antarctic in this case) gear over 100 years ago was pretty good too. Must have been or they wouldn't have survived.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 23, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
I've been in the freezing ass wet cold too much of my life to volunteer for that shit!!

I know how to deal with it, but I don't have to like it or seek it.....


Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 23, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
I doubt anyone makes the clothing they had back then. Probably the knowlege and skills have disappeared.

The environmentalists would be all over you for killing the animals that made it possible!

Anyway, I speak in jest, I sail and wouldn't go anywhere without my Goretex foulies, even if I were doing a remake of an epic. My partner, Ferretlegger has wintered over in Antartica and has fond memories of it. Wants to sail down to South Georgia He was also once in the British Museum looking at a display and turned around and there was the James Caird! He said it was just sitting there, basically in a corner, anyone could touch it. He said you could easily see the tool marks from where Chippy did some retrofitting.

I think the Shackelton story is my all time fav adventure story. Sad he died so young.


Trad climber
reno, nv
Jan 23, 2013 - 03:10pm PT

The full-length movie is great and contains actual footage. Worth watching.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jan 23, 2013 - 03:32pm PT
How about the luck and will of Shackleton?

I'll bet 100 other men attempting that sail/hike would have died of hypothermia in the boat.

Even with modern gear this run is no walk in the park. Plus Shackleton made it through a tidal wave.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 23, 2013 - 03:35pm PT
A tidal wave? How would he have known? Tidal waves at sea are unnoticeable.

Trad climber
Montana, Whitefish
Jan 23, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
I wish them a safe journey.

'The Boss' has been one of my greatest heroes since I read his story as a child. Of course these adventurers aren't truly replicating Shackleton's journey. To do that they would have to spend a winter icebound, watch their ship crushed and swallowed by the ice, perform considerable amount of sledging only to find the ice currents have negated any forward progress, have the ice break up around them , etc. etc. All this before arriving at Elephant Island.

That said, I think this is really cool and I'll be following along from my warm house with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.

Thanks for posting this Guido.

Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 23, 2013 - 10:11pm PT
Wishing them a safe journey as well.

Shackelton's survival story is amazing.
Modesto Mutant

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jan 23, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
Is there a greater survival story? Through all that hardship and over such a long period of time through seemingly impossible odds and no one dies.

Falls Church, VA
Jan 23, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
I don't think the original crew had Musto HPX Goretex foulies.
Ha, good eye, Susan!

But not quite "otherwise" even so: the original crew didn't sail in January, either!

--from a quick search:

January is the second warmest month of the year in Antarctica,
according to data gathered at the American Amundsen-Scott station from 1957 to 1988.

whereas Shackleton sailed in April-May10 :
The average high temperatures in April and May in Antarctica are both about -70 degrees F,
That is some kind of "high" !! (Could a weather forecaster say that with a straight face?)

And he persisted in the rescue --something not all of those old explorers did. (And this didn't occur in the warmer months, either!)

April 24
Shackleton and five others depart for South Georgia in James Caird

May 10
After 17 days in stormy seas, and with superior navigation by Frank Worsley,
the James Caird miraculously arrives on the west coast of South Georgia

May 19
Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean set off
to cross South Georgia's glacier-clad peaks to east-coast whaling stations

May 20
Having trekked without a break for 36 hours
over glacier-clad mountains thousands of feet high,
Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean arrive at Stromness whaling station

May 23
Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean depart on the English-owned Southern Sky
to rescue men on Elephant Island, but are stopped by ice 100 miles short of the island

June 10
Uruguayan government loans the survey ship Instituto de Pesca No 1,
which comes within sight of Elephant Island before pack ice turns it back

July 12
Chartered by the British Association, the schooner Emma sets out from Punta Arenas,
but gets to within 100 miles of Elephant Island before storms and ice force it to return

August 25
Chilean authorities loan the Yelcho, a small steamer, which sets sail with Shackleton,
Worsley, and Crean for Elephant Island

[photo caption]
With the Yelcho heaving into view on the horizon, members of an ecstatic Elephant Island crew build a smoky fire (upper left) to signal her.


Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Jan 23, 2013 - 11:49pm PT
Do yourself a favor and read "Endurance" if you have not already.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jan 24, 2013 - 12:16am PT
"Endurance" is a book that everyone should have (in hard copy) on their shelves and in their hearts.

Matt Rutherford was talking about Cape Horn. If you catch it in early January, you have a good chance of good weather. He said it was nice and pleasant. For a different take on a shoestring attempt to retrace Shackleton's voyage to South Georgia, read "Berserk." Those two guys are lucky to still be breathing. They crossed Drake Passage too late in the season and were repeatedly rolled, and then had a big portlight get blown out. Chest deep water in the cabin, lots of fun reading.

Zurich, Switzerland
Jan 24, 2013 - 05:51am PT
You guys are missing one of the key features of their expedition - they are only using the period equipment. There will be no Goretex or modern clothing involved.

To this day, no-one has successfully recreated 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.

The only concessions to the use of period equipment will be the storage of modern emergency equipment and radios on board Alexandra Shackleton, and the presence of a support vessel, Australis in the Southern Ocean. Both modern emergency equipment and Australis’s assistance will only be used in the event that Alexandra Shackleton gets into serious trouble.

Obviously having the safety boat there for the crossing makes a massive difference. I cant comprehend the boldness of the explorers of that age.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 12, 2014 - 08:19pm PT
Yup , started watching it. Very interesting. However, they didn't start from shore so the first little "gift"


Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 12, 2014 - 08:30pm PT
"Endurance" is a book that everyone should have (in hard copy) on their shelves and in their hearts.

Actually, the book is titled South: The Endurance Expedition.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 12, 2014 - 08:48pm PT
It showed them getting on the Alexandra from a dinghy. The voice over said something about they didn't want it to break apart on the rocks. Don't get me wrong, I think that what the re enactment is doing is epic in its own right.

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