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

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guido

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

http://shackletonepic.com/

"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
Cragman

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

The original epic still shivers me timbers....to the core!!!!!!!!
SCseagoat

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

Susan
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 23, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Will they be Tweeting?
climbski2

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

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.
survival

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.....


GOOD LUCK TO THE CREW!!!!
SCseagoat

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.

Susan
hillrat

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.
Reilly

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.
Chewybacca

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.
justthemaid

climber
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.
knudeNoggin

climber
Falls Church, VA
Jan 23, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
I don't think the original crew had Musto HPX Goretex foulies.
Otherwise....AWESOME
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!)

www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/shackleton/1914/timeline.html

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.


*kN*
Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Jan 23, 2013 - 11:49pm PT
Do yourself a favor and read "Endurance" if you have not already.
BASE104

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.
Fishy

climber
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.
Chuckcar

climber
CityByTheBay
Jan 12, 2014 - 08:07pm PT
Chasing Shackleton now making the rounds on pbs

Recreates Shackleton's rescue journey.

On PBS now in the bay area.

http://www.pbs.org/program/chasing-shackleton/
SCseagoat

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"

Susan
Randisi

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.
Chuckcar

climber
CityByTheBay
Jan 12, 2014 - 08:40pm PT
SC, they were towed to Elephant Island, but left Elephant Island on their own.
SCseagoat

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.

Susan
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jan 12, 2014 - 08:55pm PT
The expedition had a photographer who continued taking pictures. They are amazing in their quality. If you do not read the book at least get it to see the pictures.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Jan 12, 2014 - 09:09pm PT
The English language book I have is titled:

Endurance by Alfred Lansing

Also of interest might be:

Shackleton's Boat Journey by F.A. Worsley

Worsley was on the journey with Shackleton so it is a first person account!
Chuckcar

climber
CityByTheBay
Jan 12, 2014 - 09:10pm PT
Yep, they did board from a dingy. Let's see if they land it on South Georgia.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jan 12, 2014 - 09:13pm PT
Near the end of the trek across S. Georgia, they are caught up too high, too late in the day, with too little steam left, and it's too cold. Shakleton knows that in order to survive, they must get down quickly, so he decides they will slide down this huge, steep snow field, without knowing what's at the bottom.

The two men with him thought he was crazy, but, he kept asking them, can we stay where we are? So they slid screaming down this snow field, and they arrived at the bottom unharmed. Amazing!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 12, 2014 - 10:35pm PT
Outstanding reenactment of an amazing feat of seafaring that was the fitting end to the greatest exploration epic that I am aware of.

Thanks for the heads up Joe!

When in doubt, glissade! Worked for Woodrow Wilson Sayre too.

An unseen hand guides the brave and true adventurers and brings us home. Endurance is shimmering evidence of that simple truth.
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jan 12, 2014 - 11:06pm PT
I encountered the story of the Endurance around 1975, one of the postdocs in a lab where I worked as a lab peon was a sailor and lent me Lansing's book. I made the mistake of glancing at it that evening...and read straight through the night going to work the next morning sans sleep but plenty energized. It should be absolutely required reading for everyone in junior high or so. Incredible story and bunch of guys. One of the highlights for me of all time going to museums was an exhibit about 10 or 12 years ago at the NY Museum of Natural History with a lot of actual stuff from the trip plus other similar contemporary gear, lots of photos many of which were not in any book I had seen, and the centerpiece was the actual James Caird! Though it was roped off, I was not going to leave without having laid a hand upon it to absorb some juju. And they had a sextant set up with visual of pitching and rolling seas, so you could try out your ability to get a sight from which navigation might be possible if you could peel the soggy pages of the book of tables apart.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jan 12, 2014 - 11:44pm PT
A truly sad footnote is that about half of the men that were saved died within the next couple years....World War I

Susan
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 13, 2014 - 12:04am PT
Did they use rendered penguin fat for cooking and light?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 13, 2014 - 12:04am PT
And the other 800 pound gorilla in the story is something many of us probably can relate to one
way or another - the rather less than inspiring details of Shackleton's life back in England.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Jan 13, 2014 - 12:54pm PT
More important than penguin fat was seal blubber. At one point, while still on the ice foes, before they got in their 3 boats, they were VERY low on cooking fat for their stoves. Just before they ran out, they were attacked by a couple of leopard seals and shot them, thus renewing their fat supply.

The resourcefulness of those men was incredible. Two of many, many examples: Once they reached Elephant Island, they outfitted the James Caird with parts from the other 2 boats to make it more sea-worthy. Once they reached S. Georgia Island and found that they couldn't sail to windward around either end of the island, they removed the screws from the deck of their boat and screwed them through their boots to create make-shift crampons for climbing the ice and snow over the island to reach the whaling station.

What an epic adventure. And fabulous photos!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 13, 2014 - 06:17pm PT
While there might have been more epic adventures than Shackleton's Antarctic trip, we don't have the details of it like we do for his. I wouldn't be so quick to assess Shackleton's life while home ; all heroes are flawed.

What is remarkable, however, particularly in our day&age & what we call "adventure" is just how resourceful these chaps were. And how capable they were with technologies like finding food and navigating and how to build one thing from another. Remember they used the Dudley Docker, one of the three life-boats to get to Elephant Is, upturned as a makeshift shelter.

And while some of the men were out seeking a suitable camp spot on Elephant Is, "Clark had tried angling in the shallows off the rocks and had secured one or two small fish....Rusty needles were rubbed bright on the rocks and clothes were mended and darned."

For an equally remarkable story of navigation, refer to "The Wayfinders" by Wade Davis in which the eponymous story is about the navigators in the great canoes that populated the South Pacific.

I know that in the Cdn Navy today, navigators still learn to use the sextant. I'd love for Guido or the fabulous Seagoat to chime in on how modern mariners relate to those "old" technologies. Do mariners learn their use or depend upon battery-powered technologies...

THis is a great thread!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 13, 2014 - 06:50pm PT
Does add new depth of meaning to the phrase DEAD RECKONING.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Jan 13, 2014 - 07:14pm PT
I know a guy who worked in the merchant marines out of Australia, basically small-crew but very big oil tankers. He learned to navigate by the stars in case everything else fails.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 13, 2014 - 07:47pm PT
Another adventure sequel.....a pale imitation. Chouinard once said that adventure only begins when things start to go wrong. Modern communications will enable the "adventure" to turn out well no matter what the turn of events.

Should be fun though!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 13, 2014 - 08:12pm PT
Watching the first episode right now. Looks interesting.
Larry Nelson

Social climber
Jan 13, 2014 - 08:21pm PT
Check out the story of Shackletons Forgotten Men.

http://www.amazon.com/Shackletons-Forgotten-Men-Endurance-Adrenaline/dp/1560253061
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Jan 13, 2014 - 08:23pm PT
While Guido has more than adequate electronics aboard his boat, "Shanachie," when I sailed with him from N.Z. to French Polynesia, he made me practice noon "sun sights" with his sextant, so we'd have back up equipment and people aboard in case of whatever might happen.
Chuckcar

climber
CityByTheBay
Jan 20, 2014 - 11:15pm PT
Chasing Shackleton, part 2 of 3 parts now viewable on pbs site.

http://www.pbs.org/program/chasing-shackleton/
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Oregon
Jan 21, 2014 - 02:54am PT
Shackleton's SOUTH is out of copyright and available free in the usual text and eBook formats (EPUB,PDF,HTML, etc) and as MP3 audio files at:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5199

The audio files are computer generated, and I find I do better having my computer's voice generator just read the files to me while I am driving.

The boat journey chapter:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5199/5199-3/5199-3-11.MP3

And there is a an original audio recording of Shackleton lecturing on his earlier polar try. (MP3)

"My south Polar Expedition by Ernest Shackleton"
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10229
John Morton

climber
Jan 25, 2014 - 02:20pm PT
Just finished watching part 3. A difficult journey for sure, and difficult to endure for the viewer. This extreme adventure film style is getting to me: the endlessly repeated litany of "no GPS", "100 yr. old clothing" etc., the talking heads, the relentless minor key soundtrack, the slanted editing that replays the biggest waves and the steepest slopes.

Shackleton's epic is all the greater for the contrast with this trip, which utterly failed to reproduce the conditions of 1916. A support boat that warns them off the rocks, with radio contact and satellite weather data and a doctor? Some North Face tents for when something goes wrong? And they skipped the part about camping for 7 months on ice floes before setting sail. And my favorite, the water bags of rotten hairy sealskin.

It's like a tightrope walk with a tether, or a free solo with a net just off camera. I'm not saying they should do it for real and die, I'm saying it makes no sense except as a paying TV gig.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 25, 2014 - 03:06pm PT
Not exactly what I think of when I think of sailing in the Roaring For...
Not exactly what I think of when I think of sailing in the Roaring Forties.
Credit: Reilly
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 25, 2014 - 03:44pm PT
Mongrel, it was in 2000 I believe.

I caught it at the Field Museum.
They had reproduced the James Caird and surrounded it with big curved screens playing huge rolling waves.
I smuggled a camera in and snuck some shots. Good luck on banning cameras now.

The coolest thing was stopping on the way to Chicago at Norlin Library where I was given special permission to put on gloves and examine Frank Hurley's original prints from the expedition.
Chewybacca

Trad climber
Montana, Whitefish
Jan 25, 2014 - 03:59pm PT
It is interesting to look at the differing experiences of the icebound Shackleton expedition with those of the ill-fated Franklin expedition.

bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA/Boulder, CO
Feb 5, 2014 - 03:28am PT
I was going to right a scathing review of 'Chasing Shackleton', but John Morton(4 posts above) nailed it! Shackleton was probably laughing at all of them when they visited his grave site at the end of the show.
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Feb 5, 2014 - 08:04am PT
It was a bit over dramatized but still a pretty good effort and I'm sure it was difficult for them.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Feb 5, 2014 - 09:46am PT
Don't know if any of you have ever experienced or heard of a phenomenon called the "Third Man Factor," but apparently Shackelton experienced it:

http://theglyptodon.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/shackletons-third-man/


From John Geiger's book The Third Man Factor:
"The Third Man Factor is a biography of an extraordinary idea: That people at the very edge of death, often adventurers or explorers, experience a sense of an incorporeal being beside them who encourages them to make one final effort to survive.

If only a handful of people had ever experienced the Third Man, it might be dismissed as an unusual delusion shared by a few overstressed minds. But the amazing thing is this: over the years, the experience has occurred again and again, to 9/11 survivors, mountaineers, divers, polar explorers, prisoners of war, solo sailors, aviators and astronauts. All have escaped traumatic events only to tell strikingly similar stories of having experienced the close presence of a helper or guardian.

The mysterious force has been explained as everything from hallucination to divine intervention. Recent neurological research suggests something else. In The Third Man Factor John Geiger combines history, scientific analysis and great adventure stories to explain this secret to survival, a Third Man who - in the words of legendary Italian climber Reinhold Messner - "leads you out of the impossible."
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Aug 22, 2014 - 06:59pm PT
Just watched this. I wasn't familiar with the original Shackleton story, and it is bind-bogglingly epic. What these guys did to reenact it is certainly a cool adventure, certainly an endeavor that few people would relish or attempt or stick with as long as they did, in the best style they were able to do. But it is hubris and self-aggrandizement for them to equate their efforts to what the folks went through 100 years ago.

You can see at various spots where they relied on modern technologies where they would have died if they had been in Shackleton's place, and they never acknowledged that clearly in the documentary. It was a golden opportunity to talk about how hard it was to do what they had to do, a vantage point from which they could more fully appreciate how truly badass the Shackleton expedition dudes were (both the rescue crew and the folks left behind waiting).

On the other hand- how contrived is it to push yourself as hard, to dig as deep for a media event / history lesson / self-promotion? When you truly know there is no backup and death is the alternative, I'm sure wells of strength appear more readily. But a modern-day recreation can't dig that deep because we know there is a way out, and that changes everything.

For a climbing analogy, it's the difference between lead climbing with SAR a few pitches below you vs. free-soloing.

All that said, I have heard of few modern recreational adventurers that did something so badass. In some of their situations, even though they had a support system in place, it wasn't enough to prevent death in case of screw-up.
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