Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Shackleton Epic 2013 - Alexandra Shackleton nears historic feat

by Kim McKay on 1 Feb 2013
Alexandra Shackleton in silhouette in the Southern Ocean. The crew are onboard the deck dying out their clothing and bedding. Jo Stewart/Shackleton Epic
Shackleton Epic 2013 .Now into their ninth day at sea, the Alexandra Shackleton is within 180 miles of reaching South Georgia Island and achieving the first goal in the Shackleton Epic historic re-enactment, but the boat is tracking slightly off course and needs to correct its position within the next 36-48 hours to make its landing at King Haakon Bay.

Using traditional navigational equipment including a sextant, chronometer, compass and charts, the six British and Australian crew on board the Alexandra Shackleton still have time to correct their course if they are able to take a new sun sight – but the Southern Ocean sun has been obscured by cloud for days.

The 22.5’ replica lifeboat has made good time during the 800nautical mile crossing since departing Elephant Island on 24 January AEDT/23 January 2013 GMT/UTC. Currently they are averaging four knots with 25 knots of westerly winds helping push them along towards South Georgia.

According to Ben Wallis, skipper of the support vessel Australis, sea conditions are rough with the swell around four metres with an occasional eight meters wave 'popping out of nowhere'.

'We’re just waiting to see if the Alexandra Shackleton can correct her position as she is a bit wide of the mark and we don’t want her to miss South Georgia,' he said.

Speaking over the radio today, expedition leader Tim Jarvis said that boredom and the cramped conditions below deck are proving to be bigger factors in this expedition than it has been in others he has completed.

'The confined space below deck continues to be one of our greatest challenges. We recently rearranged everything to try and make more space but we managed to make it far worse.

'This is the first time I've been in such a confined space with five other men, so it doesn't take long for the jokes to grow stale. But despite the hardship we’re facing, there’s always room for humour and that is helping us get through this expedition.'

The crew of the Alexandra Shackleton have been at sea for almost nine days without a shower, a toilet, a change of clothes which are now soaked through. They've been deprived of sleep and are cramped below deck in a space that only just fits four men. They have encountered swells three times the height of their boat and have fought the scourge of seasickness. They've survived on a diet of pemmican (lard), been hit by rogue waves over eight meters high and been subjected to temperatures below zero.

Perhaps Jarvis was understating it when he said today 'this expedition truly is about endurance – mental as much as physical.' Once the crew make landfall on South Georgia, they plan to trek over its mountainous, crevassed interior to reach the old whaling station at Stromness – just as Shackleton and his men did almost 100 years Shackleton Epic

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
T Clewring CruisingBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearBakewell-White Yacht Design