'Alexandra Shackleton departing Elephant Island'
To honour one of the greatest survival stories in history and one of the most remarkable 800 nautical mile voyage across the Southern Ocean Ernest Shackleton's feat is being recreated. Australian Tim Jarvis is leading the expedition in the 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.
The Alexandra Shackleton left Elephant Island on 24th January, and six days later things are still looking good. The crew are pleased that the 'Alexandra Shackleton has handled the conditions extremely well, making great time in the first few days, assisted by generous westerly winds.'
However, she has since encountered every sort of condition, from blustery wind to sunshine and then rain. She is almost half way to her destination, but going slowly in light northerly wind, just the direction they didn't want.
'Two knots,' as they recorded in their email, 'makes the journey ahead seem very long.'
While the sun shone, Tim, Nick, Paul and Baz spent time up on deck drying out their clothes, sleeping bags and themselves while Seb and Ed were using the time for some much needed undisturbed sleep down below.
Alexandra Shackleton - Day 4 as they dry out in the sun - .. .
Tim's planned Australia Day celebrations didn't quite work out due to the extreme weather. 'Well... it wasn't much of an Australia Day! As we were swapping duties on the watch in the middle of the night I extended my arm to Paul, shook his hand and said 'Happy Australia Day mate'. That was our official celebration - the best we could do under the circumstances,' Tim said.
Keep tuned to Sail-World Cruising for up-to-date accounts of their voyage, or follow it on their website.
by Lee Mylchreest
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9:30 PM Tue 29 Jan 2013GMT
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