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
PredictWind.comSouthern Spars - 100Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Armel Le Cléac'h due to finish Vendée Globe at 1530hrs UTC
The French skipper is currently 36nm from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, travelling at just over 12 knots. The French skipper is currently 36 nautical miles from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, travelling at just over 12 knots.
Posted today at 2:25 pm
RORC Caribbean 600 – Winning ways
American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler. American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic offshore race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler, starting and finishing in Antigua.
Posted today at 2:06 pm
Four years and counting – WIM Series going from strength to strength
Last month the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted an amazing conclusion to the fourth year of the WIM Series. Last month the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted an amazing conclusion to the fourth year of the WIM Series. Altogether 147 sailors in 28 teams from 17 countries battled it out in the 2016 season
Posted today at 2:00 pm
Quantum Key West Race Week reels off three races in fading winds
After a windy and wavy start to the regatta today's conditions were far more manageable. The Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day was awarded to J.D. Hill's (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) in the ORC Class.
Posted today at 12:55 pm
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Vendee Globe - Le Cleac'h flying home
Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. Vendee Globe race leader Armel Le Cleac's is on the final tack for the finish of the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race. At the 0400UTC position report he had 145nm to sail to the finish at Les Sables D'Olonne and was expected to be greeted by a crowd of hundreds of thousands of French sailing fans on Thursday afternoon or early evening local time.
Posted today at 7:14 am
Le Cléac'h closes in on Vendée Globe finish line
French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has one hand on the Vendée Globe trophy this morning as he bears down on the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. At the latest position update Le Cléac'h, skipper of Banque Populaire VIII, was 146 nautical miles from finishing the solo round the world race with a lead of 87nm over second-placed Alex Thomson.
Posted today at 6:05 am
Vendee Globe Race - View the finish LIVE
The arrival of the Vendée Globe will be broadcast LIVE on January 19 between 5.30 p.m and 8.00 p.m (GMT) French skipper Armel Le Cléac'h and British skipper Alex Thomson will finish their non-stop solo round the world race on Thursday afternoon or evening local time. The arrival of the Vendée Globe will be broadcast LIVE on January 19 at 1530hrs UTC on the event's channel
Posted today at 5:10 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 action-shots by Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images. Photographer Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 action.
Posted today at 4:53 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Tied at the top after moving day
At Quantum Key West Race Week Wednesday is known as “moving day”. It is, in the middle of a regatta, a pivotal stage At Quantum Key West Race Week Wednesday is known as “moving day”. It is, in the middle of a regatta, a pivotal stage, when consistency starts to show, the cream rises to the top, and a real insight into the possible hierarchy at the end of the week is gained.
Posted today at 4:34 am