Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

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
Mackay BoatsInsun - AC ProgramKZRaceFurlers

Related Articles

A Transat Jacques Vabre full of promise
The four classes of offshore sailing boats will compete over a 4,350-mile course full of hurdles, squalls and excitement Today, at the Pavillon Champs-Elysées in Paris, they were all present, eager to head out to sea, boots and oilies ready to cross the start line on Sunday, November 5.
Posted on 20 Sep
Melges 20 World League enters critical stage of the season
It all started in February at the Miami Winter Series and since, 12 events scattered across Europe, Asia, North America Worldwide however, the match remains wide open with four final events left to complete - Worlds in Newport, Hayama, Zushi (both in Japan) and the opening act of the 2017-18 Miami Winter Series. With potentially 80 points still to be awarded on the international circuit, Rytov's leadership is anything but secure.
Posted on 20 Sep
Azzurra holds on to her lead in the 52 Super Series
The boat flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's burgee placed fourth and is holding on to her leadership in the overall This morning the TP52 fleet docked out at 9:00 from Mahon's beautiful natural port, ready to race at 11:00 to take advantage of the northerly breezes before the predicted lull as winds shifted to the south. Starting procedures began punctually in northerly breezes at about 12 knots that died down to about 7-8 during the race.
Posted on 20 Sep
Young Vendee2020Vision sailors take on British Record
The record held by Phil Sharp stands at three days, 11 hours, 52 minutes, 15 seconds at an average speed of 7.39 knots. The team who will be racing onboard the Open 60 Artemis Ocean Racing are currently waiting for an optimum weather window for this iconic 620 nm British course. The team sails along the English and Welsh coastline west about up to Pentland Firth on the north coast of Scotland, the final marker before the finish line off John O’Groats.
Posted on 20 Sep
52 Super Series Sailing Week – Staying on the emotional rollercoaster
Quantum Racing made an excellent start, but were caught out on the last run when they, and Azzurra sailed into a hole. The German-flagged Platoon, with John Kostecki calling tactics, clawed two points back against the circuit leaders Azzurra, and opened five points more on Quantum Racing.
Posted on 20 Sep
Marine industry charity 5-a-side raises £1000 for Southampton hospital
The tournament took place during this year’s TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show with 12 teams taking part. The seventh annual event saw three new teams participate: Gosport Borough Football Club U10's Dads, Moody Decking and Neuro Theatres UHS, one of three teams in the tournament from Southampton General Hospital, who competed alongside marine industry teams.
Posted on 20 Sep
TP52 Super Series Mahon – Race 2 images gallery by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi provided this gallery of images from race two Max Ranchi provided this gallery of images from race two
Posted on 20 Sep
Clipper World Yacht Race – Day 31 – Wind returns for final push
After a frustrating 24 hours languishing in a wind hole off the southern coast, most of the fleet is on the move again. Minus any mishap, Sanya Serenity Coast is the favourite to take line honours, and currently has a lead of around 80nM (nautical miles) on second-placed PSP Logistics, and around 100nM on Great Britain in third. But, there is a stiff challenge for the overall Atlantic Trade Winds Leg one win forming in the shape of Greenings.
Posted on 20 Sep
Gladwell's Line - More from la Stampa...and from (la) Taipa
More leaks from Italy overnight on what the Protocol and Class Rule could look like for the 36th America's Cup More leaks from Italy Monday night on what the Protocol and Class Rule could look like for the 36th America's Cup. All the running is coming out of Italy - mostly from Turin based newspaper La Stampa, which seems to have the hotline to the key players who reveal a few snippets about what is in the agreed, but yet to be announced documents for the Protocol and Class Rule.
Posted on 20 Sep
Azzurra wins the first race in 52 Super Series Sailing Week Menorca
There were two windward-leeward races scheduled today, but shifty unstable northerly winds forced to abandon the second. Azzurra started on the left, third from the pin, fast and perfectly on time. While the rest of the fleet was compact, Azzurra was free and skipper Guillermo Parada to helm powerfully through the waves that were up to three meters.
Posted on 19 Sep