Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

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
Southern Spars - 100Bakewell-White Yacht DesignWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Leaders gybing along Antarctic exclusion zone
The skipper of Hugo Boss has already sailed 10,700 miles since leaving Les Sables at an average speed of 17.3 knots. The skipper of Hugo Boss has already sailed 10,700 miles since leaving Les Sables at an average speed of 17.3 knots.
Posted today at 7:40 pm
RORC Transatlantic Race – Maserati Multi70 now 660 miles from finish
The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans. The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans who will be exhausted after racing across the ocean at high speeds for such an extended period.
Posted today at 4:40 pm
Vendée Globe – Eliès in line for Southern Ocean bruising
Yann Eliès was doing all he could to slow his raceboat in a bid to reduce the impact of a violent Southern Ocean storm. French sailor Yann Eliès was today doing all he could to slow his 60ft raceboat in a bid to reduce the impact of a violent Southern Ocean storm heading straight for him.
Posted today at 4:09 pm
RORC Transatlantic Race – Phaedo3 prepares to land
Mike Slade's Maxi 100 Leopard 3 is racing against the clock in an assault on the race record. Mike Slade's Maxi 100 Leopard 3 is racing against the clock in an assault on the race record. The IRC Fleet and Class40 Division are getting a savage taste of ocean racing.
Posted today at 11:53 am
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted today at 10:26 am
Melges 24 Worlds - Day 3 - A new day, the same leader - Irish Embarr
December has started with another sparkling day of sailing for Melges 24 fleet, competing in Miami for Melges 24 Worlds December has started with another sparkling day of sailing for the Melges 24 fleet, competing in Miami for the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship. A day of lighter breeze same way allowed to add three more races to the series and brought about major changes to the overall ranking.
Posted today at 5:31 am
Melges 24 World Championship - Day 2 action-shots by Pierrick Contin
Pierrick Contin was on water at 2016 Melges 24 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Pierrick Contin was on water at 2016 Melges 24 World Championship - Miami and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:14 am
Yacht Racing Forum- A top-to-bottom analysis of a fast-evolving sport
The Yacht Racing Forum in Malta brought together 280 delegates from around the world to discuss the future of the sport The sport of sailing is so diverse it would be impossible to address all the issues, opportunities and challenges. But the gathering of just over 280 delegates from around the world gave it a good try, as they packed in two very intense days of debate and discussion at the eighth edition of the Yacht Racing Forum in Malta.
Posted on 1 Dec
Vendee Globe- Cat and Mouse as leaders dodge Kerguelen Islands
Some of the most amazing sailing footage has just been posted on the web. Some of the most amazing sailing footage has just been posted on the web. If you have ever wondered what it looks like out there is the middle of the open ocean thousands of miles from land sailing an IMOCA 60 at full speed, wonder no more. The french navy stationed at Kerguelen Island intercepted the two leading boats in the Vendée Globe and captured some incredible footage.
Posted on 1 Dec
HP30 Class programme and rule change for 2017
With a successful first season under it's belt, the HP30 Class has tweaked the rule slightly to encourage faster boats With a successful first season under it's belt, the HP30 Class has tweaked the rule slightly to encourage faster boats and is looking ahead to lots of exciting racing in 2017 and beyond.
Posted on 1 Dec