Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

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
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesMackay BoatsBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

An awe inspiring start to the RORC Caribbean 600
The ninth edition started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean The ninth edition started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean enjoying sparkling conditions. A southeasterly breeze, occasionally gusting up to 15 knots and a relatively calm sea state provided conditions for the perfect start with some close battles on the water.
Posted on 20 Feb
Maserati Multi70 trimaran starts RORC Caribbean 600 Race in Antigua
High-tech ocean racing trimaran Maserati Multi70 skippered by Giovanni Soldini crossed the start line off Fort Charlotte The high-tech Italian ocean racing trimaran, Maserati Multi70, skippered by Giovanni Soldini crossed the start line off Fort Charlotte on the south side of the island in 10-knot westerly breeze at 11.40 local time (15.40 in Europe).
Posted on 20 Feb
Vendée Globe – Alan Roura in his own words
Alan Roura, the youngest skipper ever to compete, finished in Les Sables d'Olonne this morning in twelfth place. Alan Roura, the youngest skipper ever to compete, finished in Les Sables d'Olonne this morning in twelfth place. In spite of not sleeping for four days because of the shipping in the Bay of Biscay and the light winds, he was ready to answer questions from the many journalists present on the pontoon an at a press conference.
Posted on 20 Feb
Phaedo^3 starts RORC Caribbean 600 – images by Rachel Fallon-Langdon
Phaedo^3 stars the RORC Caribbean 600 with close competition Maserati by their side Phaedo^3 stars the RORC Caribbean 600 with close competition Maserati by their side
Posted on 20 Feb
Phaedo^3 starts RORC C600 with Maserati by their side
In what is to be predicted and lighter wind race that the norm, Phaedo^3 stated at 11.40am local Antigua time. In what is to be predicted and lighter wind race that the norm, Phaedo^3 stated at 11.40am local Antigua time. With a strong competitor Giovanni Soldini’s MOD70 Maserati close by their side, it will be a chase to the end.
Posted on 20 Feb
Vendée Globe – Conrad Colman speaks about his dismasting and battle
New Zealand skipper Conrad Colman is fighting an incredible battle to finish the race after the mast crashed down Tenacious New Zealand skipper Conrad Colman is fighting an incredible battle to finish the race after the mast of his Foresight Natural Energy crashed down on the night of Friday 10th February.
Posted on 20 Feb
EFG Bank Monaco wins Leg 3 of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
Reigning champions EFG Bank Monaco tightened their grip on the overall lead with a victory in the third offshore leg Reigning EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour champions EFG Bank Monaco (MON) today tightened their grip on the overall lead with a victory in the third offshore leg of the race around the Arabian Gulf.
Posted on 20 Feb
Abnormal weather for the RORC Caribbean 600
This year the weather is dominated by a front that extends very far south reaching the race course. Wouter has competed in the Barcelona World Race, the Volvo Ocean Race on numerous occasions and is Head of Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics.
Posted on 20 Feb
Vendée Globe – Alan Roura takes twelfth place
Race rookie Roura’s elapsed time for the 27,700 mile course is 105 days, 20 hours 10 mins and 32 seconds. Roura’s finish reflects his exceptional drive and tenacity and belies the very tight budget which the young sailor ran his programme on.
Posted on 20 Feb
Vendee Globe - From Conrad Colman this evening
I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. I might not be going very fast but I'm certainly keeping busy here on Foresight Natural Energy. Indeed, never have I worked so hard to go so slowly! The problem is that I am sailing upwind in light winds which is never a recipe for breathless speed and certainly not now! Going downwind on a slow boat, the wind pushes against the windward side of the sail
Posted on 20 Feb