The expedition is in honour of Shackletons legacy. It demonstrates how a group of people from different nations are able to put their differences aside to work towards the achievement of a goal against seemingly insurmountable odds, a message that resonates powerfully in our modern world. In 1916, legendary polar explorer Ernest Shackleton and 5 companions completed an incredible journey sailing a small rowing boat, the James Caird across 800 miles of the roughest ocean on Earth from Elephant Island, Antarctica, to the mountainous island of South Georgia.
On reaching South Georgia, Shackleton and 2 men then scaled the islands peaks with virtually no equipment to reach a remote whaling station. Shackletons original goal had been to become the first man to cross Antarctica. With the sinking of his ship Endurance in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, it instead became a journey of survival, both for the 6 men in the James Caird and the 22 men left behind on Elephant Island, whose rescue depended on their success. To this day, no-one has successfully completed Shackletons double the voyage followed by the mountain climb using 1916 technology, food, and equipment (modern safety equipment will be available for emergencies only). Tim Jarvis will be heading-up the team that will attempt the journey under the patronage of The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter and closest living relative of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Dubbed The Shackleton Epic, the expedition will set sail from Elephant Island in a faithful replica of the James Caird, named the Alexandra Shackleton, in honour of the expedition patron.
The boat is currently moored at Dean Reddyhoff Portland Marina, undergoing final preparation prior to departing England. The main body of the expedition will depart Elephant Island in January 2013 and hope to hold a memorial service at Sir Ernest Shackletons grave at Grytviken on South Georgia by February 15th a total round trip of approximately six weeks. Shackletons voyage is often cited as one of the greatest open boat journeys ever accomplished by man.