SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
MARKING THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORIGINAL LAUNCH OF THE JAMES CAIRD IN 1916
On 24th April 2009 the Shackleton Epic Expedition will be launched at Dulwich College, Shackleton's old school and now the final resting place of the James Caird. Details of how you can obtain tickets (£25) are given below.
24th April marks the anniversary of the day Sir Ernest Shackleton and five companions embarked on the now legendary voyage of the tiny James Caird, crossing 800 miles of storm-tossed Southern Ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia. There they climbed the unknown mountainous interior of the island and eventually rescued Shackleton's men from Elephant Island.
There will be a reception, a mini-auction and a lecture by the Expedition leader, Tim Jarvis, an environmental scientist and veteran of 16 expeditions.
The South Australian Polar adventurer also recently completed with a colleague the first unsupported crossing of Australia's largest desert, the remote Great Victoria Desert, spanning an area of almost 350,000kmē. The ABC and Channel 4 film Mawson: Life and Death in Antarctica won film awards following Tim and colleague John Stoukalo's expedition to re-enact the polar survival journey of Sir Douglas Mawson using the same 1912 clothing, equipment and starvation rations as Mawson would have had. He has navigated through sub-zero Arctic temperatures on Spitzbergen and at the North Pole.
For his Transantarctic Expedition at the millennium (1999-2000) Tim and his colleagues set themselves the mammoth task of manhauling sleds weighing 220kgs over 2,800km at altitudes of up to 4,000 metres and temperatures as low as –45C (a domestic freezer is about –5C).
Meanwhile the Shackleton Epic Expedition's plans are well advanced. A replica of the James Caird is presently being built. Tim's aim is to "do the double", i.e. complete both Shackleton's boat journey and Shackleton, Worsley and Crean's arduous 36-hour trek across the (then uncharted) mountains of South Georgia. There have been several not entirely successful attempts in the past to complete both undertakings exactly and in rapid succession.
The Shackleton Epic Expedition, a tribute to Sir Ernest Shackleton's unique brand of leadership, will depart in 2010. In order to get closer to the spirit of 1916, a sextant will be used on the boat journey - no GPS - and the Expedition will wear original-type clothing and eat original-type food.
The Patrons of the Expedition are the Master of Dulwich College, Graham Able MA, and The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest and President of the James Caird Society.
Tickets to this special launch event are available and cost £25 (please makes cheques payable to The Shackleton Epic Expedition) and can be obtained from Anna Thomsen, 54 Bendermeer Road, Putney, London SW15 1JU. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope. (Donations are also welcome.)
Dulwich College SE23 is in South London and lies on the South Circular Road just east of West Dulwich Station, which can be reached from Victoria Station.