Shackleton adventurers follow footsteps of explorer to complete historic challenge (From Thisisdorset)
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Shackleton adventurers follow footsteps of explorer to complete historic challenge
THE Shackleton Epic adventurers have successfully completed the historic double challenge.
Following in the wake and footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton, Weymouth sailor Paul Larsen, pictured, and team-mates have re-enacted an 800 nautical mile voyage across the Southern Ocean and have reached South Georgia Island.
The expedition departed on their history-making journey on January 23 and have arrived at the old whaling station at Stromness.
Their arrival marks the achievements of ‘the double’ for the crew of Shackleton Epic.
They crossed 800 nautical miles of ocean from Elephant Island to the South Georgia and tackled the mountain climb across South Georgia, which Shackleton completed in 1916.
It is the same location where Shackleton and his men raised the alarm that the crew of the Endurance needed rescue, almost 100 years ago.
Mr Larsen’s crew mates included team leader Tim Jarvis, mountaineer and royal marine Barry Gray, skipper Nick Bubb, Seb Coulthard, cameraman Ed Wardle.
Mr Larsen, who acted as navigator aboard the Alexandra Shackleton replica boat, said it was a ‘real honour’ to walk in Shackleton’s footsteps despite being pounded by 50 knot winds.
“We are only replicating part of the journey but it was a real honour to walk in that great man’s footsteps,” he said.
Veteran polar adventurer Mr Jarvis added: “It was epic. We’ve arrived here against the odds.
“The ice climb is a serious thing, Shackleton didn’t exaggerate.
“With ice at 50 degrees, with one wrong foot, we could have careened down a crevasse.”
The team had planned to use the same kind of clothing and gear that Shackleton and his men would have worn in 1916.
However, they had to resort to using a modern tent and sleeping bags to stay alive.
They also decided to eat salami rather than the penguins and seals on which Shackleton’s crew subsisted.
The brave team leader paid tribute to his crew members who he said were all ‘first-rate individuals’.
He added: “These early explorers were iron men in wooden boats and while modern man mostly travels around in iron vessels, I hope we’ve been able to emulate some of what they achieved.”
SHACKLETON’S survival story was remarkable in that the final two legs of his journey came after the 28 crew had endured more than a year in Antarctica.
Their ship was crushed by the ice pack and the men later sailed in lifeboats to Elephant Island, where 22 of them stayed, waiting for help.
After reaching the whaling station, Shackleton was able to raise the alarm and save all his crew.