Reliving Shackleton’s Epic Endurance Expedition
Legend has it that Antarctic adventurer Ernest Shackleton posted an advertisement in a London paper before his infamous Endurance expedition:
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.”
Although no one has been able to find the original ad, the sentiment, at the very least, should serve as a strong warning to Tim Jarvis, the British/Australian adventurer who is attempting to recreate the expedition as authentically as possible.
“For Shackleton it was a journey into the unknown made out of desperation,” Jarvis says. “For us it will not be that different.”
Shackleton was a leader of an era of polar exploration, but his misadventure began in 1915, when his ship sank just 15 months into the Antarctic journey, stranding him and 28 men. Their once-proud journey was reduced to a sad hamlet of windblown tents on the ice. Desperate, Shackleton and five others embarked on the 800-mile mission across the Southern Ocean in the James Caird, a dinky, 22.5-foot, oak-framed lifeboat. Seventeen days of frigid winds and treacherous seas later, they landed on the remote island of South Georgia where they clambered over the rocky, glaciated mountains to find refuge. It would take more than four months for Shackleton to return to Elephant Island and rescue the 23 men left behind. Despite the odds against them, all 28 survived.