ROYAL NAVY ADVENTURERS SET FOR SHACKLETON DOUBLE
Royal Marines Warrant Officer Barry “Baz” Gray and Royal Naval Petty Officer Seb Coulthard will form part of a crew of Antarctic adventurers recreating Sir Ernest Shackleton’s epic and extraordinary double mission.
At a moving ceremony at Portland Marina in Dorset the boat, “Alexandra Shackleton” was named and launched by the legendary explorer’s granddaughter the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton. “It’s a great honour to have a boat named after me and I’m very proud that this expedition is going to recreate for the first time since 1916 my grandfather’s epic boat journey”, Alexandra Shackleton said.
The expedition is set to recreate Shackleton’s epic mission in authentic 1916 style. The boat is an exact replica of the “James Caird”, the lifeboat from Shackleton’s ship “Endurance”. The crew will also endure the hardships of that age, wearing clothing of the time. All the rigging and features on the lifeboat are faithfully reconstructed, as Shackleton would have used. Seb Coulthard explains, “We’ve taken away all the complicated aspect of modern equipment, and we’ve gone back to basics. It brings out the more resourceful side of you”.
Sir Ernest Shackleton and five companions completed this incredible journey sailing their small boat across 800 miles of the roughest ocean in the world from Elephant Island, Antarctica to the mountainous South Georgia. On reaching the Island, Shackleton set off with two of the crew and scaled the precipitous peaks up to 3000 feet, with virtually no mountain equipment or map, to reach a remote whaling station at Stromness on South Georgia’s Western side. To this day no one has successfully completed Shackleton’s double. The journey is often cited as one of the greatest rescue mission in the history of exploration.
Expedition leader Tim Jarvis will head a crew including Darren Naggs, the boats Skipper, Seb Coulthard and Baz Gray who will make the most of his Royal Marines Mountain Leader skills.
Baz summarises, “It’s only been done once before, its going to be horrible, damp, cold, uncomfortable, there’ll be nothing nice about it, and that’s why this will be such an awesome challenge”