|Explorers begin tracing Shackleton footsteps
An expedition recreating Ernest Shackleton's perilous 1916 crossing of the Southern Ocean in a small boat got under way today.
Led by renowned adventurer Tim Jarvis, the team of six set off to sail 800 nautical miles in a spartan lifeboat from Elephant Island off the Antarctic Peninsula to rugged South Georgia, their support team said, AFP reports.
They plan to only use the equipment and food available to Shackleton before facing a two-day climb to 900 meters over the mountainous, crevassed interior of South Georgia. That will take them to the old whaling station at Stromness, on the other side of the island, where Shackleton and his crew, with little more than the clothes on their backs, raised the alarm.
When Shackleton set off on his third trip to the region in 1914 with the ship Endurance, he planned to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. But the vessel became trapped in 1915, and sank 10 months later as it became crushed by the advancing ice. Shackleton and his crew lived on the floating ice until April 1916, when they set off in three small boats for Elephant Island.
From there, Shackleton and five crew made the treacherous voyage to South Georgia, reaching their destination 16 days later, then faced the mountainous trek.
All members of the Endurance mission were eventually rescued with no fatalities.
Shackleton died of a heart attack off South Georgia in 1922 during his fourth Antarctic expedition, aiming to circumnavigate the continent, and is buried on the island.