Saturday, February 16, 2013

Paying respects at grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton

The crewmen who repeated the Shackleton Antarctic voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island paid their respects to The Boss.  At the start I was impressed by the handsome replica of the 22' loa lifeboat which Shackleton desperately prepared for the early winter 800 mile last chance mission to get help.  But I was skeptical.  They were navigating by sextant, yes, wearing traditional clothing and using traditional gear like a spill-prone primus stove, huddled under the surely more watertight than Shackleton’s canvas deck cover. But the re-enactors  hadn’t lived in a tent on an ice floe for six months, drinking weak tea, eating penguin and seal, burning blubber for fuel, with an occasional cigaret for a treat, had they?  

But when they got to the desolate cove on South Georgia huddling in a cave two of the crew had “trench foot” (think WW I) and had to be med evac’ed rather than hike over a mountain range.  Tim Jarvis - an Everest vet - and his navigator took off and - still in original gear - had to be re-supplied (by their rested mates) when they were in a tough spot on a ledge above a glacier in a storm.  I’m a believer now.  They gave us a glimpse into what Shackleton and his men endured. - GWC
Alexandra Shackleton, expedition patron and grand-daughter of Sir Ernest, with Australian expedition leader Tim Jarvis at Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave, Grytviken, South Georgia. Photo by Jo Stewart
Expedition leader Tim Jarvis  with Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest,
and patron of the lifeboat voyage from Antarctica to South Georgia Island, at the grave of The Boss at Grytviken

Shackleton voyage: story ends with visit to Shackleton’s grave | Classic Boat Magazine:
"It was a fitting tribute to conclude one of the most gruelling expeditions in recent times.
A mug of Shackleton’s favourite scotch, a toast raised to ‘the Boss’ and the last dram of Mackinlay’s poured onto the gravesite in an offering to his legendary achievements.

Today the six members of Shackleton Epic crew met with their Patron and their boat’s namesake, The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton at the grave site of Sir Ernest, who is buried at Grytviken, South Georgia, where he died in 1922."

h/t Jesse Fradkin

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