Explorers to recreate epic 1914 voyage

Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM
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SYDNEY, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- British and Australian adventurers say they plan to recreate a historic journey of human survival that followed a failed 1914 attempt to cross Antarctica.

In that year seasoned British explorer Ernest Shackleton made the first-ever attempt to cross the ice-bound continent, but had to call of the attempt when his ship became trapped in the ice and Shackleton and his men had to move onto the ice.

Boarding a lifeboat after the ship was crushed by ice, Shackleton and his crew rowed 900 miles through the Southern Ocean to South Georgia Island and eventual rescue -- a voyage the modern day explorers hope to duplicate using the same kinds of equipment used in 1914.

"We're going to do the same, hopefully," Tim Jarvis, leader of the 2013 Shackleton Epic, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Although the expedition will travel with reserve emergency equipment -- satellite phones and beacons in a sealed box -- they intend to use only equipment from the turn of the last century.

Set to depart Thursday night from Argentina for Antarctica, the modern explorers will begin their re-creation of Shackleton's voyage Jan. 20.

"The very essence of adventure is randomness," said expedition member Paul Larsen, and Australian who set the world sailing speed record in November.

"Shackleton set out with a plan and something happened and it turned out to be a bigger adventure than he had ever hoped for" Larsen said.

"Now we're under way, we'll see what really happens."

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