On a freezing Monday morning, Tim Jarvis and Barry Gray appeared on a white horizon as they edged closer to Stromness, a former whaling station in the Antarctic. This was the final destination in their expedition – an authentic recreation of Ernest Shackleton’s attempt to cross the Antarctic from coast to coast during the Endurance Expedition (1914-1917).
The key here is an ‘authentic recreation’. Not only did Jarvis and Gray follow Shackleton’s route, they did it only using mountain-climbing gear and equipment that the original expedition would have used in the early 1900s. A brave decision given that a few days ago they were caught in white-out conditions, but for environmental scientist Travis Jarvis this was about honouring the brave:
‘These early explorers were iron men in wooden boats and while modern man mostly travels around in iron vessels, I hope we’ve been able to emulate some of what they achieved. There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone has a Shakleton double in them and I hope we’ve inspired a few people to find theirs’
Shackleton was born in Kilkea, Co. Kildare, Ireland. He had the intrepid spirit of The Wild Geese, and took to the seas at 16. He has become one of the prominent figures inn the Heroic Age of Antarctic Explorations, along with Captain Scott.
Its endearing to see how Jarvis and Gray have tried to connect with their hero by sharing in his experiences. When Shackleton’s eyes met those new horizons, its likely that he shared in the experiences of The Wild Geese when they left Ireland and faced the unknown in 1691. The legend continues.