James Caird in surf. Photo: Frank Hurley
In 1916, after losing his boat The Endurance on an expedition to Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton and five crew members hopped in a row boat named the James Caird and set off on an 800-mile journey from Elephant Island, Antarctica, to South Georgia Island. He left behind 22 crew members in his last ditch effort at survival. Shackleton and co. spent 17 days at sea in the 23-foot wooden boat before landing on South Georgia. Then, Shackleton and two men crossed miles of mountainous terrain to get to a whaling station. After arriving and getting a boat, he returned to Elephant Island on his fourth attempt and rescued the rest of his crew. "It is perhaps the greatest survival journey of all," says Tim Jarvis.
Jarvis is a 46-year-old Australian/Briton who hopes to recreate Shackleton's double using only period gear. He's created a replica boat, gathered replica clothing, and assembled a core of salty cohorts. The only modern equipment he'll bring will be emergency rescue gear. Here's the kicker: He's still looking for few more good men and women to join him—via the Internet. This actually isn't so far off from what some believe Shackleton did to find crew for his expeditions—he allegedly used newspaper classifieds. If you want to join, read on for details of the journey and what Jarvis wants in a crewmate.