The Alexandra Shackleton, the Shackleton Epic’s replica of the James Caird, is currently on display as part of the Australian National Maritime Museum‘s exhibition ‘Shackleton: Escape from Antarctica’ .
Co-curated by our expedition leader Tim Jarvis AM the exhibition is now open to the public 2 April until 29 November 2015.
Background: The Alexandra Shackleton
Launched at a traditional naval naming ceremony at Portland Marina, Dorset, UK in March 2012 and named after The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, Shackleton Epic’s patron, Sir Ernest’s granddaughter and president of the James Caird Society, the Alexandra Shackleton is a replica of Shackleton’s 22.5’ (6.9m) whaler, the James Caird.
Tim Jarvis and his crew conducted sea trials in the English Channel aboard the Alexandra Shackleton as well as safety and survival training. The crew participated in further training with the vessel in Antarctic waters ahead of the expedition.
The Alexandra Shackleton was built at the International Boatbuilding College at Lowestoft. While the essential outer features of the James Caird and the Alexandra Shackleton are the same, there are a couple of differences between the boats:
European larch from Scotland has been used for the Alexandra Shackleton rather than the Baltic pine planking on steamed oak timbers of the James Caird.
The Alexandra Shackleton has a full deck of pine boards and canvas, whereas the James Caird – initially timber planked only fore and aft.
In 2008 Tim Jarvis spoke to Cowes TV about the Alexandra Shackleton and the Shackleton Epic