Jump to content


Chasing Shackleton TV Series

Paul Larson PBS

  • Please log in to reply
94 replies to this topic

#1 Murphness

Murphness

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Interests:Sailing, Brewing Beer, Drinking Beer, Skiing and other outsidey things

Posted 19 January 2014 - 11:10 PM

Looks like PBS did a 3 part documentary on Larso's adventure. Maybe this has already been posted somewhere, but I didn't see it and the search function is f'd... Here's a preview and the link below is to the website for the full length version. I don't think they've all aired yet though. Gonna watch one now and see how it is...

 

If you're not in the US try the "Hola" plugin for Chrome to mask your IP.

 

 

http://video.pbs.org...covefullprogram



#2 HWP

HWP

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 85 posts

Posted 19 January 2014 - 11:42 PM

First 1 of 3 was like an amateur "reality" show ... #2 of 3 was better.  Awaiting #3.



#3 Murphness

Murphness

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Interests:Sailing, Brewing Beer, Drinking Beer, Skiing and other outsidey things

Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:06 AM

Bummer. It looked promising...

 

I tried to Chromecast it to my TV via the browser tab but sadly either the app isn't up to speed or my network doesn't have the bandwidth. Will watch later straight from the computer.



#4 Pukeudgie

Pukeudgie

    Newbie

  • Banned
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:02 AM

Chromecast only works on YouTube and Netflix. No?

This series has been out a couple of months I think originally from. Australia. PBS had nothing to do with its production. Episode 3 was ok. Makes you appreciate why shack did and these guys struggled with even with weather info, food, etc even 100 yrs later. You can find episode 3 on the web

#5 Murphness

Murphness

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Interests:Sailing, Brewing Beer, Drinking Beer, Skiing and other outsidey things

Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:50 AM

You can cast from Chrome tabs with the extension, but video embedded in tabs don't seem to play nice on the big screen so far. The specific video streaming apps are far better. Still some development to go I think...



#6 auscat

auscat

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,320 posts
  • Location:Airlie Beach

Posted 20 January 2014 - 05:45 AM

http://forums.sailin...153069&hl=larso

#7 AJ Oliver

AJ Oliver

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Location:Sandusky Sailing Club
  • Interests:Retired Pol Sci Prof

Posted 20 January 2014 - 05:48 AM

Part II was very good.  That little boat was doing some serious pitching/rolling/yawing.  Good thing the chase boat was there to save their butts on the final approach to the island - I have NO problem with that !!!  



#8 knucklehead

knucklehead

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 442 posts

Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:45 AM

I just finished reading:

The story of a remarkable Irishman,

at Shackleton's side throughout.

Hope they gave him the credit due to him.  COL97819051728631.jpg



#9 gkny

gkny

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 184 posts

Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:58 PM

It seems that there were two previous recreations (in 1994 and 2003?) but I can't find much on them. The claim that this expedition is the first recreation seems a stretch.

#10 MisterMoon

MisterMoon

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,111 posts
  • Location:Acworth, GA

Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:35 PM

It seems that there were two previous recreations (in 1994 and 2003?) but I can't find much on them. The claim that this expedition is the first recreation seems a stretch.

 

I recall seeing a film about one of them. Like this one, the were accompanied by another vessel, Pelagiac perhaps. The crew had been pretty badly beaten up in a couple of storms when it was learned a worse storm was coming. During a lull in the weather, everyone was taken aboard the escort and the boat was scuttled by drilling a number of 1/2" diameter holes in the bilges. I do believe they went on to do the S. Georgia traverse, though. Unlike the current expedition, I believe they were using modern mountaineering equipment and clothing. 



#11 SemiSalt

SemiSalt

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,493 posts
  • Location:WLIS

Posted 20 January 2014 - 05:02 PM

I remember reading about a redo of the S. Georgia crossing. The state of the glaciers (melting) was much different than in Shackleton's time, and a different route and different methods were necessary.



#12 jhc

jhc

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,639 posts

Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:48 PM

Try this link: http://ice-shackletonmovie.com/

 

I met a writer associated with this project a couple of years ago. don't know the status now, but quite ambitious.



#13 HWP

HWP

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 85 posts

Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:51 PM

For scientific discovery, give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, give me Amundsen; 
but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out, 
get on your knees and pray for Shackleton. 
 
Incomparable in adversity, he was the miracle worker who would save your life against all the odds and
long after your number was up. The greatest leader that ever came on God’s earth, bar none.”
 
Sir Raymond Priestley, 1956
Antarctic Geologist, 
Member of Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition


#14 Steam Flyer

Steam Flyer

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,942 posts
  • Location:Eastern NC

Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:55 PM

I was kind of disappointed in the show (so far). They didn't really go into much detail about the boat or the passage, just sound bites and too-quick camera cuts (it's a common gripe for me trying to watch TV, directors don't actually let you SEE anything).

 

It was great to see the scenery, and the boats sailing was also very cool. But these guys launched the boat with a crane, Shackleton and his men man-hauled it across the ice, then built the topsides and deck on the spot, then launched it by hand. These guys were warm & dry and well fed until they jumped in the boat and started sailing, Shackleton and his men had spent the past 14 months living on the ice.

 

The worst part is, they don't have a clue how to sail. The director shows the same wave hitting the boat broadside over & over to illustrate how rough it was; yet they never mention heaving-to or using a sea anchor. Most of the sailing shots show the boat zig-zagging and sails flapping or overtrimmed, two sequences show them looking up at the sails in annoyance as the boat makes repeated uncontrolled gybes. WTF? Let Larson show you guys how to fricken sail before starting the camera rolling! Also, I don't think they ever rowed while Shackleton & Worsely had to several times.

 

Enough griping, it's an interesting lesson in modern times and a good look at the scenes where one of the greatest adventures in the history of mankind played out.

 

FB- Doug



#15 Murphness

Murphness

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Interests:Sailing, Brewing Beer, Drinking Beer, Skiing and other outsidey things

Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:14 PM

Finally got to the first episode last night. I guess I can see where the complaints lie, but it was still pretty entertaining and informative. I'm glad I was on my couch with a rum drink in my hand instead of on that boat! Good god that must have been a shitty few weeks.

 

Good on em!



#16 J T

J T

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts

Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:23 PM

There was a documentary several years ago that was pretty good, and worthwhile viewing if you haven't seen it.  Called "The Endurance".



#17 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:36 PM

Righto... might as well get off the fence and offer to answer any queries as best I can. It was a fascinating opportunity for me and one  that I wasn't sure I could do justice. When I watched the finished doco I knew that there would rightfully be many questions from the sailing fraternity so perhaps I can answer a few here. Obviously we could never really do it in the same context as Shackletons journey... but in some ways it did give a realistic insight  for reasons you don't always initially expect. So fire away and I'll try and throw a light on some of the areas left dim by the doco.



#18 The Gardener

The Gardener

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 555 posts
  • Location:44 56' N 93 17' W

Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:55 PM

I was kind of disappointed in the show (so far). They didn't really go into much detail about the boat or the passage, just sound bites and too-quick camera cuts (it's a common gripe for me trying to watch TV, directors don't actually let you SEE anything).

 

It was great to see the scenery, and the boats sailing was also very cool. But these guys launched the boat with a crane, Shackleton and his men man-hauled it across the ice, then built the topsides and deck on the spot, then launched it by hand. These guys were warm & dry and well fed until they jumped in the boat and started sailing, Shackleton and his men had spent the past 14 months living on the ice.

 

The worst part is, they don't have a clue how to sail. The director shows the same wave hitting the boat broadside over & over to illustrate how rough it was; yet they never mention heaving-to or using a sea anchor. Most of the sailing shots show the boat zig-zagging and sails flapping or overtrimmed, two sequences show them looking up at the sails in annoyance as the boat makes repeated uncontrolled gybes. WTF? Let Larson show you guys how to fricken sail before starting the camera rolling! Also, I don't think they ever rowed while Shackleton & Worsely had to several times.

 

Enough griping, it's an interesting lesson in modern times and a good look at the scenes where one of the greatest adventures in the history of mankind played out.

 

FB- Doug

They had a bit of sailing experience.

Maybe a volvo guy on board. Although not everyone had a clew



#19 dacapo

dacapo

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,570 posts
  • Location:NY
  • Interests:walks on the beach,a good book,a good cry

Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:30 PM

Righto... might as well get off the fence and offer to answer any queries as best I can. It was a fascinating opportunity for me and one  that I wasn't sure I could do justice. When I watched the finished doco I knew that there would rightfully be many questions from the sailing fraternity so perhaps I can answer a few here. Obviously we could never really do it in the same context as Shackletons journey... but in some ways it did give a realistic insight  for reasons you don't always initially expect. So fire away and I'll try and throw a light on some of the areas left dim by the doco.

tell me about the steering system.  Why?  .



#20 Steam Flyer

Steam Flyer

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,942 posts
  • Location:Eastern NC

Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:54 PM

... ...

 

The worst part is, they don't have a clue how to sail. The director shows the same wave hitting the boat broadside over & over to illustrate how rough it was; yet they never mention heaving-to or using a sea anchor. Most of the sailing shots show the boat zig-zagging and sails flapping or overtrimmed, two sequences show them looking up at the sails in annoyance as the boat makes repeated uncontrolled gybes. WTF? Let Larson show you guys how to fricken sail before starting the camera rolling! Also, I don't think they ever rowed while Shackleton & Worsely had to several times.

 

Enough griping, it's an interesting lesson in modern times and a good look at the scenes where one of the greatest adventures in the history of mankind played out.

 

FB- Doug

They had a bit of sailing experience.

Maybe a volvo guy on board. Although not everyone had a clew

 

I apologize for the "no clue" remark, that was thoughtless. Seems likely to be the result of film editing rather than really representative of what was actually happening... after all, a producer splicing in the same wave hitting the boat X times (not sure how many, it seemed like a dozen or more) probably thought that sails flapping wildly looked "exciting" too and after all the audience is mostly dunces worse than themselves, right? You can see why I don't watch much TV.

 

Anyway, I am curious about how the boat sailed and about the navigation. The show repeatedly said that the modified lifeboat could not sail upwind... it doesn't seem likely that it would make good VMG by modern standards, but heck the Santa Maria could sail upwind (a little).

 

From what I remember of Worsely (the captain of ENDURANCE and the navigator)'s book, he pre-figured much of what he'd need to find South Georgia. I have done celestial in small boats, sun sights are very difficult to capture and I never did get good star sights. In the film, it did show some pretty good scenes of taking taking sextant shots and calling time.

 

Larso, thanks in advance for any answers or comments.

 

FB- Doug



#21 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:56 PM

Righto... might as well get off the fence and offer to answer any queries as best I can. It was a fascinating opportunity for me and one  that I wasn't sure I could do justice. When I watched the finished doco I knew that there would rightfully be many questions from the sailing fraternity so perhaps I can answer a few here. Obviously we could never really do it in the same context as Shackletons journey... but in some ways it did give a realistic insight  for reasons you don't always initially expect. So fire away and I'll try and throw a light on some of the areas left dim by the doco.

tell me about the steering system.  Why?  .

We used the same steering system and rudder as the original James Caird (as best as we can tell anyway). The team did a fantastic job recreating the dimensions of the original in great detail. The measurements were taken from the original boat in Dulwich College. There are a few things I would have done differently i.e. added a tiller... but that wasn't as it was on the original... so from drawings, written accounts and so on... we recreated the original as best we could. Remember that the James Caird was meant to be a rowing boat. I wondered if this was part reason why the rudder wasn't balanced i.e. it would trail freely if let go whilst rowing. This meant the boat was pig to steer although the ketch rig could be trimmed to balance the boat on an even helm when reaching. We had two 'yoke' lines coming from the top of the rudder quadrant (actually a full semi-circle from memory) that ran forward into the cockpit. You would pull forward with your right arm to turn right and with your left to go left. As the rudder wasn't balanced this could often be very heavy and hence quickly tiring. We worked out a variety of ways to haul on these things including using foot stirrups. When reaching, the boat could be set up so you just needed to haul on one line. You could fix off one end and then just put a catinerary force on the line to make the steering easier. The hardest work was sailing dead downwind. It was like balancing a long stick on your finger. The helm was only neutral when the boat was facing dead downwind. If you let it go either side, the force required to correct it was pretty high. Often you would find yourself going from lock to lock. When you got tired... which could be quickly... the course would become 'drunken' and you would often find the boat beam on to the sea. Too often and it was a clear signal to change watch. We reduced the sail to just the small jib in the stronger conditions. Nick and I tried to make the steering as easy as possible on the inexperienced sailors. This slowed the boat right down and made it easier for us to 'dead reckon' the course as we were half sailing and half drifiting with the wind and current. The boat had no keel so it wouldn't track very well. It was not a nice boat to sail... it was hard work.



#22 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:13 PM

 

... ...

 

The worst part is, they don't have a clue how to sail. The director shows the same wave hitting the boat broadside over & over to illustrate how rough it was; yet they never mention heaving-to or using a sea anchor. Most of the sailing shots show the boat zig-zagging and sails flapping or overtrimmed, two sequences show them looking up at the sails in annoyance as the boat makes repeated uncontrolled gybes. WTF? Let Larson show you guys how to fricken sail before starting the camera rolling! Also, I don't think they ever rowed while Shackleton & Worsely had to several times.

 

Enough griping, it's an interesting lesson in modern times and a good look at the scenes where one of the greatest adventures in the history of mankind played out.

 

FB- Doug

They had a bit of sailing experience.

Maybe a volvo guy on board. Although not everyone had a clew

 

I apologize for the "no clue" remark, that was thoughtless. Seems likely to be the result of film editing rather than really representative of what was actually happening... after all, a producer splicing in the same wave hitting the boat X times (not sure how many, it seemed like a dozen or more) probably thought that sails flapping wildly looked "exciting" too and after all the audience is mostly dunces worse than themselves, right? You can see why I don't watch much TV.

 

Anyway, I am curious about how the boat sailed and about the navigation. The show repeatedly said that the modified lifeboat could not sail upwind... it doesn't seem likely that it would make good VMG by modern standards, but heck the Santa Maria could sail upwind (a little).

 

From what I remember of Worsely (the captain of ENDURANCE and the navigator)'s book, he pre-figured much of what he'd need to find South Georgia. I have done celestial in small boats, sun sights are very difficult to capture and I never did get good star sights. In the film, it did show some pretty good scenes of taking taking sextant shots and calling time.

 

Larso, thanks in advance for any answers or comments.

 

FB- Doug

yeah I was worried about getting the Nav right. Worsleys boots were big ones to fill and the job he did was legendary. Both Nick and I also knew we only had one chance to get it right and we were desperate not to have to resort to using modern gear. We started taking sights on the way across the Drakes Passage on The Australis (support vessel) whilst coming down to meet the Alexandra Shackleton on King George Island. It was obvious it was going to be hard work as it was already hard on a much higher and much bigger vessel. Our experience with such navigation pales into insignificance next to someone like Worsley. That said, I think we would have worked out the same navigation plan as him even without his precedent. It all seemed pretty logical to us i.e. head as far North as you can get to get away from the ice and then try and come in from the West using noon-sights and the prevailing winds and currents. Worsley would have been much more familiar with his ships clock than we were... but even he chose just to use noon sights (where accurate time isn't so important). Some of the sights I tried to take were reduced to comedy by the pale sun, big seas and the motion of the boat. We got two good noon sights on the trip. Nick and I worked together to double check each others working thoroughly. I think we might have been able to find Sth Georgia on dead reckoning alone... but maybe not. Just getting one noon sight to verify your dead reckoning gives you huge confidence that would otherwise be lacking. We used a ships chronometer and sextant which were near as identical to what they had. We had absolutely no outside assistance from the support vessel in any form whatsoever. They even played little games to make sure we weren't trying to reference their course (by assuming they were locking onto a course with auto-pilot). We had a protocol where they would give us no indication whatsoever how we were going on the radio scheds (1 a day). Ben Wallis (Skipper of the Australis) was extremely professional and did a great job of disappearing into the background. It was only on the last night that he had to break silence and tell us to heave-to. It was a real shame as in some respects it may have denied us a real adventure... but it was the pre-discussed protocol and we had to stick to it. He held off as long as he could.



#23 Murphness

Murphness

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Interests:Sailing, Brewing Beer, Drinking Beer, Skiing and other outsidey things

Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:58 AM

Almost done with the second part. Really digging it so far. A couple question jump out though...

 

- Was that the best beer you've ever had?

- I would've guessed you'd all be shivering and close to hypothermia from the get go with those clothes. What were the temps down below? Were you able to warm up decently?

 

Thanks, Larso! 



#24 Mark K

Mark K

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 36,161 posts

Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:22 AM

 I was wondering about the gabardine. Heard that when it came out it was still typical to Linseed-oil it after it started to leak, which it always did after some wear. Seems the stuff they were using was left plain, and it probably isn't the same multi-layer construction used when gabardine was the bees knees for explorers in the early 20th.  



#25 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:20 AM

Almost done with the second part. Really digging it so far. A couple question jump out though...

 

- Was that the best beer you've ever had?

- I would've guessed you'd all be shivering and close to hypothermia from the get go with those clothes. What were the temps down below? Were you able to warm up decently?

 

Thanks, Larso! 

Hmmm... I've had some pretty nice beers before but that one was up there. By the end of this (and I won't do a 'spoiler' as I'm not sure if the third one has aired over there yet), I was so exhausted I actually couldn't drink the beer that was offered. I was totally drained and just curled up and went to sleep... albeit with a smile on my face.

There were times on that boat where the cold really kicked in. It was a great journey through the world of discomfort. Your mind is a wonderful thing and comfort is very much a relative thing. Your mind is always looking for a way to be positive i.e. "OK, my legs are soaked but I'm still dry and warm here" or "now I'm absolutely soaked through... but I'll be down below in a minute". The real discomfort creeps in gradually. Down below was cold... but there was often 5 of us down there. We had five deer skins for blankets and 'spooning' wasn't optional, it was just a natural state that you were drawn to. It was so damned cramped down there and you could never stretch out. It was like perpetually sleeping in Economy class on an airline. There were a few times when I woke up and realised "Holy shit... I'm actually, really doing this. I'm on Shackletons boat trip... and it's only day 5"! You always battle to get warm and dry but I remember the watch where I just copped repeated waves and could feel the water running down my back and butt. I was finally totally drenched right through with cold water. Even then, your body starts to warm it up as all the wool and such starts to act like a big, loose wetsuit. If ever you have done a long offshore trip in really bad foulies you will know what it's like but at least we didn't have to take ours off and put the wet mess back on again. That said, we would often take off the top outer jacket when joining the spooning heirachy down below... just to be accepted into it and not infuse it with any more water than necessary. It took me about two days to start getting properly dry again. Well, you never really get dry when soaked with salt water in that environment.

We all began to suffer from the cold and three of us eventually got taken out by Trench foot. I don't know how or why I escaped as I spent forever on decks and on the helm. I just wanted to escape from the cramped conditions below decks. I was amazed at how well my hands stood up to the cold considering the thin, torn woolen gloves I was wearing. In reality it took months for them to come back to normal afterwards. Damage was being done.

We had a proper hatch on the boat. It could be sealed much better than Shackletons original boat. We wanted to stay with the boat and didn't all need to die in a roll-over to prove a point. We rarely fully closed the hatch though as we needed to breath down there. Yeah I would rate being so cramped all the time as worse than the cold. We are all fairly big guys too relative to Shackletons crew. We are all around 6' with Tim being massive at over 6'5". Only Crean was 6' on the James Caird. Combine that with the two bulkheads we had... and all the space taken up by the modern safety gear we had stowed (out of sight and unused) onboard and it was pretty tight. It was great to get off it onto land.



#26 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:28 AM

 I was wondering about the gabardine. Heard that when it came out it was still typical to Linseed-oil it after it started to leak, which it always did after some wear. Seems the stuff they were using was left plain, and it probably isn't the same multi-layer construction used when gabardine was the bees knees for explorers in the early 20th.  

We tried to get genuine Burberry jackets but ended up getting the next best thing. We spent ages rubbing in Dubbin and various oils to try and seal it. We each had our own techniques. I often wondered what they used as I'm sure there was a real technique to it. It did make it relatively resistant to water... but in no way water-proof. The best thing it did was make it wind-proof... and this mattered. I have little doubt that our clothing was very similar to what they were wearing. I wouldn't be surprised if their stuff was in fact a lot better than what we had tried to cobble together 100 years later. these were experienced explorers choosing the best of what they had. From what we could research though, I think we were well and truly in the ball-park. We didn't cheat anywhere and were very good at self-policing this. One layer of Gore-tex would have made life so much easier. We had an opportunity to do this thing once... and we wanted to do it right... even down to cut-off wooden spoons.



#27 AJ Oliver

AJ Oliver

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Location:Sandusky Sailing Club
  • Interests:Retired Pol Sci Prof

Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:21 PM

Hey Mr. Larso - 

 

    What is your best guess as to what would have happened had not Ben Wallis intervened?  You were forward of where you thought you were, right?   And heading right for a lee shore, right?   At night, right?  Jeebus !!!

 

    Ben Wallis (Skipper of the Australis) - "It was only on the last night that he had to break silence and tell us to heave-to."  

 

    Thanks for taking these questions . .   



#28 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:27 PM

Chromecast only works on YouTube and Netflix. No?

This series has been out a couple of months I think originally from. Australia. PBS had nothing to do with its production. Episode 3 was ok. Makes you appreciate why shack did and these guys struggled with even with weather info, food, etc even 100 yrs later. You can find episode 3 on the web

Chromecast works on anything.  Just open file in Chrome and then use the Chromecast plugin to 'cast' it to your TV.  MP4, AVI files are all good.  Let me see if I can find a full source for the show that isn't geoblocked or otherwise annoying.



#29 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:36 PM

And Paul do you know if the US version is the same as that which aired in Oz/UK?  



#30 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:40 PM

Found the original. 

 

Part 1:

 

 

 

Part 2:

 

 

 

Part 3:  

 



#31 Murphness

Murphness

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Interests:Sailing, Brewing Beer, Drinking Beer, Skiing and other outsidey things

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:45 PM

Nice one! Thanks, Clean. Different title from the PBS airing threw my google-fu off (didn't try very hard)...

 

Episode 3 tonight!

 

Cheers,

 

Murphness



#32 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:44 PM

Hey Mr. Larso - 

 

    What is your best guess as to what would have happened had not Ben Wallis intervened?  You were forward of where you thought you were, right?   And heading right for a lee shore, right?   At night, right?  Jeebus !!!

 

    Ben Wallis (Skipper of the Australis) - "It was only on the last night that he had to break silence and tell us to heave-to."  

 

    Thanks for taking these questions . .   

We had debated whether to push on in or not given that we were uncertain of our longitude due to a questionable morning sun-sight. We had actually chosen to heave to the previous night in an effort to try and sight land during the following day. It turned out that the visibility the next day remained terrible. It rarely go above half a mile. Although it is not big in the scale of the Southern Ocean, Sth Georgia is actually a pretty big old lump with mountainous peaks reaching well over 9,000 ft.. We were hoping to be able to sight it from a long way out. When the visibility hampered any sightings, we kept heading in on an Easterly course confident in the noon sight and hence our latitude. I wanted to heave-to again at nightfall but on further discussion with Nick... we chose to push on. The basis of this decision was that the wind was NW and only around 15-18 knots. This meant the sea wasn't very rough and we weren't necessarily facing a lee shore. This was not a fast boat so it was not like the shore was going to leap out at us. We could swing the boat around in a boat length or two if we had to. Another factor playing on our mind was that we were unsure of what weather may be coming. For all we knew we could have been about to be clobbered... or lose an advantage. As it turned out, if we had have stuck to our plan, we would have hit the shore/sighted land  at night before we planned to heave to. It was questionable where we would have encountered the shore. Depending on how we 'found' Ice Fjord north of King Haakon Bay, we may have been fine and been able to gybe around and head back offshore... or had a real fight right on our hands. This doesn't mean we would have been dashed on the rocks with men in the water (although that would also have been a contender). We will never know. What really would have happened if Ben had have left us to "touch-park" would have been that he would have had to launch a RIB in lumpy seas in case we got it wrong... and we would have obviously noticed being shadowed by a RIB and known something big was up. 

Before even being allowed to undergo this trip we had to submit a detailed plan on how we were going to conduct the trip. How we approached Sth Georgia was a hot topic which we discussed in depth. There are no rescue services down there and the local bodies stress that that is not a service they wish to perform. We made a call based on what we knew... and Ben made a call based on the predetermined plan and his information. He left his call as late as possible but did the right thing. It was the first time we had any outside advice. His call was short and to the point as shown on the doco. It was a shame from our perspective as in some ways it burst the bubble we had been in. We desperately wanted to find Sth Georgia completely old school. Hind sight is a wonderful thing. Heaving to would have been the right thing given the actual weather that came... but then we may have also been denied a 'real-deal' adventure (or ship-wreck). Ben never gave us any indication of where we were. He simply said he thought we should Heave-to. That was it. We dropped the sea anchor. I stayed up for ages that night hoping to have the murk dissipate so as to see the island. As it happened, it was Seb who first sighted the black rocks under a low overcast some time the next morning. It took us some time to work out where we actually might be on the coast as we could not see more than 150' above sea level and therefore could not make out any of the skyline/peaks. Once we worked out we were off Ice Fjord we turned South and headed for King Haakon Sound. Even then we just scraped by the rocks and narrowly missed ending it all on the rocks on the last corner. For a while there Nick and I thought we had blown it. I have never 'willed' a boat to make a mark as much as I did this. There was no other option. Yeah that last corner was pretty memorable. Thankfully for the right reasons.



#33 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:00 PM

And Paul do you know if the US version is the same as that which aired in Oz/UK?  

Not sure Clean... I wouldn't be surprised if there were some subtle differences. I've had friends mention parts from the Australian version that I didn't see in the UK.



#34 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:17 PM

Where were you when they did the mountain crossing?  If you were on the mountain they edited you out (at least as of halfway through the final episode).



pretty gripping stuff btw.  and as usual, at least for the sailing, you are the rock star!

 

EDIT: They are just getting to it now.



#35 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:23 PM

Q: What's making you want to go so much?

 

PL: The reason exceptional things happen is...you keep going when people stop.  

 

Dude you are a legend.  



#36 dacapo

dacapo

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,570 posts
  • Location:NY
  • Interests:walks on the beach,a good book,a good cry

Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:56 PM

just finished final episode.  Brilliant!!!   Absolutely Brilliant......



#37 Murphness

Murphness

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Location:Boston
  • Interests:Sailing, Brewing Beer, Drinking Beer, Skiing and other outsidey things

Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:42 PM

Q: What's making you want to go so much?

 

PL: The reason exceptional things happen is...you keep going when people stop.  

 

Dude you are a legend.  

This pretty much sums it up! What an epic adventure...

 

A few more questions:

 

-Did the screws they used as shoe spikes hold up over the whole trek? It seemed a bit dodgy...

-Was there an obvious trail across the mountain? Or did you guys just hoof it and make your own way? Was gps invovled?

-What were the air temps on the island?

 

Thanks again for fielding the questions! 

 

Nice job man, what an accomplishment...



#38 Clove Hitch

Clove Hitch

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,947 posts
  • Location:around and about
  • Interests:Garnacha. Gunk-holing.

Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:50 PM

Loved Part II!

 

Thanks for talking about the steering system Larso.  Why didn't they rig a tiller on on the James Caird I wonder?  Steering with the ropes looked fairly shitty. 

 

Q:  Did your trip give you a better appreciation/respect for small boats.  There seem to be lots of people that say "You can't do [whatever] in that boat" despite feats like yours and others.



#39 Tucky

Tucky

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,649 posts
  • Location:Maine

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:10 PM

Thanks Paul, as always for showing up, and answering questions. I enjoyed the show a lot, if sorry for some of the editorial decisions. Of course I'd really like to see a Sailrocket documentary. Kickstarter?



#40 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:14 PM

 


Q: What's making you want to go so much?

 

PL: The reason exceptional things happen is...you keep going when people stop.  

 

Dude you are a legend.  

This pretty much sums it up! What an epic adventure...

 

A few more questions:

 

-Did the screws they used as shoe spikes hold up over the whole trek? It seemed a bit dodgy...

-Was there an obvious trail across the mountain? Or did you guys just hoof it and make your own way? Was gps invovled?

-What were the air temps on the island?

 

Thanks again for fielding the questions! 

 

Nice job man, what an accomplishment...

Amazingly the screws did hold up... and they didn't do a bad job either. They literally were wood screws through leather soles. the guys definitely did suffer in those boots as against modern ones... but they weren't slipping and sliding about.

There was definitely no obvious trail across this terrain. It was wild. The first few hours when we broke camp were very white. We couldn't see anything. When we got near the Tridents... just before the slide down the other side... it began to clear a bit. It was a magic moment as the incredible terrain began to reveal itself out of the murk. Once the visibility cleared we could pick out obvious landmarks to aim for. Baz was the expert. I was a total novice. The roles were reversed from the sea voyage. I have no idea how to walk across a glacier whereas Baz did a great job. No doubt the conditions would have changed from Shackletons time. I think the glaciers would be far more exposed and therefore crevassed. The snow was also a bit mushy which made for hard going... especially with the traditional boots. We averaged about 1 kmh. Apart from the detours he took 100 years ago, I think we followed virtually his exact course. It was strange though as he seemed to overstate the risk/scale of some sections i.e. the slide down the Tridents and the waterfall at the end... and yet totally understate parts that truly shook us up i.e. the descent of "Breakwind Ridge". Maybe some of that can be put down to how the surfaces had changed. There are definitely no tracks, signs or any other mark of modern man on that crossing. There is barely in wild life for the most of it. We were very careful to leave no mark. I remember one wrapper got whisked away by the wind and I couldn't get it. It really annoyed me as any sign of man up there would sort of ruin the place. I was so relieved to spot the wrapper further up the slope and managed to retrieve it. You're not even supposed to leave your turds up there. Serious. They are very strict about who goes up there and what your responsibilities are.

The air temperatures were around 0 (celcius) I guess. Lower at night. Wind chill was a big factor. We wouldn't have made it on the first aborted attempt as the rain came in and that wetness would have taken out the guys in traditional gear. Shackleton had a great weather window when he went. Our second one was also pretty good when I re-joined and we went for it. It was a massive effort. The hardest physical thing I have ever done as due to the other parts of the expedition, we weren't necessarily fit for this type of exertion. I couldn't even drink one beer at the end. I was spent. (well... I did have a few mouthfuls of champagne but that knocked me out.)Attached File  P2090961_1280x960.jpg   79.07K   45 downloadsAttached File  P2101029 - Version 2_1280x960.jpg   194.74K   50 downloads



#41 fingerbang

fingerbang

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Location:tartarus
  • Interests:gypo blacktopper

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:21 PM

Larso, Well Done!  I really enjoyed it and respect you for buckling down and doing the support for the other two on the island crossing.  Did Tim end up with permanent damage as a result of hiking in those inadequate boots?  And, just curious, but whats the story about the Island?  did you guys stick around and meet the Whaling Station manager or any (if there are any) residents?  Again, Well done!



#42 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:30 PM

Loved Part II!

 

Thanks for talking about the steering system Larso.  Why didn't they rig a tiller on on the James Caird I wonder?  Steering with the ropes looked fairly shitty. 

 

Q:  Did your trip give you a better appreciation/respect for small boats.  There seem to be lots of people that say "You can't do [whatever] in that boat" despite feats like yours and others.

I think they chose the mizzen mast option over the Tiller system. Obviously the mizzen would interfere with the tiller... although after sailing with it, I know I would try and rig up something... anything to make it more manageable. The boat had its nice moments at the helm.. but not many. Mostly it was a difficult pig. That said... it was one tough little boat. Its robustness quickly gave us confidence in its ability to ride out anything. The canoe stern also rode very nicely when breaking waves hit us from behind. In fact, the boat was so tough and rode so well, we struggled to think of a scenario that would force us onto the support vessel. I think that the AS could survive some pretty nasty stuff including weather that the original boat could not. Our deck was made a lot sturdier than their canvas covered original. As mentioned, we didn't need to all die in a roll over to prove that that is what would happen. Transferring onto the Australis would have been a messy affair out there also. Nick and I both expressed our confidence in the boat to the crew and said that we would likely try and ride any nasty weather out within reason of course i.e. if the Australis had to leave the area then we would have to reconsider what we were trying to achieve. I have no doubt that if we had missed South Georgia... and had enough water... that we could have made it to far distant shores in that boat. It was a solid survival cell that offered protection from the elements. There are other less famous stories of small boat survival there that are staggering. There was a sealer called 'Brisbane' who apparently built an open boat from his own shipwreck on Sth Georgia and sailed it upwind back to the Falklands. Incredible stuff. No doubt there are many amazing feats that went largely unreported as there was no agenda to do so.



#43 Steam Flyer

Steam Flyer

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,942 posts
  • Location:Eastern NC

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:45 PM

2nd the vote for a Sailrocket documentary

 

It must have been tough to film the mountain/glacier crossing, but I thought that part of the program was very good (having read a lot about the Shackleton expedtion but knowing nothing about mountaineering).

 

The final scene at the grave yard was very fitting too

 

FB- Doug



#44 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:50 PM

Larso, Well Done!  I really enjoyed it and respect you for buckling down and doing the support for the other two on the island crossing.  Did Tim end up with permanent damage as a result of hiking in those inadequate boots?  And, just curious, but whats the story about the Island?  did you guys stick around and meet the Whaling Station manager or any (if there are any) residents?  Again, Well done!

I think Tims feet would have come good... although I wouldn't be surprised if their was some lingering permanent damage. It mightn't be dramatic... but never quite right. I think they were a bit that way in the first place. It took my hands a long time (3-4 months) to get back to normal. 

The whaling station at Stromness is abandoned and you aren't allowed to go in there. We got within 100 meters or so but that was it. It's just ruins and apparently full of Asbestos. I was figuring on going in there anyway just because it was right there... but didn't. I guess we felt a sense of appreciation and respect for the authorities who had allowed us to undertake the trip and also for Ben and The Australis crew who would like to continue working in this area after we left... that and the fact we arrived at dark and were totally exhausted. We climbed onboard the Australis. I had a shower and went straight to bed. I can't remember if we stayed there overnight. I think we went around to Grytviken the following day. We walked around that whaling station and went through the museum. It was a real pleasure to be asked to leave stuff next to some of the original artifacts. There are two named rooms in the Grytviken museum... The "Larsen" room and the "Jarvis" room. It was funny as I was stirring Tim about having a room named after me and we walked around the corner to find the "Jarvis" room... much to his delight. The whaling station is amazing... but there is something about it where you don't feel sorry to see it decaying away.



#45 Clove Hitch

Clove Hitch

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,947 posts
  • Location:around and about
  • Interests:Garnacha. Gunk-holing.

Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:56 PM

Great stuff, Larso, thanks for fielding questions.



#46 The Gardener

The Gardener

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 555 posts
  • Location:44 56' N 93 17' W

Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:02 PM

Some of the best TV.

Can't imagine doing that journey.



#47 Veeger

Veeger

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 958 posts
  • Location:Anacortes, Wa

Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:28 AM

Thanks, Clean & Scott, for making this available.  Watched it on my big screen via Airplay from the iPad.  Great story.   Very nice job Larso--you're a better man than I.  



#48 Constant Craving

Constant Craving

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:44 PM

Like most of you, I too revere Shackleton and his exploits.  But the story that Sir E. saved all his men is simply not true.  Shackleton's goal was to be the first to cross the Antarctic continent.  But he couldn't carry enough supplies to make the entire trip.  So a second group started on the other side of the continent.  Their task was to lay food depots for Shackleton to use in the last half of his journey.  But things went wrong on the other side of the bottom of the world at same time Shackleton had trouble.  The other group knew (or thought they knew) that Shackleton and his men would be depending on those food depots to stay alive.  So they went through hell to put them out there.  Three died.  The rest completed the longest sledge journey in history - 199 days - before returning to the beach to find that their ship had left without them.  Two years after their trip began, Shackleton finally came and picked them up. 

 

Read "Shackleton's Forgotten Men."



#49 Kapteeni Kalma

Kapteeni Kalma

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 32 posts
  • Location:Finland

Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:07 PM

I recommend Caroline Alexander's book: 

 

The Endurance

Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

 

Lots of photos and a very good reproduction. Overall the book is stunning.



#50 By the lee

By the lee

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 993 posts

Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:54 PM

So I presume you guys just held "it" during storms?

Describe process for dealing with bodily functions on the voyage.

 

Worsley states they used a ton of ballast, but doesn't say of what, also that it caused "slowness, stiffness and a jerky motion", 

Was the A.S. ballasted similar and with same material as Caird and with similar results?

 

He also relates that the shrouds of the main mast on Caird were secured with four brass screws 2" long. 

How so on the A.S.?



#51 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 12:15 AM

So I presume you guys just held "it" during storms?

Describe process for dealing with bodily functions on the voyage.

 

Worsley states they used a ton of ballast, but doesn't say of what, also that it caused "slowness, stiffness and a jerky motion", 

Was the A.S. ballasted similar and with same material as Caird and with similar results?

 

He also relates that the shrouds of the main mast on Caird were secured with four brass screws 2" long. 

How so on the A.S.?

Yeah it was pretty cramped all round on that boat. We used the ol' bucket-and-chuckit method with everyone having their own preferred methods. Typically the helmsman would move forward and steer from the main hatch and give the cockpit over to the man and his bucket.

I'm not sure exactly how they worked out the exact 'ton' of ballast from the rocks/stone they no doubt loaded on from Elephant Island. I believe they launched the boat 'light', anchored it just off Point Wild and then used one of the other boats (The Dudley Docker) to ferry out the ballast. We tried in every practical way to replicate the boat and how it would sail so we also tried to get the weight right. In our case about half of the ballast was made up of batteries which were used for the filming. The rest was bags of stone and some zinc plates. Our ballast was also well secured down as we obviously wanted to survive a roll-over if it ever happened. We couldn't unload any of this ballast either before the departure from Elephant Island or on arrival at Sth Georgia. Bringing such a light shelled but heavily laden boat in close to surging rocks was a sketchy affair... nonetheless we gingerly rowed her into the exact point where they departed from Point Wild and used one of the oars to push off from a rock. We also bumped her ashore at Peggoty Bluff at the other end. I'm pretty sure that the Alexandra Shackleton would have performed in a very similar manner to the original James Caird. Seb and the team put so much effort into making things authentic... however for reasons of obvious safety, it would have been a bit crazy to make everything identical i.e. we put in two bulkheads fore and aft and lashed the ballast down so as to survive a roll-over. The fact is we didn't roll-over and we actually had far less space below than they would have had on the original. This caused more discomfort than the cold. The motion was pretty stiff... but in the end it may have helped us as it did the originals. We too got stuck on a lee shore and had to do everything we could to keep off it. We noticed in the first sea trials back on King George Island that the AS could hold a much higher course when loaded than when light.

I'm not sure how the shrouds were secured. I wouldn't be surprised if it was done this way. The rigging, the type of sail cloth... even building the hull and then adding the extra freeboard on separately was replicated. I would have to ask Seb about the brass screws though.



#52 Barman

Barman

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,981 posts
  • Location:Brissie
  • Interests:Two string kite rides
    Mining
    Transom jumping

Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:34 AM


So I presume you guys just held "it" during storms?
Describe process for dealing with bodily functions on the voyage.
 
Worsley states they used a ton of ballast, but doesn't say of what, also that it caused "slowness, stiffness and a jerky motion", 
Was the A.S. ballasted similar and with same material as Caird and with similar results?
 
He also relates that the shrouds of the main mast on Caird were secured with four brass screws 2" long. 
How so on the A.S.?

Yeah it was pretty cramped all round on that boat. We used the ol' bucket-and-chuckit method with everyone having their own preferred methods. Typically the helmsman would move forward and steer from the main hatch and give the cockpit over to the man and his bucket.
I'm not sure exactly how they worked out the exact 'ton' of ballast from the rocks/stone they no doubt loaded on from Elephant Island. I believe they launched the boat 'light', anchored it just off Point Wild and then used one of the other boats (The Dudley Docker) to ferry out the ballast. We tried in every practical way to replicate the boat and how it would sail so we also tried to get the weight right. In our case about half of the ballast was made up of batteries which were used for the filming. The rest was bags of stone and some zinc plates. Our ballast was also well secured down as we obviously wanted to survive a roll-over if it ever happened. We couldn't unload any of this ballast either before the departure from Elephant Island or on arrival at Sth Georgia. Bringing such a light shelled but heavily laden boat in close to surging rocks was a sketchy affair... nonetheless we gingerly rowed her into the exact point where they departed from Point Wild and used one of the oars to push off from a rock. We also bumped her ashore at Peggoty Bluff at the other end. I'm pretty sure that the Alexandra Shackleton would have performed in a very similar manner to the original James Caird. Seb and the team put so much effort into making things authentic... however for reasons of obvious safety, it would have been a bit crazy to make everything identical i.e. we put in two bulkheads fore and aft and lashed the ballast down so as to survive a roll-over. The fact is we didn't roll-over and we actually had far less space below than they would have had on the original. This caused more discomfort than the cold. The motion was pretty stiff... but in the end it may have helped us as it did the originals. We too got stuck on a lee shore and had to do everything we could to keep off it. We noticed in the first sea trials back on King George Island that the AS could hold a much higher course when loaded than when light.
I'm not sure how the shrouds were secured. I wouldn't be surprised if it was done this way. The rigging, the type of sail cloth... even building the hull and then adding the extra freeboard on separately was replicated. I would have to ask Seb about the brass screws though.

Larso, you and the rest of the team are legends, as a bay sailor with no desire to head offshore your journey was amazing to watch and it's great you take the time to chat about it here.

No doubt that Shackleton was an extraordinary man, amazing to think what he, and many other early explorers endured to achieve their goals, or just simply save their lives. Inspirational!!!

Thanks!

#53 slip knot

slip knot

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 281 posts
  • Location:Ontario

Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:06 AM

Fantastic adventure Larso. There really is no feeling like pushing way beyond your comfort zone.
How much more comfortable were you with the modern gear?
It looked to me that other than the rampant foot issues, the rest was reasonably good, and was certainly less bulky during the mountain crossing.

#54 seebär

seebär

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 11 posts
  • Location:Perth, Western Australia
  • Interests:adventures of all sorts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:17 AM

G'day Larso, congratulations to you and the other adventurers on this awesome expedition,

i enjoyed watching the documentry very much!!

you were writing before about batteries been used for the filming-equipment...how about radio and ais...was the A.S. purely batterie-powered for the trip or have you had some form of charging-system aboard?!

 

cheers mate, well done



#55 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:31 AM

G'day Larso, congratulations to you and the other adventurers on this awesome expedition,

i enjoyed watching the documentry very much!!

you were writing before about batteries been used for the filming-equipment...how about radio and ais...was the A.S. purely batterie-powered for the trip or have you had some form of charging-system aboard?!

 

cheers mate, well done

We had a fuel cell for generating electricity. You could barely notice it in action. It gave off a slight hum but otherwise I paid little attention to it. It was all hidden away. That was all Sebs responsibility. He topped it up every few days and it performed very well. All of that stuff was well hidden away as we didn't want it to impose on our own experience let alone be on camera.

With respect to the modern gear on the crossing, I would say that the dry boots were the biggest difference. I pretty much wore the same old style base layer I wore on the boat and a thin Gore-Tex shell once underway. It was hot, hard going but as usual in those climates, you had to get the layers on as soon as you stopped. Baz would give us 5 minutes every hour... not 5 minutes and then start thinking about going... stop now and in 5 minutes exactly the rope tied to you will start heading that way. Gotta love the military. Towards the end we were really burning out so we would take a couple of impromptu quick breaks. The thing was, as long as it wasn't raining, the old gear was fine. Once things got damp then they would soak it up and the cold would get in. The snow could be slushy in places so the old boots would get sodden through.

We always had this problem with how we were going to cross South Georgia. The problem was that in order to try and replicate Shackletons crossing, three guys would have to wear old gear, travel light and move fast. They would need to rely on not stopping or getting caught out by bad weather. Shackleton nailed a great weather window for his crossing with cold, clear and essentially dry conditions. Conditions have changed in the 100 years since and we were also crossing in a warmer time of year. We also had to have a solid safety plan or the local governing authorities wouldn't let us near the place. They constantly reminded us that they are not their to perform rescue services for gigs like ours. So this means we had to have a support team and of course the Discovery film team. This means we had to carry all the gear i.e. tents, sleeping bags, cameras, batteries, spare clothes, food, ropes etc... and try and travel at the same speed as three guys travelling light. We couldn't hold these guys up as it may well blow their chance. This is why we wore and carried all the best gear we could get our hands on. It was more likely going to be us who struggled to keep the pace. We carried the minimal amount of gear we could. We only carried one sleeping bag for our guys and one thin blow up mattress. We figured that the gear was more as a means to look after one possibly injured person and ride out a storm rather than a means to make everyone comfortable. It was the bare minimum. I only expected to be part of the 'mule pack' on the crossing. Originally I didn't really expect to be doing this part of the journey and just stayed in the background deferring to more experienced team members. Things changed as one by one various people dropped out. We got nailed when that first weather window closed on us. It may have been fortunate that Si's injury forced us down off the mountain early as the weather that came was atrocious. Once we set up camp further down the glacier and waited for dawn, the rain came pelting in. Tim and Baz were already pretty wet and Baz acknowledged that they would have been in a dire situation in that gear out in those conditions. That night was still pretty uncomfortable. probably the worst I have ever spent in a tent. I shared the small tent with Baz and Tim and let them have the ground sheet. These two hadn't washed since before we left Elephant Island well over three weeks before. I pretty much just sat at the end of the tent, waited for dawn and tried not to breathe too deeply.

Attached File  P2080982_1280x960.jpg   139.13K   13 downloads

Later on when the three of us decided to make a dash for it, I still had to carry a heap of stuff but the other two had to load up a little as well. I probably had more weight... but the luxury of good boots and gear. I wasn't complaining. I did make a bad and obvious mistake of changing my backpack at the last minute. The one I took wasn't right for me and it caused me a lot of discomfort. In my tired state I remember being annoyed that Baz took off his backpack and handed it to the film crew once we rejoined them near the finish. For some silly reason I wanted to carry my gear all the way. I obviously wasn't thinking straight as even Shackleton began to unload once he knew they were nearly there. I felt like I could levitate when I took that thing off at the end.



#56 MSafiri

MSafiri

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Location:Paris/France

Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:10 PM

Till now I read almost all I was able to put my hands on about the golden age of Antartic Expeditions. One of my dream was to go down there and see it with my own eyes. Never thought that I would be able to read 1st hand experiences of someone who replicated the actuall crossing of James Craid and Crew! Watching the films and reading Larso's stories changed my opinions, Shackleton and Crew were heros, now, they are superheros.  

 

Thanks to all of you who made this possible. Larso, big thumbs up!

 

Are you guys planning any other trips like this? Probably a replication of Captain Blight of Bounty fame? (if that was not done before)

 

MSafiri



#57 explenture

explenture

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • Location:Lubec maine

Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:33 PM

Puts any other reality TV to shame.  Congratulations on successful completion and thanks for the film!



#58 minimus

minimus

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 72 posts

Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:48 PM

Thanks Larso for the explanations, an amazing feat that I am truely envious of. You have done well.



#59 TheFlash

TheFlash

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,218 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay
  • Interests:Rum

Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:55 PM

Watched part of part one last night with my kids. My 7 year old was totally entranced by it.  Why, why, why over and over...

 

It brings the "Age of Explorers" to life.

 

more tonight



#60 mrming

mrming

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 146 posts
  • Location:East Coast, UK

Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:46 PM

Amazing stuff larso - thanks for coming on here and answering questions. Love the fact that you as the sailor had the balls to continue on the mountaineering part of the expedition.

#61 Presuming Ed

Presuming Ed

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,937 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:51 AM

Probably a replication of Captain Blight of Bounty fame? (if that was not done before)


Been done.

http://www.dailymail...iny-Bounty.html

Great to hear details of this trip. Superb stuff!

#62 phillysailor

phillysailor

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 414 posts

Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:37 AM

Phenomenal accomplishment, Mr Larsen! Thanks for sharing so much here on SA. 

 

Although intrusive, I appreciate the allowance made for modern equipment which enabled your team to remain as safe as possible and to share the experience with so many. Obviously, your lives were in jeopardy much of the time. A fall, a mistake while cooking, falling rock… many ways to get hurt at sea and on land. It would be difficult to follow the story with unalloyed enthusiasm if there was no allowance made for modern equipment and communications. 

 

WO2 Barry Gray really came off as an impressive sort. I loved his considering the crews' disgusted reactions to the slop he'd just heroically managed to cook down below. "Yeah. It's gonna be quite tough, 16 days. Quite tough indeed." A lesser man would've told the crew they should shut up and like it. Always motivated from deep within. Quiet, no drama. I think he'd be quite comfortable with Shackleton's men. 

 

Couldn't leave the computer for three straight episodes. Glad you're happy and safe. I'm sure Tim Jarvis and Alexandra Shackleton (I'm assuming that was her with your team toasting to Sir Ernest at the graveside scene) will always appreciate and vouch for your loyalty and fortitude. Well done, sir. Very well done!



#63 fairwinds

fairwinds

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:00 PM

Hi Larso
Just finished watching all the episodes...fascinating. As an MD, I was especially fascinated by the interaction that you(?) had your expedition MD. If it was not you, then I am sure you know what I am referring to. I am curious if that interaction has been settled in an amicable manner. My take was that you all were pretty comfortable back in the early 20th century, yet the accompanying MD was expected to perform in the 21st century, using all his skills to provide the best care/advice possible. Now, I am not sure if the contract you made with the authorities insisted on an MD on the expedition, which in of itself might explain the colliding of wills we saw. 
This is not the first time that two eras collided in the Antarctic. The classic example to me, at any rate was the "race" between Scott and Amundsen. Scott was a brave explorer modeled on those exploits of the 19th Century. His "adversary", Amundsen was pretty much a man of the times. The clash that ensued almost had a predictable outcome...well, predictable, at any rate, with hindsight!   :)
Congratulations again. We too, when we were in SG poured our rum ( or at least some of it) onto "The Boss'" grave...although it is rumored he is actually buried near there, but not at that exact spot. Grytviken is a pretty desolate spot, but quite beautiful. 



#64 phillysailor

phillysailor

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 414 posts

Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:20 AM

@ Fairwinds… I thought that the doctor did an admirable job keeping his cool and his patients well-informed. I know that he felt his role was incredibly awkward, and it was both insightful and a bit sad that he felt it necessary to buttress his opinion with that of European experts. He tried to show his compassion by giving the benched videographer a rather forced hug, but I don't think he'd been in the position of expedition physician before, and I now view that complicated job quite differently based on the "good ship lollipop vs true explorer" dynamic that characterized the S Georgia layover prior to the hike. 

 

Civilian MDs believing in patient autonomy define their job as informing the patient to the best of their ability, and arriving at a plan together to best meet goals and expectations. Military MDs are trying to maintain optimum unit effectiveness. They report to their CO, not to the patient. 

 

To whom did this MD report? It seems there was considerable confusion. That he did his job perfectly according to his own expectation doesn't mean he necessarily did the job well from the perspective of expedition success. Was he supposed to discuss his initial findings with T Jarvis first, before bluntly discussing them, on film, with the patient? Just that aspect of the interview was horrible. "Turn the camera off" the patient said, and then proceeds to share his raw emotional reaction with team members and expedition leader, while the audio continues to record? As an MD, I found that intensely disturbing, if riveting. I probably should have skipped the section, but then I am sure he had the opportunity to delete the section, and courageously decided to share. 

 

Like I said, riveting. These absorbing details are entirely relevant to documenting the realities of expeditions of this sort.



#65 fairwinds

fairwinds

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:12 AM

@phillysailor

I agree with you, mostly!  :)

I think the key to understanding his role is to know to whom he was responsible and by whom he was appointed. If he was a "last minute" decision based upon the needs of those who gave the expedition permission, then perhaps his role was not that clearly defined. So, for example, the role of the Australis skipper in the case of preventing imminent jeopardy seemed to have been well discussed, and implemented when needed.

Your observation that "Civilian MDs believing in patient autonomy define their job as informing the patient to the best of their ability, and arriving at a plan together to best meet goals and expectations" is correct, but obviously open to interpretation, as to the best needs of the expedition. If the best "needs" is to be understood as doing all that could be done to fulfill the aim of following Shackleton's footsteps, then that would be correct. But, if the best needs were to ensure the former, but also not to put the entire expedition at risk for a very dangerous rescue, then that is another story. As I said, it really does depend upon the contract he signed, or his understanding of the terms of participation.

There is one other aspect of pt - MD relationship which clearly does not play a role here. An appeals court judge many years ago, ruled that patients have the right to refuse treatment, but do not have the right to demand bad treatment. All of us have been in that position, and often our only option for those rare but impossible patients is to suggest/demand they seek care from another MD. This was clearly not an option. 

I agree with your assessment in every other aspect. It was a terrible position to be in, and being just the "doc" I suspect these detailed "what ifs" might never have been discussed. It did highlight a very true dilemma never faced by Shackleton, and maybe that is the aspect of this interaction from which we should learn?

​But, I think what might have been lost is the incredible feat they achieved by just crossing Drake's passage. That alone would have made history and been an incredible achievement. But, putting aside the MD hat, watching them reach their goals, despite incredibly challenging (modern) moral and physical decisions, was just as riveting as the original rescue must have been, had Shackleton had a few Go-Pros!!!  

Mind you it is interesting how both media ( a beautifully written biography, amazing photography, early cinematography ) and all the modern technologies ( HD video etc ) are equally compelling. Nature, it appears is oblivious to all.



#66 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:19 PM

Hi Larso
Just finished watching all the episodes...fascinating. As an MD, I was especially fascinated by the interaction that you(?) had your expedition MD. If it was not you, then I am sure you know what I am referring to. I am curious if that interaction has been settled in an amicable manner. My take was that you all were pretty comfortable back in the early 20th century, yet the accompanying MD was expected to perform in the 21st century, using all his skills to provide the best care/advice possible. Now, I am not sure if the contract you made with the authorities insisted on an MD on the expedition, which in of itself might explain the colliding of wills we saw. 
This is not the first time that two eras collided in the Antarctic. The classic example to me, at any rate was the "race" between Scott and Amundsen. Scott was a brave explorer modeled on those exploits of the 19th Century. His "adversary", Amundsen was pretty much a man of the times. The clash that ensued almost had a predictable outcome...well, predictable, at any rate, with hindsight!   :)
Congratulations again. We too, when we were in SG poured our rum ( or at least some of it) onto "The Boss'" grave...although it is rumored he is actually buried near there, but not at that exact spot. Grytviken is a pretty desolate spot, but quite beautiful. 

Hi Fairwinds and Phillysailor, The role of the MD was a very interesting dynamic within this expedition. It really highlighted the problems of trying to re-create a legendary feat of survival in a modern world. I believe there was confusion and communication issues here. I don't want to say who was right or wrong as I wasn't privvy to everything that was said/agreed before the trip or even during. I can only comment on what I saw from my own perspective in the middle.

The problems begin to arise when you take into account such issues as insurance and health and safety responsibilities. Members of the team were down there as paid professionals working for Discovery. If the Dr said that he had seen nerve damage and symptoms on one of the team then he felt he would be obliged to share that information if asked about it later i.e. if something went wrong on the crossing and there was an insurance claim. Alex (the Dr) would then call to find the details of the insurance policy and discuss it further with Discovery back in the UK. Once this process had begun and the responsibilities had been placed... people tend to take the safe options. You can imagine how the discussion would go at a later date if someone who was advised/warned of a pre-existing state i.e. onset of "trench-foot" went ahead and did further permanent damage and lodged a claim. So this process would be going on on the support boat and what you saw on the documentary was the point where this process was introduced to the project leader. I think that Tim had envisaged that the doctor was there to help in cases of more defined injury/emergency and as someone to be referenced on camera for the purpose of the documentary. The whole trench-foot thing kind of snuck up on us all. I actually first mentioned it on only day 2 of our sea crossing. As I massaged my white toes down below, I casually asked Baz what it was to which he gave a full description. I guess we never really thought it would affect us as swiftly as it did as we had not been through the prior ordeals that the 'originals' had. For some it just got worse as the trip went on. As Nick, Seb and I were expected to be the back-up 'mules' for the crossing of Sth Georgia, we would be wearing modern gear and go back onto the Australis whilst we waited for a weather window once we reached Sth Georgia. For that reason we were the ones to jump in the freezing water when we hit the shore. Our boots filled up and we probably spent too much time filming and celebrating on shore. It really started to hurt. this was probably the nail in the coffin for Nick and Seb. We still thought things would come good once we dried out in the warmth of The Australis.The next day we began to know we had a problem as Nick began to struggle with walking and the Dr became involved. Interestingly, when I read back on the original accounts, clear mention is made of this problem and the affect it had on the original crew. I was surprised (in hindsight) how we had figured we would naturally not have the same issue. Perhaps this highlights how similar our clothing was or that we were somewhere on the same 'line' as the original crew (They may well have been more up the bloody cold/hard,old bastard corner whilst we were at the warmer/soft, modern guy scale) but the end result was similar.

To see someone like Nick get taken out by this was disheartening. Nick would never take the soft option and I knew there was no doubt it was the real deal. I listened in to the debate and reasoning on the Australis. The Dr did what he felt was his responsibility in sharing his diagnosis... and the implications of it. Nicks case was a no-brainer. He would have physically struggled to walk. I guess when it began to cross over to slightly more vague cases that the problem arose. Once the Dr realised that other team members were suffering then he began to play a bigger role in the potential outcome of the project. I think this came as a bit of a shock to Tim. You do have to consider Tims frame of mind and focus at this point. I think he let a little bit of a "them vs us" mentality creep in. Three of the team were sitting in damp, smelly original gear still on the AS hanging off a long stern line tied off the back of The Australis whilst everyone else was very cosy, well fed and washed at the other end of the line. There were times we were sort of left feeling guilty about this. It's easy to be cold, wet, thirsty or hungry when you have no option... but to have sweet relief so near by almost waving in your face is pretty tortuous. This stage of the game needed clear leadership and communication and for a while, as we sat and waited for a weather window for the crossing, things got a bit ugly.

It was actually a fascinating part of the whole experience. If the whole support boat thing just disappeared, we would have been in a very similar place as the originals. We would have had three people suffering with trench-foot who would have been left with the boat at Peggoty Bluff whilst three would have had to make a dash across the island to get help. As it was, we had a different objectives on our hands as we did have a support boat and a Documentary to film. The focus wasn't purely on getting a team across... but also in filming and supporting it. There were effectively three teams with their own responsibilities (expedition team, support i.e. The Australis, film crew... and the Dr as well perhaps as a lone fourth). 

The documentary showed the stage where Tim was made aware of the discussions from onboard The Australis and the growing empowerment of the Dr to affect the outcome of what he felt was 'his' project. Imagine you have chosen to take on one of the greatest tales of survival, courage, leadership and resilience. Your house mortgaged to the hilt just to make this happen for everyone. You've actually made it this far and completed what you thought was the most difficult bit and now there is a very real possibility that you could actually, really make it... only to be told that someone else has stepped up to say they can call the whole thing off and head back to the Falklands because someone has cold feet. This situation needs to be handled in a proper manner with clear heads. I think Tim felt as if the Dr had overstepped his position and as Philly said... he should have reported directly to Tim to explain his diagnosis and its implications i.e. both physical and to such things as ongoing liability. To have it broken to him in the way it was and on camera was obviously a shock. I could see it from both sides. I had listened to the debate on the Australis but also fully sympathised with Tims state of mind and focus on finishing his project off successfully. The problem needed communication. Eventually this is what happened. Tim called a meeting in a cave ashore and all the cards were laid on the table. He reminded everyone of the big picture and what we were doing whilst also explaining our roles. More than anything it got everyone in the one spot and helped break down the 'them and us' mentality and re-focus on the crossing.

Attached File  P2050982_1280x960.jpg   117.91K   22 downloads

The fact was that we were trying to do something that was bloody difficult and might result in some form of injury. In the end, and this is my belief, it had to come down to the individual in what they were willing to risk i.e. people with families to support have to be more protective of their livelihood. I felt that the damage I felt in my feet was in no way disabling but knew it wouldn't pass the Doctors inspection (he would ask you to close your eyes whilst he prodded your feet. You had to tell him when he was touching your foot or not. After many days in a warm, dry environment, this would tell him if there was ongoing nerve or circulation damage). Whilst I had big numb patches, I felt no pain walking and felt it was manageable in modern boots. I was willing to risk it and didn't want his diagnosis to affect mine or others thinking in my suitability for the crossing. Nick could barely walk so his case was black and white with or without a Dr's diagnosis. This might have made it easier to digest. Ed's case wasn't as severe but was bad enough to not only risk further, permanent damage but also likely hamper the progress of the crossing. We still wanted to do it in a fast dash as per the originals rather than a stop-start affair relying heavily on modern equipment to bivouac with. Ed also does films all sorts of extreme expeditions for a living (i.e. three times up Everest) so and permanent injury of this nature could have a significant effect on his future. These are all great, rock-solid guys so it was painful to see them have to give up on the crossing. 

When the weather shut down our first attempt and left us with two guys (Tim and Baz) stuck up on a glacier in howling weather, the same scenario began to play out again. The 'Them and us' mentality crept back in only this time 'they' were far more remote. The Doctor now raised the possibility that he may make the call to evacuate Nick or Si to the Falklands on The Australis and hence end the expedition. His call was based on his diagnosis of the patient and also the current status of the crossing. In some ways he was second guessing the leadership and making his own judgements based on this. This was tough on both sides of the scratchy VHF radio used to communicate the arguments. Once again I was just sitting in the middle. To be honest... half my mind was still going "65 f*****g knots... hell yeah!!!". The fact that we had just successfully completed the whole Sailrocket thing by continually pushing on was obviously on my mind. I sympathised with Tim and the pressures he felt. I wanted to go up there, cross the 'them and us' divide and give them a big shot of confidence. I had to listen to the others as in their own fields they were a lot more experienced than me... but on the other hand, I felt I owed Baz, especially Baz, my confidence. He had calmly sat on the AS and trusted Nick and I to get them safely to Sth Georgia and now it was his rocky ocean. He's a highly experienced guy at the top of his game so if he thought it was worth a shot... then it would be a privilege to literally walk in his footsteps. It was.

Looking back, one of the things that really struck me about the whole experience was the insight you get to the day-to-day problems that face a group of people in that situation. Things aren't always clear and this is when you need solid leadership and everything that comes with it i.e. trust, communication and a sense of direction. I'm sure there were times when even Shackletons leadership was called into question. He would have made some wrong calls and this would have been discussed within groups within the team. Some of the guys probably downright disliked him at stages. In the end we see the big picture of what he achieved. Actually living through this you see it warts and all. All of those of you who have done long offshore trips will understand exactly what I'm talking about here. Forced into a tight, inescapable environment you have to ride the rollercoaster of everyones highs and lows. A person that you may have viewed with murderous intent during a late night sail change may well end up a friend for life once it's all over. We all have our good and bad moments. It's the leaders ability to deal with the small day-to-day stuff whilst keeping focus on the big picture that keeps everyone pulling in the same direction. Often they need the support of other members. I think overall we had a very good team.

The Dr's role in this trip should have been more considered and explained to all beforehand. I think, in this case, that Philly is right when he puts forward his case for how the Dr should communicate his findings. You would be naive to take on that trip and not expect there to potentially be some likelihood of physical injury. How you deal with it maybe should have been discussed in greater depth although, to be fair, despite there being tensions along the way, it all worked out fine. Some things have to be done on the hoof and some times you just have to end the discussions, rely on your ability to work it out... and go for it. We all learnt a lot from this trip and I'm happy to say that I know I will now have some new friends for life.

This ended up a lot longer reply than I expected.



#67 wrailmeat

wrailmeat

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:28 PM

Mr. Larson,
Thank you, spectacular!





Clean et al, I would subscribe for this thread or similar. But for the nominal funds I would ask not that the ads disappear but that a moderator be hired to winnow out the forum entries not at this level. Less anarchy I'm sure, just as sure that the site would have a higher valuation.

#68 echo

echo

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,018 posts
  • Location:charlotte , nc
  • Interests:sailing, cycling and watching my kids grow

Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:48 PM

Can I find it on Netflix? 



#69 Aken

Aken

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 01 February 2014 - 01:56 PM

Thank you very much for that amazing insight, I really appreciate Tim's position far more now, my highest respect to you and the team, well done.



#70 Alex W

Alex W

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 474 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA
  • Interests:sailboats, bikes, metalworking, diy

Posted 01 February 2014 - 02:45 PM

Can I find it on Netflix? 

 

pbs.org has it in the US.  I think you can also find it on youtube.



#71 witoog

witoog

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Location:Newport, RI, USA
  • Interests:sailing, fishing, kayaking, boat building and self sufficiency

Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:55 PM

Hi Larso,

Thanks very much for your thorough replies.

I was down in SG and Antarctica last year on the Russian/Australian expedition vessel the "Polar Explorer" and one of the highlights of my trip, apart from the stunning kayak excursions we did was seeing the Alexandra Shackleton when we left King Haakon Bay.   We could just make the little boat out in the gathering gloom and I have never seen a boat roll and pitch like she was.  It looked like you were lying to a drogue and someone came out and waved to us, possibly you.    We all felt for you guys in that uncomfortable situation especially when we turned our warm little ship toward Elephant Island and left you in our wake wafting with aromas of roast pork.

Well done on a truly epic achievement, and undertaken with humility and respect.

What next?



#72 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 01 February 2014 - 07:20 PM

Youtube killed it thanks to a Discovery infringement claim.  It's available for free at PBS, probably in the UK on Discovery.co.uk, and widely available on Bittorrent, we'll see if we can find another free source, if anyone else catches one let us know.  In this day and age you can watch pretty much anything with a little bit of work.



#73 MSafiri

MSafiri

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Location:Paris/France

Posted 02 February 2014 - 09:57 AM

Fcuk! wanted to watch it again....................;if you are looking for similar kinda fun, watch 90° South on youtube! that is a great movie from the golden age, last expedition of Scott, not much sailing though. Start looking for it on torrent sites



#74 Tony-F18

Tony-F18

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,364 posts
  • Location:+31

Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:35 PM

I had heard about this expedition but didn't know that the documentary had aired yet so downloaded all three episodes yesterday.

Wonder what Mr Shackleton would have thought about this trip since this was a personal trip and not a rescue mission like his.

Also makes you appreciate how far technology has come in just a 100 years.



#75 trimariner

trimariner

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 287 posts

Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:44 PM

Buggar! links have been taken down and I only managed to get episode1 beforehand. 2&3??



#76 fairwinds

fairwinds

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 02 February 2014 - 04:48 PM

@Larso

Thanks for that detailed "behind the scenes" look. There is nothing you said that I cannot agree with. I personally think the "interaction" we spoke about , if anything, adds to the documentary. The "modern" aspect of the expedition cannot simply be wished away, but has to be "managed" and in this case, I think was managed, in the end, extremely well. Hope you are taking a well earned respite. You have made us "armchair" adventurers jealous!



#77 Steam Flyer

Steam Flyer

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,942 posts
  • Location:Eastern NC

Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:45 AM

Thank you very much for that amazing insight, I really appreciate Tim's position far more now, my highest respect to you and the team, well done.

 

here here

 

-DSK



#78 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 03 February 2014 - 05:44 AM

Buggar! links have been taken down and I only managed to get episode1 beforehand. 2&3??

They're all up on various bit torrent sites in full HD under "Shackelton: Death or Glory", which was the Discovery UK title.



#79 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 03 February 2014 - 05:46 AM

or buy them on iTunes:

 

https://itunes.apple...ory/id721580644



#80 Tucky

Tucky

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,649 posts
  • Location:Maine

Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:58 PM

Paul, my thanks to you as always, for your thoughtfulness, and willingness to share. I'm there when you Kickstarter Sailrocket:-)

 

And people, please buy the video or watch it on a legitimate site- I'm baffled at the logic used to justify theft here.



#81 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:59 PM

You do realize that this was broadcast - for free - over the airwaves, right?  Available to anyone with an antenna?   By PBS, a public channel supported by taxpayer funds?

 

Probably a good time to redefine what you think of as 'theft', and you might want to pay attention to the upcoming Aereo case at the Supreme Court.

 

Also a good time for TV networks to fix their broken-ass model.



#82 jhc

jhc

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,639 posts

Posted 03 February 2014 - 05:08 PM

If you don't want to "steal" it you might just click on the link i have provided in this note:

 

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365145041/

 

You can watch other shows without guilt on pbs also!

 

Amazing concept, but you just never know what will happen, when you have an open mind.



#83 Tony-F18

Tony-F18

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,364 posts
  • Location:+31

Posted 03 February 2014 - 05:21 PM

Buying the DVD might be a good option as well, I assume it contains a lot of bonus material :
http://www.amazon.co...aw/d/B00G2C3LPG

#84 MSafiri

MSafiri

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Location:Paris/France

Posted 04 February 2014 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for the tip, need to check the region code though, if all goes well, buying this evening....

Buying the DVD might be a good option as well, I assume it contains a lot of bonus material :
http://www.amazon.co...aw/d/B00G2C3LPG



#85 MSafiri

MSafiri

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Location:Paris/France

Posted 04 February 2014 - 10:21 AM

Larso, can you share some info about the food you took on board and eaten during the crossing? I remember you guys said it was difficult to imagine to eat that stuff for 15 days. What were you guys eating? made from what? was it custom prepared? and how your body coped with the, obviously, different food?

 

Thanks alot & cheers,

 

MSafiri



#86 Tom Ray

Tom Ray

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,690 posts
  • Location:Punta Gorda FL
  • Interests:~~/)/)~~

Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:26 PM

I was wondering the same thing as MSafiri about food.

 

Larso, thanks for taking the time to give your back story on this documentary. I enjoyed watching it and none of your replies were too long.

 

 

To be honest... half my mind was still going "65 f*****g knots... hell yeah!!!". The fact that we had just successfully completed the whole Sailrocket thing by continually pushing on was obviously on my mind.

 



Completed? You're not done, are you? It will go 70 knots. And you've gotta give that poor guy with the RC airplane another shot. It must be humiliating, beaten by a sailboat and all.

 

 

Thanks Paul, as always for showing up, and answering questions. I enjoyed the show a lot, if sorry for some of the editorial decisions. Of course I'd really like to see a Sailrocket documentary. Kickstarter?

 


3rd vote.

 

 



#87 larso

larso

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 01:49 PM

Larso, can you share some info about the food you took on board and eaten during the crossing? I remember you guys said it was difficult to imagine to eat that stuff for 15 days. What were you guys eating? made from what? was it custom prepared? and how your body coped with the, obviously, different food?

 

Thanks alot & cheers,

 

MSafiri

The food does need some explaining. The original idea was that we would all eat the original food. It needs to be mentioned that Shackleton and his men... for the purpose of this trip, were relatively well equipped with food and starving was not an issue. Actually cooking and keeping it down might have been the bigger problem. We aimed to have the same food and quantities that they took. Some of the provisioning seemed quite odd i.e. 47kg of 'nut-food'? That's a hell of a lot of nougat... but we took it. One of their favoured long-life, expedition foods was something called 'Pemmican' or 'Hoosh'. It's basically half fat and half meat product. Like a very fatty ground-up biltong. It's high in both fat and protein.

Attached File  P1030963_1024x768.jpg   168.22K   13 downloads

YOU COULD BE MISTAKEN FOR THINKING THERE'S A NICE JUICY FILLET STEAK IN THERE! YOU WOULD BE MISTAKEN.

Attached File  P1030965_1024x768.jpg   151.04K   18 downloads

THE SECOND PICTURE SHOWS BAZ WITH A TRAY OF COOKED PEMMICAN AFTER IT HAS COOLED DOWN A LITTLE. YOU CAN SEE THE FAT CONTENT.

I'm not sure if Shackleton had originally brought it for the men or for the sledging dogs. Either way, he brought it for the men long after the dogs had gone. It's pretty hard going eating it cold and on its own and is best heated (think cold chips/fries compared to hot ones). Our stuff was prepared by the Royal Marines and for some reason we had to use specific, organically raised cattle. Something to do with modern chemical contamination interfering with how long it could safely be preserved. So enough was sourced and made to feed us all for the expected duration of the trip. It was then loaded onto our original support vessel in Weymouth in the UK. For one reason or another that vessel diverted to Honduras and on very short notice we had to do the ol' switcharoo and find a new support vessel. Thankfully Ben and The Australis were up for it as in the end they did a superb job. The trouble was that all our food and a ton of equipment was in Honduras. Some of it could be shipped and some couldn't i.e. flares, methanol for the fuel cells, meat product etc. So we had to start again on some of this stuff including the food. Some of it we tried to source down in Ushuaia. We laughed at the false economy we left behind in nougat after we cleaned out every shop in town in a few hours trying to source 47kg's. The marines managed to make enough Pemmican for three of the team to eat on the crossing whilst the other three would eat simple army rations. We took about the same calorific amount as they had and the same amount of water stored in similar oak barrels. 

I will reiterate that the originals weren't starving. Whilst they actually really enjoyed eating the pemmican, it was pretty hard going for us. It's not that bad and I was, I guess, pleasantly surprised when I first tried it. I mean it wasn't disgusting by any stretch... but making a meal of it would be a bit much. I likened it to the dripping at the bottom of a roast tray. It's kind of nice to pick at when it's hot... but try and make a meal of it when its cold and it's not so enjoyable. The original guys referred to it as 'ambrosia' (food of the gods). They would mix it with walnuts and dry biscuits etc.

 

So we set off from Elephant Island with enough Hoosh for three, army rations for the other three, 47 kg of 'nut-food' in a sack in the cockpit and 80 litres of water in two oak barrels. Things were still pretty flat on the first night as we sailed out of the lee of Elephant Island in a Southerly wind. The first meal of Hoosh was cooked up by Baz on the Primus burner. We all took a slug of it. It tasted better than it looked... but that's not saying much. All in all... it was a disaster. It's ok when it's steaming hot but in those conditions it quickly cools off and congeals... and then it gets bloody everywhere. It's worst than black Sika-Flex because you are trying to eat it. Everything it touches becomes greasy and slippery. Now you have to remember that it's not like we can clean up with hot water and detergent... or grab some tissues or a rag. What we are wearing is what we have... along with one cup, plate and wooden spoon each. There's no space, let alone a sink. That thick greasy stuff got in your beards, on the decks, on your shoes and hence eventually down below. The pots were a nightmare to clean. It also took ages to heat up as our Primus stove was now playing up in the cold. Like I said. It was a disaster. We laughed at Tim, Baz and Ed having to eat this as our army ration option began to look pretty fine. The next day it began to get rough and sea-sickness crept in. Overall I think the guys handled it extremely well considering what an intense little 'vomitron' they were riding in. I sure know I threw up. I usually do. It doesn't stop me from functioning but I certainly don't try to hold things down unnecessarily. The motion of the AS sure made everyone just hunker down in a nauseous state. Everyone had to force food and water down for the next few days. Cooking let alone eating Pemmican wasn't even considered. In fact, I don't think we saw it again for the rest of the expedition. The combination of the nausea and the cold started to really wear down some of the crew so they all switched to the army rations. In the end we hardly had enough so we actually, in some respects, had less food than the originals. When we were really struggling Baz would knock up some hot, sweet powdered milk which went down really well. 

In some respects you could criticise this aspect on the grounds of authenticity... but on the other... I honestly don't think it made much if any difference. As mentioned, they weren't starving and besides being conditioned to eating that stuff, they actually liked it. Compared to seal and penguin... this was the good stuff. I'm sure that they also had better protocols for how they liked it and served it. We mad a bit of a mess of it. The fact that our Primus began playing up didn't help either. For a while we struggled to get a good,clean flame out of it. When you're already feeling a bit green, firing up a smokey, fumey flame down below in tight confines doesn't increase anyones appetite. We ate simple dry biscuits, drank hot-sweet milk and overall ate basic food. 

I'm sure, that if we were really in survival mode then we would have viewed the pemmican differently... as we would have the 47 kg of nougat (of which we ate about 1kg at most). You could actually survive for a long time on the food we had onboard. The water might have quickly become a bigger problem.



#88 Grinder

Grinder

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,620 posts
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:28 PM

Thanks bro. I'll never complain about our ocean racing good again. Ever.

#89 Tom Ray

Tom Ray

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,690 posts
  • Location:Punta Gorda FL
  • Interests:~~/)/)~~

Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:46 PM

After smearing it with grease and vomit, I hope the boat was towed outside the environment and burned.



#90 MSafiri

MSafiri

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Location:Paris/France

Posted 04 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

Interesting to read that you guys switched back the 'modern' food so fast! also that you were not eating more sweet. Reading the account of several antartic expeditions (I hate cold, but would jump on the 1st op to get down to the South Pole, facinating place), after a while they dreamed about sweet............of course those guys were down there for lot longer................and I think I would side with Grinder, "never complain about food on board, ever"

 

thanks alot for sharing this info. reading all your comments can and does make the film even more interesting.



#91 Grinder

Grinder

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,620 posts
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 04 February 2014 - 06:16 PM

Food. Sorry.

(null)

#92 MR.CLEAN

MR.CLEAN

    Anarchist

  • Reporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 32,329 posts
  • Location:Everywhere you want to be
  • Interests:.

Posted 04 February 2014 - 06:39 PM

It took our cook over a week on the Endeavour recreation voyage to figure out how to properly cook salt-pork and salt-beef out of barrels, until then we all lost a shitload of weight.  A lot of the survival skills related to food preservation and cooking are mostly gone!



#93 Presuming Ed

Presuming Ed

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,937 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:50 PM

Ex Royal Marine Bruce Parry did a recreation of Scott vs Amundsen in 2006. Filmed as"Blizzard. Race to the Pole". IIRC, the team trying the Scott methodology - including hooch for sledging rations - found that they weren't getting sufficient calories.

Of course, for some of us who grew up with Swallows and Amazons, pemmican is what Bully Beef is called.

#94 SloopJonB

SloopJonB

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,180 posts
  • Location:West Vancouver, B.C.
  • Interests:Daysailing, local cruising and working on them.

Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:09 PM

I thought pemmican was more like jerky - bully beef is canned corn beef - at least to those of us of Brit extraction..



#95 Presuming Ed

Presuming Ed

    Anarchist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,937 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 05 February 2014 - 12:02 PM

Sorry, I was unclear. In thw world of the Swallows and Amazons, tinned corned beef (bully beef) was called pemmican, esp in Winter Holiday, to make it all more realistic. Better drowned that duffers if not duffers won't drown, and all that. 






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users