A real adventure in history

Published on 09.12.2008 - Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Virtually every day the dispatches being sent back from the Matrix Shackleton Centenary expedition hark back to some of the great moments in Antarctic history. What a treat!

The problems of last week are behind the men now and they are trying to make up for lost time – 'giving it a good go', as they say.

First of all, they are just a few days from the Transantarctic Mountains, marking the halfway point of the expedition, which is very encouraging. Then they are making good steady progress at approximately 16 nautical miles (just under 30 km) a day. We should also point out that if the great Ernest Shackleton himself, in whose honour this expedition is being conducted, kept his log in the same way as the daily updates that are coming in from this trek, it is hardly surprising that he accomplished such great feats. If we were to award a medal for this season's best website (of course, visitors to our site will know that, unlike some others, we never make judgments about polar performances), there is no doubt that our vote would have to go to the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition. Every day the site publishes a clear and concise account of progress, along with some highly interesting statistics. One of the things they tell us each day is the number of miles the men still have to average per day to achieve their goal within the allotted time.

Another great thing about the way this expedition is being reported is the way the person designated to write the dispatch takes us back to a century earlier. 21st November, for example, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Chinaman, the first pony to perish on the Nimrod expedition. Two days later, we learnt that on 23rd November 1908, the peaks that were to become Mounts Markham and Longstaff were glimpsed for the first time by human beings.

Thus far, to 9th December, the expedition has covered 304.5 nautical miles (564 kilometres), leaving them another 426.29 nautical miles (789 kilometres) to cover before they reach the Pole.

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