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A battle for survival, storm-cracked seas and an unexpected stowaway: the Jaeger team start their
voyage south across the Drake Passage in the footsteps of the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
But the experience is very different then and now...

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The Drake Passage is the most storm-torn patch of ocean on the planet. A fearsome 1,000km stretch of water separating the tail of South America from the tip of Antarctica, its avalanche-like swells threw Ernest Shackleton around more than his fair share of times. One of the famous explorer's companions, a young Irishman named Felix Rooney, described it as "so rough, the ship would roll the milk out of your tea." But the mountainous waves of the Drake weren't the only drama Shackleton faced during his sea voyage south. Shortly after the Endurance set off from Argentina, he was shocked to discover that he didn't have the 26 men on board he had expected to

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find. Hidden inside a locker was a rogue 27th member of the party: Perce Blackborow, a thrillseeking Welsh teenager who'd decided to join the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of his own accord. It was a decision he would have plenty of time to regret. On the evening of January 18th 1915, after successfully crossing the Drake, the Endurance was sailing south along the Antarctic Peninsula towards her destination of Vahsel Bay, when disaster struck. The pack ice closed tightly about her, and she was completely stuck. Despite the best efforts of Shackleton and his team - including young Blackborow - the Endurance would never escape. She would die a slow, twisted death, strangled by the suffocating sea ice.


Today, the Antarctic Peninsula looks very similar to the way it did on that fateful day in January 1915. Penguins chatter and bicker

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while fat Weddell seals waddle across the ice. Icebergs the size of skyscrapers sit in pristine glacial harbours like the frosted creations of a mad confectioner. Thankfully, 21st Century visitors like us can enjoy this spectacular scenery from the comforts of modern expedition ships. The ice remains a threat and will - on extremely rare occasions - still trap vessels today. But with satellite phones, helicopters and specialist icebreaker ships at the other end of a radio, it is never a life or death scenario.

For Shackleton and his men, it was very different. They had the best kit money could buy - including thermals and woollen clothing from Jaeger - but they were truly alone. If they were going to get out of the Antarctic alive, they were going to have to get themselves out... One of history's most famous battles for survival had begun - and Blackborow had inadvertently bought himself a front row ticket.

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