“You’re at the helm of a very unseaworthy small boat in a very big sea, you’ve got mountains of grey looming up out of the darkness, and the first thing you know is when they hit you and the boat judders and threatens to go over. Navigating when you don’t see the sun, whilst all the while you’re being physically sick and mildly hypothermic and sleep-deprived. It’s not great.”
Tim Jarvis’s description of one of the most difficult moments in his most taxing expedition to date is typically understated. In 2013 the adventurer and environmental scientist re-enacted Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 epic journey, sailing a replica of his boat 1,500km across the Southern Ocean from Antarctica, where Shackleton’s men were stranded for more than a year, to South Georgia island, then climbing over its mountainous interior to the site of the whaling station where Shackleton finally found help.