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At the James Caird Society's AGM, Henry Worsley and Will Gow gave a talk introducing the team and explaining our progress so far in achieving our goals for the Shackleton Foundation and the Expedition.
Thanks also go out to all those generous bidders in a small auction that occurred after Henry and Will's talk. A lot of money was raised that night from generous James Cairder's and we aim to put that money to good use by having a successful Expedition and Foundation.
We here at the Shackleton Foundation were delighted to hear that the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has approved 52,500 Euros in grants to support conservation of Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds in Antarctica.
Sir Ernest and the team used the hut in 1908 as part of the Nimrod Expedition, and again in the later Endurance Expedition of 1914.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ahern said that while Government funding for Cape Royds was 'modest in contrast with funding from elsewhere', it would link Ireland to an international project which will 'forever honour the memory of two great Irishmen, Ernest Shackleton from Kildare and Tom Crean from Kerry'.
Last night on Channel 4, Tim Jarvis, a man who has extensive polar experience, re-created in part Sir Douglas Mawson's incredible 900 mile polar journey of 1912.
Mawson, an Australian scientist had been part of the 1908 Nimrod Expedition, although not part of the Farthest South Party. His geological expedition is infamous for the severe hardships, and the harrowing experiences that they suffered. Both of his companions, Lt Belgrave Ninnis and Dr Xavier Maertz died on the journey.
Mawson then had to get back to where his ship was due to leave in order to survive. One of many problems was that Lt Ninnis's sledge had contained most of the food, and had fallen with him to his death in a crevasse.
Mawson's survival was down in no small part to the fact that he ate the dogs that had taken him so far. An unfortunate consequence of this for Mawson was that we now know that the dog's livers contained very high levels of toxins and contributed in fact, to some horrifying symptoms including (for those of a squeamish nature, look away now) the sole's of his feet coming away from his body, to which he had to wrap them in bandages, wear more socks, and carry on going.
We here at the Shackleton Foundation heartily congratulate Tim for his incredible achievement in re-creating Mawson's expedition to the best of his abilities, losing 20 kilos in the process. The programme was very informative, and we were able to learn a little more about Sir Douglas Mawson, the intrepid polar explorer and geologist.
Athy, County Kildare, Ireland. The heart of Shackleton country - he was born 10 miles away at Kilkea House, near Athy, in 1874.
On Friday 26th October, Will talked at the 7th Shackleton Autumn School in Athy, an event attended by many members of the Shackleton family, amongst others.
'It was a great fun weekend and I felt very privileged to be invited since they have very distinguished speakers within the polar world.
The Autumn school is an annual event and is well worth attending for any polar Shackleton enthusiast, and as a little aside it happens to be on the Gordon Bennett route. The lecture's take place in the town hall and next to it is one of the great institutions of Athy - O'Briens grocery and sustainence shop which hasn't changed since 1875.
The hospitality of the Irish, and in particular Frank and Seamus Taffe, was exceptional - and everyone made me feel as if I belonged there!'
You can visit the Athy Heritage Centre's website, and view a wealth of information about Sir Ernest Shackleton by clicking here. You can also see the programme of events that Will was speaking at by clicking here.
Temperature: nippy. Wind: moderate. Weather: drizzly.
It's not Antarctica, but in the spirit of every little bit helps, I took part in the annual Barnes Green Half Marathon in Sussex, now in its 25th year.
Having done the course last year I knew what to expect and finished in approx. 1 hour 38 minutes which I'm pretty happy with as it beat my time last year by 10 minutes, and it meant I got a silver medal (the first 100 get gold, the next 200 silver, and everyone else who finishes gets bronze).
Having sullied this website with a picture of me crossing the finish line drenched in rain and slightly woozy, I am also going to give out a special mention to my younger brother who, in his first half marathon at the age of 20, finished in a very respectable 1 hour 57 minutes.
Now I'm off for a lie down and some more lucozade.
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