Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure black alignment spacer
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Behind the Scenes: The James Caird Replica
About Giant-Screen Technology | Photo Gallery | The James Caird Replica
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Reenactment image of James Caird landing.alignment spacer The James Caird was one of the three lifeboats—along with the Dudley Docker and the Stancomb Wills, all three of which were named for expedition benefactors—that carried Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men from the ice floes of the Antarctic to Elephant Island, after their ship, the Endurance, was lost to the ice.

When they arrived at Elephant Island, ship's carpenter Chippy McNeish transformed the James Caird into a sailboat. He reinforced the hull, built a deck, added a rudder and mounted two masts (a mainmast and a mizzenmast). The tiny 22-foot rebuilt James Caird sailboat carried Shackleton and five men (McNeish, Tom Crean, Tim McCarthy, Frank Worsley and John Vincent) more than 800 miles across the world's stormiest seas—and through a hurricane—to South Georgia Island. This 17-day journey has been called one of the greatest open-boat journeys of all time.

The original James Caird can be found on display at Shackleton's alma mater, Dulwich College, in Dulwich near London. For information about the James Caird Society, visit its website,

A replica of the lifeboat-turned-sailboat was built for the filming of Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, but was lost during the filming expedition in a storm, along with the replicas of the Dudley Docker and Stancomb Wills.

Bob Wallace, an Antarctic captain and boat builder who created the James Caird replica—and portrays Shackleton in Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure—has built a new replica of the James Caird that will be displayed at some giant-screen theaters showing the film.

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About the Film
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Film Summary
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Behind the Scenes
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Dramatic Reenactments
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The Climbers: Messner, Venables, Anker
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Film Reviews
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Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition
Shackleton's Leadership Role
About Antarctica and the Subantarctic
Where to See the Film
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Photo Credits: 1999 WGBH, Photo: Kelly Tyler

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shadow background  2001 WGBH Educational Foundation