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Jarlath Cunnane's Replica Boat Build of the Shackleton Antarctic Expedition Lifeboat Continues Apace

26th March 2021
County Mayo's Jarlath Cunnane is moving apace with his lockdown project to build a replica of the James Caird, the Shackleton Antarctic expedition lifeboat
County Mayo's Jarlath Cunnane is moving apace with his lockdown project to build a replica of the James Caird, the Shackleton Antarctic expedition lifeboat

Polar explorer, adventurer and boatbuilder extraordinaire Jarlath Cunnane is moving apace with his lockdown project to build a replica of the James Caird, the Shackleton Antarctic expedition lifeboat.

Cunnane’s main aim is to remember the Scots carpenter Henry or Harry Chippy McNish, who was a member of the TransAntarctic Expedition 1914-1917.

The modifications that McNish made to the Caird enabled it to weather the epic 800-mile voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia which Shackleton and five of his crew undertook after their ship, Endurance, was crushed by pack ice.

Modifications that Harry McNish made to the James Caird lifeboat enabled it to weather the epic 800-mile voyage from Elephant Island to South GeorgiaThe James Caird lifeboat - Modifications that McNish made to the Caird enabled it to weather the epic 800-mile voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia

However, McNish was snubbed by “the Boss” when it came to recommendations for polar medals after the expedition was over.

It’s the second time that Cunnane has built a Caird replica – the first, named after Tom Crean, was used in the Irish recreation of the Shackleton voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia in 1997 and is at the bottom of the Southern Ocean.

Cunnane has recently turned the hull over and is now fitting out the interior.

Listen below to Cunnane in his Rosmoney boatyard for Wavelengths

Cunnane spoke also about the project, and about McNish’s treatment by Shackleton, to the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association this week, and that talk in aid of the RNLI Howth lifeboat is below.

 

Published in Wavelength Podcast
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...

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