In 1915, Shackelton and the 27 members of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition found themselves trapped in the pack ice in the remote Weddell Sea. Even though Endurance was built to withstand ice-choked polar seas and was easily one of the strongest ships of its era, the expedition team watched helplessly as the shifting ice slowly crushed the ship, which then sank 10,000 feet to the sea floor. All alone at the bottom of the world, Shackleton led what is now a world-famous journey of survival, crossing hundreds of miles of unstable ice, punishing seas and even snow-covered mountain peaks to find rescue. Everyone survived to tell the tale, but Endurance has never been seen since.
The Endurance22 expedition will set out with the best possible technology and a world-leading exploration team to find the Endurance. They will navigate the treacherous southern waters, slamming through miles of pack ice in search of locations for state-of-the-art submarines to scan the ocean floor. If they find the lost ship, the plan is to survey and film the wreck. The team’s 2019 attempt to locate the Endurance was called off due to extreme weather and a lost submarine. This time, the team is even more determined to find the remains of the legendary ship.
S.A. Agulhas II
S.A. Agulhas II is a South African icebreaking polar supply and research ship owned by the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry (DEFF). She was built in 2012 by STX Finland in Rauma, Finland, to replace the aging S.A. Agulhas. Unlike her predecessor, S.A. Agulhas II was designed from the beginning to carry out both scientific research and supply South African research stations in the Antarctic.
All Event Times Listed in Eastern
Chad Bonin | Exploring the Deep with Marine Robotics
October 7th @ 1:00pm eastern
Endurance22 Expedition sub-sea team member and AUV expert Chad Bonin has spent a career finding and mapping things that are deep underwater. He’s part of an elite team that will be using state-of-the-art marine robotics to search for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s sunken ship, Endurance, 10,000 feet beneath the surface of the ice-cold Weddell Sea in the Antarctic this winter. Chad will be calling from Toulon, France, where the Endurance22 Expedition sub-sea team is about to conduct deep-water tests with a combinated AUV/ROV unit. Following that, they will be simulating an ice camp, practicing deploying marine robotics through holes in meters-thick ice as they expect to do at the sink site of Endurance.
Dr. John Shears | Expedition Leader of Endurance22
November 4th @ 10:00am eastern
Dr. John Shears is a polar geographer and environmental scientist with more than 25 years of experience working in both Antarctica and the Arctic with the British Antarctic Survey and the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge. In 2019, Dr. Shears was awarded the Polar Medal by Her Majesty the Queen for outstanding achievement and service in the field of polar research.
Dr. Shears is the Expedition Leader for the Endurance22 Expedition, which will journey into the Weddell Sea off Antarctica in February 2022 in search of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ice ship, Endurance. Planning an expedition of this magnitude (in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) requires extraordinary attention to detail, and Dr. Shears is drawing on his years of experience to make sure all expedition teams are well-positioned for a safe and successful voyage.
How does he do it? What have been the biggest challenges so far? What is he looking forward to the most? Let’s ask him! This is an extraordinary opportunity to hear directly from the leader of the Endurance22 Expedition and ask him your questions in the weeks before the expedition sets sail for the Antarctic.
Tamaryn Morris and Thomas Mtontsi | Endurance22 Science Team Members
November 8th @ 10:00am eastern
As part of the science team for the Endurance22 Expedition, Tammy and Thomas are coordinating a team of oceanographer colleagues who will deploy technologically-advanced buoys to investigate how sea ice behaves in the Weddell Sea. What can a “smart” buoy tell us, and how do scientists deploy and use these incredible tools? Let’s ask Tammy and Thomas! This is the first of several livestream events with various members of the international Endurance22 science team.
Dr. Tamaryn Morris is a physical oceanographer and Senior Manager for Marine with the South African Weather Service in Cape Town, South Africa. Tammy has extensive in-field experience in the South West Indian and South Atlantic Oceans using a variety of ocean observing instruments and platforms. She works closely with high-tech buoys that monitor the worlds’ oceans and help produce accurate weather forecasts and climate models. You can read more about her work here.
Thomas Mtontsi is a Science Engagement Officer at the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), a research facility of the National Research Foundation. Thomas coordinates science engagement activities focused on grade 9-11 learners and teachers. He is deeply involved in the “Adopt a Float” program, through which scientists share their work around ocean monitoring with classrooms, inspiring and educating students about the Southern Ocean and climate change. Thomas is currently pursuing a PhD in Marine Science.
Chad Bonin | Exploring the Deep with Marine Robotics (Return from Field Tests)
November 12th @ 1:00pm eastern
Endurance22 Expedition sub-sea team member and AUV expert Chad Bonin has spent a career finding and mapping things that are deep underwater. He’s part of an elite team that will be using state-of-the-art marine robotics to search for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s sunken ship, Endurance, 10,000 feet beneath the surface of the ice-cold Weddell Sea in the Antarctic this winter. Chad recently returned from Toulon, France, where the Endurance22 Expedition sub-sea team conducted deep-water tests with a combined AUV/ROV unit. Following that, they simulated an ice camp, practicing deploying marine robotics through holes in meters-thick ice as they expect to do at the sink site of Endurance. Let’s check-in with Chad and see how it all went!
Mensun Bound | Marine Archeologist and Endurance22 Expedition Director of Exploration
January 21st @ 9:00am eastern
Mensun Bound is an accomplished marine archeologist who has traveled the world in search of famous shipwrecks. From 6th-century B.C. Etruscan shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea to sunken WWII battleships resting beneath thousands of feet of ocean water, Mensun has spent a career searching for answers that can only be found underwater.
Mensun is the Director of Exploration for the Endurance22 Expedition, which will journey into the Weddell Sea off Antarctica in February 2022 in search of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ice ship, Endurance. Mensun knows more about the challenges of discovering the Endurance wreck site and what the Endurance may look like 107 years after sinking than anyone in the world!
How did Endurance sink? What should we expect the first images of the wreck to look like? What makes finding the Endurance more difficult than other deep-sea wrecks? Let’s ask him! This is an extraordinary opportunity to hear directly from the leader of the search for the most famous undiscovered shipwreck in the world–just days before the Endurance22 Expedition sets sail for the Antarctic.