Shackleton & Crew: 8 countries-3500km-5 months

Shackleton & Crew

It’s two weeks since Shackleton (pictured above) left Newhaven Marina, along with chaperone architects Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel. In that time, since leaving the white cliffs of Dover to port, they have covered 475nm (880km) – passing through four countries and spending many hours on the go.

Today there is some respite, as the team have just entered the sheltered waters of the Kiel Canal on their way to the Baltic. On the voyage so far there have been a few mishaps, small leaks and misjudgements – but they haven’t damaged anyone else’s boat, fallen overboard or got lost. So the first fortnight probably counts as a success!

Where to now and why?

Once into the Baltic it’s up the Danish and Swedish coasts, past Copenhagen and Gothenburg, before crossing the Skagerrak strait and heading north to Bergen, Norway. The team will then follow the route of the famous Hurtigruten ferry, passing up the fjords to Tromsø at 70° North.

So what kind of vessel would you choose to travel from around 50° to 70° latitude? For expedition sailing one would likely choose a high-latitudes sailing yacht, but Shackleton’s owner Guylee, along with colleague David are architects – so a re-purposed lifeboat was obviously the logical choice. At some level this makes absolute sense…

Once Stødig (meaning sound and steadfast) and crew arrive in Tromsø they’ll spend the winter there, making smaller coastal excursions, exploring the wild and isolated landscape. The purpose – to demonstrate the ability of design innovation to facilitate self sufficiency in an extreme environment and to document and share the adventure through photography and film.

Stodig’s adventure is in support of Hope Health Action, who provide life saving health and disability care to the world’s most vulnerable without discrimination. Guylee has been involved in their work in Haiti since 2009, most recently spending 18 months working there.

Hope Health Action

Ferry to Fjords

For now, until the next update, we’ll leave you with a few photographs of Stødig’s journey so far – as Shackleton, Guylee and David voyage onwards toward the Arctic Circle.

CalMac ferry, MV Clansman
Stødig has had a scenic life already. Built in 1997 in Norway by Norsafe, she spent her previous life as Clansman Lifeboat No.1, serving the Western Isles of Scotland aboard the CalMac ferry, MV Clansman. Originally designed to carry 100 people in a survival situation, she next incarnated as an Architect’s dream – an unsinkable and spacious blank canvas.
Stødig being built
A blank canvas begins to take form…the redesign to include two forward cabins, a kitchen and dining area, bathroom, bunk beds and stern cockpit.
Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel
Stødig and crew – Shackleton with chaperones Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel.
Stødig solar boat
Nearly ready…
Stødig deck
Underway at last…
Stødig leaving england
Leaving England…
Victron Energy power equipment.
Shackleton (a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) guards the Victron Energy power equipment.

Victron Energy equipment fitted:

  • 1 x Color Control GX
  • 1 x Battery Monitor BMV-700
  • 3 x 1 x 12V/230Ah AGM Super Cycle Battery (Domestics)
  • 1 x 12V/165Ah AGM Deep Cycle Battery (Starter)
  • 1 x EasyPlus Compact 12/1600/70-16
  • 1 x SmartSolar MPPT 150/60-Tr
  • 1 x 25A Buck-Boost
Victron Energy for boats
Last day in the Netherlands, before making their way up to the Frisian Islands and Norderney (one of the East Frisian Islands off the North Sea coast of Germany).


Victron Energy and Barden UK are pleased to help with sponsorship of Victron equipment, for this unusual yet worthwhile and fascinating adventure. We’ll keep you updated…

John Rushworth

Here’s what a few well known adventurers also have to say:

  • MARK BEAUMONT adventurer & broadcaster – Stødig exemplifies a lot of things I am passionate about: adventure, self sufficiency, sustainability and a dogged determination to explore remote places in new ways. With Guylee and David’s design skills I am looking forward to seeing how they overcome the challenges facing them during the lifeboat’s conversion and how they can capture and share this entire odyssey.
  • SIR ROBIN KNOX-JOHNSTON sailing maverick – Everyone should do something like this when they are young, this voyage should inspire others to take on their own challenges.
Barden battery and power solution